Merry Christmas

I thought I would get a quick post in and say somethng nice to all those tens of tens of people that read our blog. Anyway Christmas is upon us and I am playing with my new toys. My lovely girlfriend got me Worms 4 for Xbox and Need For Speed Most Wanted for the Xbox360. She also got me some great stuff like Philly Eagles blanket, a Philly Eagles teddy bear( make fun of the bear and DIE!) and a Philly Eagles hoodie. Well there isn't much to say so I will post again later, plus Julie is almost done making her team on Worms 4. Peace.


Sin & Redemption: Part 3

Sin and Redemption

Part 3:
The Game Boy Gaijin

First-Born Brilliance

Before Entertainment Analysis and Development (EAD) became Shigeru Miyamoto's playground and, as such, became Nintendo's flagship internal development house, all of your favorite NES games were made by a not-so-originally-named Nintendo Research and Development 1 (NR&D1). From Metroid to Kid Icarus to The Legend of Zelda, it was all thought up and executed there. But this small subsidiary didn't just program software; no, they also designed hardware. And in 1989, they released their masterpiece, headed up by our old friend Gunpei Yokoi: the Game Boy.

Featuring an 8-Bit processor and four shades of gray, it wasn't much to look at, but its smart design and killer applications (some would say that Metroid II: The Return of Samus is one of the best handheld games ever released) made it a hit among audiences the world over. Even in a small English independent gaming studio...

Jez San and the Argonauts


Sin & Redemption: Part 2

Sin & Redemption
By: Karl Castaneda

Part 2

Early Days

While most people are aware that the NES/Famicom revolutionized gaming forever, they aren't aware that Nintendo was slow to gain momentum when the console was first released in its native Japan. The most famous of criticisms for the system was that it was unreliable; cart-reading errors and freezing were commonplace (Note: This is just another example of a Nintendo trait Sony would later copy). Of course, this was not up to the standard of the proud Hiroshi Yamauchi, so it wasn't too long before a product recall was ordered and the Famicom was re-shipped with a new motherboard. By the end of 1984, the Famicom was the best-selling console in Japan. And it made Hiroshi wonder...

Would this sell in other countries?

In a move that was equally ambitious and arrogant (Note: This ever-growing war of ambition and arrogance will be a recurring theme of Sin and Redemption), Nintendo showed a re-designed Famicom at the 1985 Computer Electronics Show. Now called the NES, Nintendo would go on to monopolize the industry that was still recovering from the video game crash of the early 80's.


Sin & Redemption: Part 1

Sin & Redemption

Nintendo is a company very dear to my heart, as well as to the hearts of millions of gamers out there. And while we associate the name with the developer (and therefore the genius of Shigeru Miyamoto), many people choose not to look at the dark side of the corporation; the business side. And it’s with this in mind that we won’t be focusing so much on the fantastic level design of Super Mario Bros. 3, more on the strategically planned U.S. release of the FamiCom, of the great blunder of the N64 cart. The Sins of the Father in Hiroshi Yamauchi, and the Redemption of the Son in Satoru Iwata, for better or for worse, this is Nintendo.


The Biggest Innovations Of The Game Industry

When we think of Innovations in the game industry we normally think of Nintendo. The reason we think Nintendo is because they have done stuff that helped push the industry forward. They created the first controller with a four way digital pad (NES), they created the first analog controller (Nintendo 64), introduced us to 32bit handheld gaming (GBA), and even let us shake our groove “thang” way before DDR revolutionized the arcade industry with the Nintendo Power Pad (NES). But what other innovations are there that seem to have escaped our minds? Here’s a small list I compiled of the things Nintendidn’t. That’s right I went there.

Dual Analog Sticks – Sony Playstation

Sure Nintendo invented the analog stick, but Sony perfected the idea by having two of them. Throughout the PSone’s lifecycle only a few games every truly used the second analog stick. Most of those games were first person shooters or Adventure games that used it to rotate a camera around much like the C-buttons on the N64 controller did for Mario64. But those games were far and few in between and it appeared for awhile that a second analog was nothing but a novelty item. Enter the PS2 and the Xbox. When both consoles emerged, a slew of new games ranging from RPGs to Platformers to FPSs, appeared and utilized both sticks for not only camera movement but for extra innovative control schemes.


Wise fwom your gwave

Many moons ago the company known as Acclaim filed for bankruptcy and was no more. Acclaim was infamous for games like Turok, Dave Mirra BMX, and a house old of really crappy games. Well it appears I am very late with breaking this news since gamespot announced their resurrection. But I actually discovered Acclaim "coming soon" website back in April of this year and I emailed them back in November to get the scope. Their response to my question reads as follows.

"Actually, we are new company that acquired the Acclaim trademarks and logo. We are planning to relaunch the brand shortly. We will provide you with a press release once we are ready. Thanks for contacting us. Best."

There you have it. After the gamespot article it would appear that they aren't going to become the same acclaim of old. the "new" Acclaim will be focusing on bringing over MMO's from the far east. For a moment I was hoping that when they said that they have Acclaim's trademarks that in turn would also mean their properties and games of the games minus the Turok license. I guess I was wrong.


Life As A Gamer Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

By Guest Writer Zach Miller

When I was sixteen, my friend Luke Nielson and I took a biology class at the University (UAA). Being homeschooled, we were allowed to take college courses for both high school and college credit. The class was a lecture/lab, and my dad had made me a deal: If I could pull off an A in both parts, he would buy me a Nintendo 64. I remember going into the final weeks of both classes with B’s over my head. I studied like mad but couldn’t muster the mental stamina necessary to recall all the different parts of a human heart. Happily, I found out that I could get extra credit in the lab by writing a paper regarding some aspect of my group’s dissected fetal pig which we had lovingly named “Babe” (“Babe vists the Bio lab” was written on its storage bag). I wrote about endothermy and dinosaurs, which came as no surprise to instructor, who gave me an A in the lab. The lecture final proved to be much more difficult, however, In order to pull off an A, I would need to scare an 89. I met my professor a week after the test to pick up my grade. I’d gotten an 88, and my heart sank. I noted that he had given me one extra credit point for drawing interesting pictures on the blackboard before each class and for my good questions. The next day, we went to Costco and bought an N64 Ocarina of Time bundle. I still play it to this day.


Part 4 of the Life As A Gamer Feature

By Guest Writer Zach Miller

Back to the story at hand, though. Oddly, Andrew was the first among us to secure a Super Nintendo Entertainment System. We all stared in utter disbelief at Super Mario World. When that gigantic Bullet Bill flew past our heads in the very first stage, our vision of gaming was changed forever. The graphics, sound, and gameplay were simply incredible. Over the next year, we would beat that game. Soon, like Super Mario Bros. before it, SMW became more of an art, and we quickly figured out shortcuts and faster ways of beating the game. The Gingras boys had Super Mario Kart, which ate up all our time when at their house.


Status report... ALSO PRIZES!

Well, with Hubbs working late and my other writing obligations, new content from either of us will be pretty scarce this week. However, with Zach sending in new chapters to his feature, you'll hardly notice. Within the next couple weeks we should be coming up with some great stuff, too, possibly even a new interview for you guys to gobble up. Besides that, I should have a new article up as well.

While I'm here, I should let you guys in on the contest that my guys at GameXC are running. Check it out here.

That'll be all for now. Later, guys.


Hubbs is out of the bulding.

My boss at work dislocated his shoulder and will be out for a week. So I am picking up the slack and will be working the whole week for a grand total of 43 hours. Because of this I won't be able to have any time to come up with any good articles for you. However because of our guest poster Zach, whose article is over 14 pages long, we will be posting that throughtout next week. I'll see you guys later.

Robert Hubbs

PS. This may be a few days late but you might enjoy this.
Jack Thompson has his license revoked


Life As A Gamer: Part 3

By Guest Writer Zach Miller

The games, on both the NES and Game Boy fronts, began steadily flowing. I remember buying Battletoads based mainly on the argument that “all the other kids have it.” That argument has never worked since, nor would I even let myself use it today. The Rare game turned out to be one of my favorites on the NES though, even if I was only able to beat it by using the Game Genie to get past the frustrating “orb race” level. I also collected all the TMNT games released on the NES, my favorite being The Manhattan Project. I also got the NES version of Tournament Fighters (one of the great underrated 2D fighters) and whenever my little brother picked the same turtle as me, we’d pretend that his turtle was Slash, one of the characters who originated in the cartoon and later the Archie Adventure series. I got Kirby’s Adventure for Christmas one year and it consumed my life for several months. The first NES game I got for a present, actually, was Batman, which again proved too difficult for my ten-year-old reflexes.


Life As A Gamer: Part 2

By Guest Writer Zach Miller

It was late 1989 that heralded my first gaming system, although it wasn’t an NES. My 8th birthday resulted in a Game Boy and three games. The handheld came with Tetris, but my parents got me Super Mario Land and my grandma got me The Castlevania Adventure. Of course the Gingras boys also had their own Game Boys, but I don’t remember if Andrew ever had one. My mother became hooked on Tetris, which is ironic considering that today she doesn’t give games a second look. Back when I was eight years young, my coordination skills were such that playing any game that required quick thinking and quicker reflexes was near impossible. I trained on that Game Boy. Although it weighed as much as a small toaster oven, I loved playing it. Super Mario Land provided significant training opportunities: I became quite good at it, and even found a ton of secrets that I was convinced nobody else had ever found before (invisible floors, floating platforms, etc.). World three, though, stumped me. I was simply unable to get past Dragon Zumasu, an enormous seahorse who spit fireballs and was guarded by a big bouncing eyeball (or something).


The XBOX 360 launch

As of midnight Microsoft quitely released their super console, the XBOX 360, to the masses. But this launch doesn't was not as spectacular as Microsoft has herald it to be. Oh sure, the Xbox 360 has the most solid launch lineup of which is back by Rare, Activision and EA, but the event wasn't the grand party it was meant to be. There was no pre launch party unless you were in New York City or Seattle, but since when did a console ever deserved to be celebrated like it was birth of Christ?

I arrived at my local EB games at 11:30pm only to find that I was the first person to be there. No line has formed nor was there any kind of activity happening. Just some executives from EBgames headquaters and Philadelphia Eagles player Matt Ware( who also autographed your copy of Madden 2006 for the 360) were there to grab their 360's before a crowd of 9 people were allowed to come in and get theirs. By the way I do apologize for no footage or interviews since I wasn't allowed by order of the EB games DM.


Lack luster launch experience aside, its whats in the box that counted actually. Running home I immediately dove right in and plug my $400 system pachage into my dad's 42inch plasma and set up my account. The user interface is so dynamic and refreshing. I couldn't help but continue to explore it. I downloaded several demo games from the Xbox Live! Arcade and some trailers including a perticularly hilarious exclusive Red vs Blue episode.

After toying around with that I decided it was time I recovered my Xbox Live account. Now the process was extremely simplistic even a caveman could do it( okay so I've seen those commercials way too much). Managing your account is much easier than it was on the original black box and several new features just add icing on the cake. My favorite freature is when the Xbox LIve alerts you that someone on your buddy list has just longed on. Of course this can be kind of irrating when you are watching a movie and suddenly several alerts pop up that several of your buddies are logged on.

Now the games. I bought myself Call Of Duty 2 and Madden 2006. Both of which are solid games. COD2 is probably the most action packed game I have ever played and probably the BEST World War 2 game I have ever played. The missions are tough even on normal difficulty and the multiplayer mayhem is extremely fun. Madden 2006 is the first Madden football game I have owned since Madden 96 on the Sega Genesis. Since then I have had the first two NFL Quaterback Club games (yes the first two games of the dead series were quite good) on the N64 and the reowned 2K Games NFL 2k series. I have of course played madden several times since '96 but I haven't owned it. Madden 2006 is fun, fast paced, challenging and difficult to master. The fact that I can't use Challenges like in the NFL 2k series is a big oversite though.

Anyway its late I've played quite of bit of my 360 today and I am still bitter that Dead or ALive 4 was pushed back to December 1st, but my two games will hold me over till then. Now it's late my throat is soar again and I need sleep. Good Night and enjoy Karl's recent post and the guest post from Zach Miller.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Zachary Miller, who you might know as one of the excellent staffers at GameXC.com, is a good buddy of mine and a majorly talented individual. With a bit of pleading, I managed to get him to contribute a string of articles to this little shindig of Robert's and mine. This is the first chapter is Zach's saga of growing up as a gamer, entitled GamerLife. Before we get started, though, I'd like to remind you to check back throughout the day, as Robert will no doubt be gracing us with some cool Xbox 360 stories. Now, let's get this show on the road!

My Life as a Gamer
From Frogger to Fatal Frame 3 and beyond


Polygonal Pioneers

Polygonal Pioneers: Viewt’s Five Favorite Game Industry Figures

5. Yasunori Mitsuda:

As a child, Yasunori Mitsuda was an avid athlete and an admirer of his older sister’s piano. As he got older, though, his mere fascination with music turned obsessive, and he soon decided that he wanted to create music that would accompany movies and video games. After doing some work with Enix, he got a job with Square Soft, working with prolific composer Nobuo Uematsu on the Final Fantasy franchise. It was during this time that he created the infamous “Dragon’s Cry” sound effect.

One day, so fed up that he had yet to be given anything challenging, he went to Hironobu Sakaguchi and said that if he wasn’t going to be given any important roles, he was going to leave the company. Almost instantly, Sakaguchi said, “Okay, you’re going to do Chrono Trigger.” And so, one of the greatest game soundtracks was created; Mitsuda borrowed from Irish folk music and created fantastic themes brilliant in their melodic simplicity. He would later perfect the style when Chrono Cross was released, most notably with what I believe to be one of the best theme songs a video game has ever had.

Xbox 360 launch T-minus 12 hours + and counting...

Thats right peope, its almost here. I will be at the XBOX 360 midnight launch at my local EB Games. And While I am there I will get some footage of the event with my trusty digicam and ask a few questions from several of the people who are picking their up. You will get to see this footage and more on the 360 tomarrow after I played around with it. Until then, PEACE.


The Incredibles: Rise Of The Underminer Interview

Yep it took me a the entire month of October but its finally happened. Here is the interview about The Incredibles: ROTU that was produced by Heavy Iron Studios. The Increldibles: ROTU is out now for all 3 major consoles, GBA, Nintendo DS, PC and Mac.

1.) Is the game a direct sequel to the movie or does it take a different approach to where we were left off at the end of the movie?

The Incredbiles: Rise of the Underminer is the video game follow up to the Academy Award-winning film from last year, and it enables players to find out what happens to The Incredbiles after the Underminer shows up.

2.) What direction did you want to take this game after the release of the first Incredibles game?


Lost Gems part 1: Turok 1 and 2.

The "Lost Gems" articles are a new feature at Gaming Vision to inform you about the great games, hardware, and/or software of the past that you might've missed out on. Today's "Lost Gems" is about Turok 1 and 2 for the pc.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter/ Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for the PC.

Among the actual good games that Acclaim put out was the first two games in the now defunct Turok series. Both games debuted on the Nintendo 64 which not only showed off the systems amazing graphical powers, but was backed with a unique control setup, a bunch of insane weaponary, intense fast paced action, and offered a great experience not to be missed. Critics raved about the game and honored with it all kinds of awards from publications and websites.

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The game that started it all for the Nintendo 64.

A couple of years later, the highly proclaimed sequel, Turok 2: seeds of evil, was released and expanded upon the original. Turok 2 was more action packed than the original and included more weapons, better and sharper graphics( which looked even better when you installed teh Nintedo 64 ram pack), and had a more focused plot. New to the game was the all new split screen multiplayer that included a ton of varied modes including the never-been-copied "monkey tag." Like it's predecessor, Turok 2 was glorified by many people in the industry and also won game of the year from several publications.


1UP.com celebrates the 20th anniversary of the NES

Its a very good article that everyone should check out. Till my interview is up anyway.

1UP.com celebrates NES 20th aniversary.


The Book of Jim

Jim is a gamer. He wouldn’t say he’s hardcore, because he doesn’t believe in elitism, but he’s an avid enough player that he’s never out of touch in discussion circles. Now, Jim’s never been too aligned when it comes to console wars. He’s done the Sega thing, sampled and loved Sony products, gotten down and dirty with the Big N, and most recently has been known to get biz-ay with Microsoft. So it’s safe to assume that Jim pledges allegiance to no one. He’s all about the experience.

Well, that’s what Jim would like people to believe, anyway. The truth is, even though a vast many of systems and games have been tried under his belt, Jimmy-boy has always kept a soft spot for the underdog. Do we really have to guess what system Jim is supporting next round, then? Need a hint? It starts with “R” and ends in “mother fucking evolution.” No, not Rmotherfuckingevolution, that’s just a way to add some ZOOM and POP to this piece; I’m talkin’ bout that Revolution.

Jim’s seen the videos for games like Elder Scrolls IV: You’re Going To Spend A Lot Of Time Walking and Metal Gear Solid 4: Convoluted Storylines Director’s Cut. And he’s impressed, you better believe it – he’s even a tad jealous since he knows that the consoles that these games will be appearing on won’t be his initial choice. No, with Nintendo keeping quiet and NDAs keeping development houses more silent than the aftermath of a drunken evening with a gender-bender, Jim doesn’t even know what the visual power of the Revolution will be; people say it’ll be under-powered, but Jim would like to believe it won’t be too noticeable.

So why does Jim stick with Nintendo? Who knows, maybe it’s Zelda, maybe it’s the innovation. It could very well be the price point, but not even that has been leaked yet. So our hero of shoulder buttons and C-Sticks sits with desiring eyes, wondering when it’ll be his turn to see something truly incredible. He’s seen the controller – he thinks it’s nice, but he doesn’t care too much what the interface is. He wants to see the games, damnit! “Lift the curtain,” he cries, “Show me the magic!”

But nothing appears, sadly. All that Jim gets is a cryptic answer from a Japanese guy who hangs out with monkeys and plumbers or an evasive “see you next time” answer from a man with bad teeth and a special place in his heart for Kirby. Even when Mr. Bravado gets Jim all worked up, the poor gamer suffers later on when nothing is delivered. Instead, he’s kicked in the nuts while Monkey-Man plays Nintendogs and hits on blonde women half his age.

Somehow, even with all of their shortcomings, Jim can’t break loose of the Nintendo leash. He yearns to sail across vast oceans; he pines to guide a gorilla through a jungle with a pair of bongos; he’s even played turn-based strategy games and loved it. Like a battered wife who can’t let go, Jim will always return, no matter how badly it hurt when Bad-Teeth hit him with a two-by-four.

Jim’s a conflicted person, most definitely. He wants a varied experience and a plethora of dark, moody titles. Yet he can’t imagine it in any other place other than a purple cube or a tiny box controlled by a DVD remote. So what kind of options does our currency-deprived protagonist have? Will he be doomed to forever be let down or will he finally get the console he’s deserved for so many years?

In the words of Jim, “It’s time to put up or fucking shut up, Nintendo…”

“No wait, baby! I didn’t mean it! Take me back!”

Take me back…

-Karl Castaneda


The Jack Thompson saga continues...

Jack Thompson is really a quack. He think he's some angel sent by heaven to protect us all from videogames. His recent quest to show the entire US that the GTA series is nothing more than "cop killing simulator" is not stupid but down right entertaining. But it doesn't stop there. Oh no it doesn't. You see Jack then goes on and gets approval from Jeb Bush to write up a law that prevents minors from getting games into their hands.

Later he delcares that if someone made a murder simulator game where you start off by killing the family of the preisdent of Rockstar then go on a murderous ranpage till you get to E3, he would gladly donate $10,000 to carity. Well it eventually happened and he backed out of the deal. Also because of Jack proving how much of a loon he was is then blasted by the National Insitute on Media and the Family for abusive use of their research and their company president's name.

While this whole fiasco was going about, Gabe, of penny arcade fame, sent Jack an email. While I do not know the contents of this email, it seems to have slighty upset Jack to which he calls Gabe on the phone. You can easily see how the Penny Arcade crew dealt with this when you visit their site. It also became apparent that Jack then tried to have them arrested by coarsing the police with his story of GTA as a copkiller simulator and how he was harassed multiple times by Penny Arcade. Read it here and scroll down a bit to see the whole story.

Also since jack wasn't willing to donate the $10,000 to a charity after some made his proposed game, Gabe took it upon himself to write the check and donate it on Jack's behalf. Bravo Gabe, you have not only proven you are the better man, but that you have a brain and Jack seems to have misplaced his. We will have more on Jack eventually since I know for a fact that this loon isn't done with his work yet. So until the next stupid act. Peace.


What we at Gaming Vision are currently up too.

To be polite I will start with what Karl is doing.
Okay I'm just joking. Actually Karl is hard at work on an article for GV but in the meantime that will have to take backseat while his other work takes precedences. He'll have his GV article probably by the end of the week.

As for me I am caught in the middle or either writing an article on that crazy loon Jack Thompson or on the impending launch of the Xbox 360. I am also working on getting my first interview with someone who works in the game industry. I would tell ya who but I was asked to keep it a secret. I am hoping it works out for the company I am interviewing and myself.

Anyway, thats what we are up too so hopefully you'll be patient and stick around. Oh and we have a new poll question by the way. Be sure to vote. Later.



A breif rant. Parents, The Game Industry and You!

Robert: Today's Ranting on AIM is brought to you by Gamespot.. The topic, stupid parents, the game industry and you.

Karl: The guy was rightfully convicted, if you ask me. He murdered police officers and GTA has nothing to do with it. I play Viewtiful Joe all the time. I don't wander into the world of movies and fight off cheesy 2D villains. The thing that people can't understand is that M-rated games are suited for Mature audiences. That "mature" means that only people who can tell right from wrong should play the game. If you can't tell the difference between right and wrong, you shoudn't be playing M-rated games.

Robert: Indeed. Justice was served but then the parents went and blamed the wrong people. But at times M rated games aren't even good for people at the appropriate age sometimes. People who have mental disabilities or have been mentally or physically abused should not be allowed near stuff that and easily influence them.

Karl: Once you become an adult, you're responsible for your actions, end of story. "Games made me do it" is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Agreed. If you have a pre-exisitng mental condition, violent games shouldn't be on your to-do list.

Robert: R rated movies, M rated games, music with extreme lyrics and messages should not be getting into the hands of some of these people. Remember Columbine. The so called influence for those kids was Doom, Marilyn Mason and Baseball Dreams.

Karl: I do. It was a tragedy, but to say that games made those kids kill people is propaganda fueled by conservative censors.

Robert: And the creators of all of those were sued by the parents of the kids who cause the harm to begin with.

Karl: They were already off-balance before they even considered getting their hands around a controller.

Robert: The blame should be pointed at the parents. They should be monitoring what is in a game. That is why the ESRB was created. If the parents knew what was in the game to begin with maybe some of these influences might've been avoided.

Karl: Parents have the natural duty to guard their children against things that may adversely affect them, so I have no problems with Joe Parent getting angry about his kid playing GTA. It's when he imposes his viewpoint on the public that we have a problem.

Robert: A study I heard years ago did prove that young children who played violent games do have a change in attitude and become a bit more aggressive.

Karl: That's odd. In the latest Game Informer, they have an article that states otherwise. That violent crimes, drug use, and other problems such as these have actually gone down in recent years, and that playing violent video games has little to no effect on your temper.

Robert: But when you regulated what your kids are playing, watching or listening to these kinds of things can be avoided. I did a class project my senior year of high school and I found a study that showed the influence of games on young children. It showed that children who played the more aggressive games eventually become more aggressive themselves. But children at young ages are easily suspectible to many inlfuences.

Karl: Ultimately, the role of parent must be performed by its rightful owner, not some piece of digital entertainment. If a few hours of violent gaming undoes the very fabric of your kid's reality, there was already something wrong with him or her.

Robert: The Entertaiment industry can only relugate so much. It all comes done to parenting. The parents have the control of what their children and interact with until a cetain age.

Karl: Exactly.


The Walk of Game is and will always be, a facade.

I'm serious here. The Walk of Game is a ridiculous and pointless mockery of the gaming industry. Its also a complete blantant ripoff of the walk of fame. What is it about the Walk of Game that makes me mad? Why there are several things about it of course and I am going to rip into each and every one of them.

First and foremost I don't recall the walk of fame to ever have a voting process where the fans are included. This already makes the selection process of who gets inducted a sham. Like in every game related poll or vote, the "most popular" will get in. Forget about the most deserving games, the games that changed the industry or reinvented a genre or pushed the boundries of gaming to new levels. No it will be the most popular. The game that game that looks cool, has a cool playable character and awesome music.

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Mario was a definite for the Walk of Game

Halo, Mario, Sonic and Link as inductees to represent an entire history of gaming was a smart move but thats because they felt that they HAD to induct them. Why? Becuase they are gaming icons, they moved the industry, because everyone knows who they are and played their games. Thats reason enough. While I find Halo to be befitting of being inducted I feel that there are other older games that should've been inducted before hand. How about Wolfenstein? It's the world's first first person shooter and created a genre that Doom later made popular. What about Duck Hunt or other laser sighted gun games? Or even Dragon Warrior which was the first of a long running popular RPG series that helped make console RPG's a staple in gaming.

But no, in the current list of nominatins for the next Walk of Game we do have some deserving games and characters but also popular and cool games that did little to help the industry. I predict that out of those games series selected Final Fantasy, GTA, The Sims and Madden will be picked. Madden to me is deserving but in the series later years the games haven't been as revolutionary or different from previous years. GTA will be picked for sure since the mediocre series is way over hyped and the recent "Hot Coffee" incident gave it more twice the exposure( both good and bad) it recieved before.

My second biggest beef with the Walk of Game involves the Lifetime Achievement Award. I do like the idea of the Achievement Award, but there is one I have an issue with. Nolan Bushnell. He's the man whp created the company Atari, then later left and created Chuck E. Cheese, but he is NOT and should not be conisidered the father of Videogames. That honor belongs to Ralph Baer who created the first game console the Magnovox Odyssey. It was this device that Nolan Bushnell copied, improved upon and then later capitalized when the Atari 2600 was released in the 70's. And yet nobody at the Walk of Game realizes this. Probably because the institute is being ran by people with little knowledge of the gaming industry.

I am also shocked that in this years list of nominees, that Ralph Baer and Alexey Pajitnov are not on the ballet. We all know why Ralph should be on the ballet but what about Alexey. He created the world's most popular and most played puzzle game in history, Tetris.

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Top: Raplh Baer demonstrating "The Brown Box." Bottom: Alexey Pajitnov.

He created a game that's had millions of people play it and hundreds of imitation clones by hundreds of companies. He should a shoe-in as a nominee but then again I reiterate that nobody who works at the Walk of Game does any kind of research.

Putting my objections aside however I do feel that the Walk of Game can be a pivotal poart of the industry. It just needs to be reworked. People need to perform more reasearch and find the games and icons that really pushed the industry forward. Some of the popular games are the industry pushers, games like Final Fantasy, Doom, Madden and The Elder Scrolls, but more often they're not. We end up with games like Civilization when we should be looking at Sim City. Or having GTA called revolutionary instead of Daggerfall. Its a shame, really it is.

I do hope that the Walk of Game evolves though. Its only in its second year of existance and there are many more years for improvement. Will Ralph Baer be a receptiant of the Lifetime Achievement award? Will Alexey get the praise he deserves and be an inductee as well? Will they get rid of the voting system that will only let the popular games in? Time will tell.


Talkin' Bout A Revolution

By Karl Castaneda

At E3 in 2004, it was the year of the handhelds. Sony was unveiling the final version of its PSP, which was to be their golden entrance into the realm of portable gaming. Nintendo had their answer, though; the Nintendo Dual Screen was out and about for everyone to see (and touch, as well). While everyone admired Nintendo for bringing something new to the table, nobody was sure if a touch screen and microphone would change the industry as we know it. It was definitely a rocky start for the fledgling console, but we’re now seeing the fruits of labor ripen, and I think we can all agree that there’s a bright future for Nintendo in that respect.

But there was something else at the Electronic Entertainment Expo that stuck with gamers – Satoru Iwata, Nintendo Co. Ltd. President, spoke (albeit briefly) about the company’s next foray into home consoles, dubbing the project hardware that would spark a revolution, of sorts. Since then, the not-yet-named platform has retained that namesake, and pretty much every Nintendo fan from the students of Super Mario Bros. to the admirers of Pikmin have been waiting for this so-called Nintendo Revolution.


The Nintendo Revolution controller. A Revolution or a Diaster waiting to happen?

Nintendo has finally Unvieled their controller for the Nintendo Revolution. Check out the article here at IGN.com.

And let me tell you I was caught off guard on this big suprise by Nintendo. I was expectiing some kind of configurable layout controller that will allow you to play all the old classic games from the NES, SNES, N64 and Gamecube. But I was so dead wrong. After reading the article at IGN this could be a revolution in gameplay. But at the same time you can also be scaring people away with a freaking remote control.

The positives I see from this. One, this definitly will create new and unique types of gameplay. I can see how fun it might be to swing the controller around like a sword with its built in motion sensors. I also like the laser pointing feature that could maybe be used fo a future Duckhunt? Second, I like how the controller/Remote control Hybrid looks. Its sleak and stylish and some unique button positioning. It looks kinda comfortable and in an odd twist reminds me of an NES controller. Third, I won't have to buy a seperate remote for DVD playback. Take that Sony and Microsoft.

Now here are the negatives I see. One, the Controller is a freaking remote. The last system that had a remote as a controller bombed like hell. I'm looking at you Philips CDI. Second, There are only a couple of face buttons on the front of the controller/remote. How are we going to play Snes, N64 and Gamecube games is beyond me. Third, Why is the analog seperate from the rest of the controller? The cord connecting the analog stick and the remote is pretty short too to boot. what if something gets caught and they sperate or get damaged?

I am also very worried that the American public may not fall in love or even accept the Revolution right away now that the controller has unvieled. American gamers are a bit trickier these days to coarse into buying something as daring as the Revolution. Were as Japanese gamers are always into the new flashy and hip style of gaming.

But only time will tell of course. I have to see the games. I must see the games that will help the Revolution become a "Revolution." I am highly interested in what the final prototype of the controller/remote will look like. Maybe it will have more face buttons for the N64 and SNES games. Who knows but until then I will continue to be stuck between in the realm of WTF! and amazement.

Xbox 360 launch confirmed at TGS 2005

Mark your calenders people. The next generation of consoles will be here November 22nd. Following the US release will be the Japan and European release which will be on Dec 6th.

And several of the games shown looked great too. Ninety-Nine Nights from Q entertainment looks dazzling and the montague of games shown at the MS conference left me with a good impression. Games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Chromehounds, Project Gotham Racing, Nintey Nine Nights, Dead or Alive 4 and Dead Rising all looked great.

Hopefully this time around the japanese market will respond well to the new Microsoft system.


Sega gets a new Exec.

Sega, as you know it, has been in some kind of rut the past couple of years. The games being put out, besides virtua fighter and most of their gba games, have been mediocre at best. Hopefully, with a their new senior vp, Sega might get back on track and start making some great games again.

Sega welcomes new Exec


Sony Playstation 10th Anniversary!

Today the worldwide phenomenon known as the Playstation (or psx, or PSone) celebrates its 10th anniversary. And I think I will take a different approach for looking at the system. I am going to take a look back at what I saw and thought of about the system back when it hit US stores back in 1995. I'm not going to give you some kind of history lesson about what the system has accomplished because I am not a history writer. Or Steven Kent for that matter.

10 years ago

In 1995, the only systems that I owned at the time were a Sega Genesis (plus SegaCD and 32X) and an NES. I also wasn’t a hardcore gamer like I am today. A few months before the launch of the Playstation I started to buy GameFan magazines. GameFan right away become one of my favorite gaming magazines of all time. The staff was not only straight to the punch but didn't pull any punches on what they thought about a really bad game. Throughout the issue I mostly saw stuff that was coming out for the Sega Saturn and read stuff about the upcoming Nintendo 64. I saw some stuff on the Sony Playstation but it really didn't interest me at the time.


Greetings and Salutations and the Xbox 360

Ahoy there, guys. How are you this evening? That good, huh? How's Joan looking tonight? That fine, huh? Man, what I wouldn't give to slap that around a little and...

What? Oh, right. The blog. Focus on the blog.

Well, I suppose I should tell you a little about myself before getting to the topic at hand. Well, the name's Karl Castaneda, although I've been going by the handle of Viewt for a while - that's what a certain group of people know me by, almost exclusively. But I'm trying to change that by spreading my real name around a tad more. Anyway, I'm a Staff Writer at Planet GameCube, just like Hubbs said, although I'm hoping to be known for a few more things in the coming months. For example, I'm starting up a weekly column for my local newspaper, The Miami Herald, I'm starting a webcomic with some buds of mine, and hey, I just joined up with Hubbs' blog! Things are going aces - I swarez it.

Okay, now it's time to talk Xbox. Up until recently, I was planning on buying a 360 at launch, for what I was guessing would be in the neighborhood of $350. But since Microsoft announced its price of $400 for the system, hard drive, wireless controller, etc, I've effectively been put off - to the point of my being sure that I won't be buying one come November.

Now, there are two things people bring up when I say this. One is, "But it's only $50 more." Yeah, but $350 was basically as far as I was willing to go - even that had me a bit hesitant, but this pushed me over the edge. It's too damn expensive. End of freaking story.

The second thing people bring up is the half-breed mutant $300 Xbox 360. You know - the one with just the console and a regular old wired controller. And no hard drive. And no DVD remote. Basically, it means absolutely dick to someone like me. So go piss off, discount console.

So does this mean I won't be buying a 360 ever? Hell no. Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 2007, and RE5 are mind-numbingly beautiful. I'm just gonna wait until the PS3 launches, when Microsoft will surely lower their price to compete. They probably won't react when Nintendo launches the Revolution, because everybody's discounting Nintendo (which they totally shouldn't do, but that's another story for another day).

So, in final, Microsoft wants too much of my money this year. Maybe next year, J Allard and Xtreme Xbox Xers.


-Karl "Viewt' Castaneda

The DS vs the PSP.

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Okay lets put the handheld war into perspective. As we know the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP are fighting for handheld supremacy. And like 9 times before, as Nintendo put it in their E32004 conference, they have come out victorious. And I believe that Nintendo will again pull out victorious against the PSP. Seriously let’s be realistic here and throw aside the sales figures. The Nintendo DS is a well made machine made for unique and refreshing game play. The PSP to me is a mini-sized Playstation 2 minus one analog stick and two shoulder buttons. And if you look at it on a whole, the PSP in a way does have mass appeal there but falls short in many areas.

-What I like and dislike about the Sony PSP.

The PSP is a portable PS2 and with that knowledge you can easily port some games to the system. In fact many games have already been ported. Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Wipeout, Midnight Club, EA's sports line-up and Dynasty Warriors have all made their way to the system. There are some original games for the system as well like Lumines, Metal Gear Acid, and Death Jr. Some of these games are fun, but unfortunately the PSP just doesn't have that hit game like the Gameboy did with Tetris.

The PSP is also a portable entertainment system allowing you to watch movies and listen to mp3's. Those are nice benefits but if you ask me the movie umd playback is utterly useless to a guy like me. I see no point in buying a movie I like twice in two different formats. The UMD movies also cost more than DVD's as well averaging at around $25-35 each. And the movie playback also eats away at battery life leaving you with next to no play time afterwards.

I do enjoy the mp3 music playback of course. The quality of the PSP as an mp3 player is really great. And it doesn't eat the battery life as much one would think.

As an overall package, the PSP is just too expensive for features you will most likely not use. At $249 with a small library of games, most of which are ps2 ports, a decent but battery life consuming movie playback, and mp3 support. It's really just too much for too much. I am a gamer not a multimedia-on-the-go-freak.

-What I like and dislike about the Nintendo DS.

The DS is in my mind a great system but it’s not without its fault. The system is unfortunately weaker graphically than the PSP by a huge margin. So was the Gameboy which defeated its graphically superior opponents like the gamegear, the lynx, and neogeo pocket. Proving that you don't need better graphics to make great games.

But of course this is where the DS has slumbered. Over the course of the first several months after the DS' release in the US there have been rather very little in terms of great games. In fact until recently, there haven't been that many games that fully utilized the system's hardware capabilities. Some games like Warioware Touched, Meteos, the remade Mario 64DS, Yoshi's Touch and Go, and Kirby Canvas Curse have shown that the system has great potential for some unique and fun game play. Unfortunately those games were far and few in between. Now the DS is finally picking up its pace and its future lineup looks very promising starting with the fall lineup.

The DS also come equipped with a slot for Gameboy advance games. SO if you were to ever get tired of playing a DS game you can just pop in, let's say Pokemon leafgreen, and poof there you go. So now you have just added a library of 200 plus GBA games to your system. Unfortunately because of plans for a future Gameboy handheld backwards compatibility only allows for GBA games which are a bummer. And because there are no extra ports on the DS you can't play any multiplayer games with friends.

The system dopes what it was meant to do. It plays games and it plays them well for the most part. The system doesn't come with mp3 or movie playback, plus the system just recently released Nintendogs and I believe that this will be the game that will make the DS a household name. The average joe, the average joe's girlfriend, and the hardcore gamer will find nintendogs to be the "it" game for a long time. Much like pokemon and tetris was for the Gameboy.

-Overall outlook for both systems.

I feel that the PSP might live on for awhile. It will live much longer than the gamegear did which was also in its own rights a great handheld but it also suffers the same problems that plagued the gamegear. One, the gamegear was too expensive and most people sought for the cheaper Gameboy instead. Two, the gamegear and PSP both have short lived battery life. This is a big issue as most gamers love to play those marathon game sessions once in a while or for long road trips. And finally, while the added bonus of being able to watch movies is nice, in the end people just want to play games and not be overwhelmed by the extras.

The DS has finally got the ball rolling after a slow start and it looks like it will be speeding up. A strong fall and winter line-up compliment the underpowered system. The PSP does have some stellar looking games coming out as well but I hardly have any interest in them because moist of them I can play on my PS2.

Now I do understand that my opinion does seem one sided but I am just speaking the truth and the truth is a harsh thing. And to make it harsher, 6 million people who own a DS agree with me. The PSP might catch a small sales jump now that its out in Europe but soon people will rather play something that isn't already hooked up to their 42inch HDTV's.


Gaming Vision is reborn!

Yes after nearly 3 years. I have decided to resurrect GamingVision. Only this time around its a two man army and we mostly write whatever we feel like at the moment. What we write are mostly editorials on the game industry. We will write a review or preview here and there to give you our thoughts on whats enjoyable.

Onto introductions.

I am Robert Hubbs, a small time amatuer gaming journalist and joining the site soon will be my partner in crime, Karl Castaneda. He is a journalist from Planet Gamecube. He and I have worked together before at Nintendo-Insanity before he left for the gig over at PCG. I also left NI but mostly because I lost the interest and love of writing.

But now as you can see I have decided to start writing again. You will seen be reading my reviews, editorials, maybe a preview here and there, and some rants on things that I enjoy a lot. Like Guild Wars for instance.

Anyway, thats all you need to know about for the time being. Enjoy the resurrected, revised and retooled GamingVision.

-Robert Hubbs
aka HuBBsDoctor