Happy Holidays from GVN!

Merry christmas and Happy new Year. Pray that Santa manages to get you a PS3. ;-P


GVN's 2nd Greater Philly DOA4 Challenge!!!

This will be GVN's 2nd sponsored tournament and will hopefully have a better outcome. I will finalize all this info with VR really soon. The date however has been reserved with them.

The DOA4 tournament will be held Saturday February 10th, 2007 at the Virtual Rush Cyber Cafe in Media, PA. In the Granite Run Mall Parking Lot.

There will be a Regular and Tag Team(singles) Tournament. If participation turns out much better than expected, then team tag will be considered.

Registration will be at 4pm. The show will begin at 6pm with the Single Tournament Show up at least an hour early for registration.

Venue Information:

Virtual Rush
1145 W. Baltimore Pike
Media, PA 19063

*Note* Virtual Rush is behind the AMC theatre in the granite Run Mall Parking. Not in the Mall itself.

Sponsor information:

There are 4 xbox 360's and 4 plasma high def tvs. Feel free to bring your copy of DOA4 just in case they don't have enough copies. I will be bringing mine just in case. You may also bring you HD if you wish to use an unlocked character.

Entry Fee: $30 ($10 for virtualrush hosting, $20 for prize money, $10 for each tournament)


-Best of 5 rounds (may change depending on attendence)
-Best of 3 matches (may change depending on attendence)
-Finals will be Best of 5 rounds/matches
-Double Elimanation
-DOA 4.1
-You are allowed to bring your own controller (please mark it)
-Programmable/macro controllers are not allowed.
-40 second time limit
-Random level select
-2 character limit. Winner of match must use same character, loser may change character before next match.
-Any character can be used
-Dangerzones allowed
-Normal life setting

Prize money will be divided:

1st place - 70%
2nd place - 20%
3rd place -10%

There will be other additional prizes that I will try and provide with myself. I'll look into the possibility of getting trophies for the top 3 finishers for both tournaments. Shop around for prices and such in my area.

Contact info: HuBBsDoctor@gmail.com


Lost Gems 7: Zaxxon

If there was ever a game that should've been remembered for it original and unique gameplay concepts, then hands down that game is Zaxxon. Zaxxon was an arcade space shooter released by Sega in 1982 and became quite popular. The big draw of the game was its isometric view which allowed the player to be immersed in a 3D realm. While other space shooters only allowed the player to move left or right, Zaxxon had a 3D stage setup that allowed you to move the ship in any direction.


Farewell to a Digital Bazaar: Lik-Sang Dies

Farewell to a Digital Bazaar: Lik-Sang Dies
By Karl Castaneda

I'll never forget my first import game. Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout - my brother bought it for my 11th birthday. I was totally obsessed with anything Goku at the time, and having seen an ad for the game in GameFan, my brother ordered it on the spot. Unfortunately, he was unaware of the region-lock on the PS1, so after some confusion, he turned to a small Hong-Kong-based website for a mod chip. A few weeks and some engineering ingenuity later, I was firing off kamehamehas like no tomorrow.

Sometime later, I found out that this small website was called Lik-Sang.

Founded in 1998, LS didn't exactly start out legitimately - their most popular products were mod chips (ask any console rep - they hate them with a passion) and flash carts that allowed ROMs to be played on retail Game Boy units. However, after a series of lawsuits in 2002, Lik-Sang was re-branded with a new owner, and since then, it's become the largest vendor of import games in the world.


Xbox Live market place. Are we getting everything we were promised?

At last year's E3, Microsoft put as much emphasis as they can into getting people into the new face of Xbox live. Chat with friends in private chat rooms, send text messages back and forth, watch downloadable videos, download old and new games from Xbox Live Arcade and get original downloadable content for games. Microsoft was really pushing the boundaries of community here. However it is the lack of true community support that I find substandard.

The Xbox 360 launch and launch-window games probably benefited the most from downloadable content. Download videos to preview games, new map packs at a reasonable price for games like Call of Duty 2 was expected but what about the other things Microsoft promised us? When is Dragon Lady going to be able to make her own things for others to download? When can I wear a t-shirt on my game characters that she made? I know I would certainly like to make stuff that everyone else can download. When can I create original gamer pictures? How about letting us create new and exciting dashboard backgrounds on our PC?


GVN sponsored tournament.

That's right we are sponsoring our first tournament. Hopefully if this one goes well, there will be many more to come.

Gaming Vision Network is proud to sponsor this tournament.

The DOA4 tournament will be held Friday, November 10th, 7pm at the Virtual Rush Cyber Cafe in Media, PA. In the Granite Run Mall Parking Lot.

Show up at least an hour early for registration.

Venue Information:

Virtual Rush
1145 W. Baltimore Pike
Media, PA 19063

*Note* Virtual Rush is behind the AMC theatre in the granite Run Mall Parking. Not in the Mall itself.

Sponsor information:

There are 4 xbox 360's and 4 plasma high def tvs. Feel free to bring your copy of DOA4 just in case they don't have enough copies. I will be bringing mine just in case. You may also bring you HD if you wish to use an unlocked character.

Entry Fee: $25 ($10 for virtualrush hosting, $15 for prize money)


-Best of 5 rounds (may change depending on attendence)
-Best of 3 matches (may change depending on attendence)
-Finals will be Best of 5 rounds/matches
-Double Elimanation
-DOA 4.1
-You are allowed to bring your own controller (please mark it)
-Programmable/macro controllers are not allowed.
-40 second time limit
-Random level select
-2 character limit: Winner of match must use same character, loser may change character before next match.
-Any character can be used
-Dangerzones allowed
-Normal life setting

Prize money will be divided:

1st place - 70%
2nd place - 20%
3rd place -10%

For more info please contact:



Please be patient...

GVN is in the middle of a big project and its going to take some time. We are currently in the middle of setting up and conducting a survey for parents. The survey will be centered around kids, games and violence.


GVN Podcast episode 3

In today's episode of GVN, we talk all about the wii. We get our Wii on. We talk about Wii! Download today's episode below.

Right click and choose "Save As" ---> GVN Episode 3


Alex Verrey Interview part 2

Thats right, we brought back Alex for a second round on questions. Including his recent trip to Leipzeg, thoughts about the PS3, the xbox 360, and the Wii.

Robert: So how have you been Alex since we last chatted? How was your trip to the Leipzeg Convention?

Alex: Hi Robert, I’m well thank you. Busy, but well. Leipzig was exhausting but encouraging from a business and entertainment standpoint. I was a Leipzig virgin so it was high time I jumped in. Good show and bigger than I was expecting though with a strange almost sedate lack of ‘buzz’ in the air. Kinda’ like E3 on Prozac…

Robert: Out of all the Gaming related conventions, Leipzeg is the one I am least familiar with. Could you explain what went on there during your visit and what makes it different then all the other conventions?


1 year today and still going...

On September 2, 2005, Karl and I ressurected Gamning Vision from the netherworld. And Since then we have had our ups and downs. Our biggest accomplishments would include interviews with Bethesda, THQ and Ken Chan of Acclaim. So here's to our first successful year at GVN and hopefully many more to come.

On and we have a couple of things you might notice. One, we now have an archive on the sidebar for our podcasts. Two, we have a new poll up and running.


Lost Gems 6: Boomer's Adventure in Asmik World

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Chances are you’ve never heard of this game before. However chances are you will recognize the main character who is the Mascot for the company Asmik. Now if you never heard of the company Asmik but you have played their games. Does Wurm, Conquest of the Crystal Palace, Megalit and D-force ring a bell? Some of the games that Asmik made were also published by other companies and brought stateside. Like WCW/NOW world Tour, its sequel WCW/NWO Revenge and finally Wrestlemania 2000.

However let’s move on to today’s gem. Boomer’s Adventure in Asmik World probably has the longest name for a Gameboy game. It’s also a true lost gem and it makes me all giddy to finally spread the word on this game. Boomer’s Adventure is a puzzle adventure game in the same style of Adventure’s Of Lolo, Solomon’s Key and Kickle Cubicle. Boomer’s Adventure combines elements of treasure digging and action game play to make a very intense and tough to beat puzzle game.


GVN Podcast Episode 2 is live!

In the latest episode, Karl takes over as host and discusses the Leipzeg Games Convention, Penny Arcade the game, And interviews co-host Robert Hubbs.

You can download it here. Remember to right click and choose "save as."


Things to come...

Its been a bit quiet for the month of August but thats gonna change soon. COming up from me is the next Lost Gems segment andour second interview with Alex Verrey, who is attending the Leipzeg Games Convention. Afterwards, work will begin on the second GVN podcast. Thank you for your patience.


Jack, Jack, Jack....When will you just stop?

Here is footage of Jack Thompson making his appearance on Attack Of The Show. As you will see, fellow correspondant Adam Sessler is losing his temper, while a rep from Game Daily was holding his own.


GVN episode 1 is live!

Right click and download it here. Its a 51MB file so it will take a while to download.

In this episode we talk about the PSP alledged shipments, E3 downsizing, Zelda OoT point counter point discussion and interview our co-host Karl.


Coming Soon... Gaming Vision Podcast!

Thats right. Me and Karl just recorded our first podcast. It is currently being mixed and it will be posted online once we find someone to host it. The face of GVN is slowly changing for the best. So stay tuned. Huzzah!


While you are waiting for something to happen...

I am awaiting a reply from Alex Verrey for a second interview. In the meantime I am going to pick apart this quote I read over at 1up.com You can read it and the article it is from here.

...Kaz Hirai explains. "But this thing has been in [Ken] Kutaragi's mind for the longest time. Do you remember the original PlayStation controller, the one without the analog sticks? We started there, and then we added the two sticks for the analog controller. Then we added the vibration feature and called it the DualShock controller, and then we came up with the DualShock 2, which had pressure-sensitive buttons."

Okay lets pick this apart about sony's controller that has supposed evolved over the years. The PSone's basic design was co-developed by Sony and Nintendo before Nintedo gave them the boot, hence the look of a slightly bigger SNES controller. Two, The addition of analog control was created by Nintendo, then Sony tried to one-up them by adding two in the center of the controller. Three, Nintendo unviel arumble pack add-on which came with StarFox 64, within a small time frame Sony implemented this rumble feature into their Dual shock controllers. Pressure sensitive buttons, thats all Sony.

Alright you get the picture. So don't come to the public and state that Ken had this idea of motion sensor stirring around in his head for years. The reason they adapted sensor controll is pretty clear. One, they are under attack of lawsuit for their implementation of the rumble feature and two, Nintendo unvieled it and they used it as an escape from possible losing millions of dollars in the lawsuit by dropping the rumble feature from the PS3 controller.

Well lets give Ken Kutaragi the benefit of doubt. So he did have the idea floating around in his head. Ken is a smart guy. Even if he wanted to implemenet sensor technology into the PS3 controller, he would have waited, watched and determined how well the Wii is doing with it. He would have studied it and if he determined that the Wii's technology was a success he would've introduced the controller at some point in the PS3's lifespan WITH rumble features included. However, because of the lawsuit of the rumble technology in the dual shock controller, Ken decided to drop that from the PS3 controller design. And with the extremely positive outlook of the Wii's controller he had to implement a feature that would attract the crowd to the PS3 and help it truely feel next gen.

However I am more than sure thats not how it played out over at Sony.


I'm Back: Hats and Hatracks

Hats And Hatracks
By Karl Castaneda

With everyone gearing up for the next generation of consoles, whether you're a Wii Man, a PS3 Millionaire, or 360 degrees of Xbox, we're all putting the last coat of varnish on our respective systems. I've been a GameCube man, myself, which probably doesn't come as much of a surprise, considering my library of work. There have been some fun times with the ol' black box (who needs purple?), some tiny, and some unforgettable.

What's the Difference?

I'll always remember when I bought my Cube. I had amassed a small fortune by house-sitting for a friend of my mother's for three weeks, and decided that (besides some new threads), I wanted to come back to video games. Choosing Nintendo's camp as my new home for the next several years, I went down to GameStop with $150. "A GameCube, please," I said to the clerk, full of joy and pride and nachos.
"Sure thing, man," he said, mirroring my pleased expression.

Then he swiped it on the register, and my world came crashing down. "Your total is $162.42."


Lost Gems 5: Star Wars Dark Forces - PC - 1995

A long, long time ago in an office building far, far away…

A company named LucasArts ltd was working on their first “First Person” Star Wars game, Dark Forces. Long before Republic Commando and the Jedi Knight series was Dark Forces whiched helped make LucasArts who they are today. Dark Forces was released in the mid 90’s when pretty much every FPS released was considered a Doom Clone.

Dark Forces was a big risk that LucasArts took since it was their first venture into the FPS genre. The FPS market at the time was getting plagued with tons of doom knock offs and clones. Only a few have ever managed to stand out including Duke Nukem, Rise of the Triads, and Heretic. However in retrospect, Dark Forces ended up being more than a Doom clone due to some of its content.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Quick Rant. Gamers and Money.

Upon reading this article I knew I had to speak out. I find this insulting on so many levels. Major Leage Gaming is has managed to signed 5 gamers, 4 members of Team "Final Boss" and Tsquared to a six digit deal for playing exculisvely in their League. For those of you that do not know, the MLG is a professional league dedicated to competitive video gaming.

Let me say this. You guys are sellouts, tools, posers, morons. Gamers should not be paid to play. You must play to be paid. Win a tournament and earn that money, do beta testing for a company or be sponsored like Fatal1ty for using someones keyboard and mouse equipment. Those are the only ways I feel money should should end up in a gamers pocket. You guys are not professional atheletes who are paid to perform for their fans. You don't have fans. Hell you don't have dignity now either.

Don't get me wrong however I am impressed by their skill. They are ten times better than I will ever be in Halo. Yet by selling your soul to a multiyear contract just to play games is absurd. And I guarentee that you will slowly start to lose your competitive edge as the years go on. You will be sitting there losing a match to the heavy unfavored underdogs but it doesn't matter to you since you are still getting a paycheck in the mail.

Just like in all paid competitive sports except gaming isn't a sport. Its recreation that you can compete in.


I'm sorry, I' sorry, I'm so f*&%ing sorry!

As you can plainly see I have yet to work on my Lost Gems 5. That is mainly because I work nights and I have had only 1 day off the past 8 days. That day off was today and it was spent at a concert. I also onlyhave one day off this upcoming week. And again I will be at a concert as well. I work at night, I write my best at night but I am just to tired to write. Once my partner gets back from vacation then I can take it easy and actually knuckle down to write something.


Calling All Gamers!

I've got a new article in the works, and I need assistance from you, our loyal reader! The piece centers around game addiction. Not the normal kind, either (i.e. "Wow, have I really been playing for three hours?"). I'm talking about the damaging kind ("Fuck work. I'm so close to level 40"). It's looking to be very interesting, and I'd like to hear few opinions on the matter. Whether you've just got a unique outlook on the subject, or if you're dealing with/have recovered from game addiction (particularly in MMOs), I'd love to speak with you.

Shoot me an email if you're interested in being featured.

Thanks, guys.


Afternoon Retail: A Modern Gamer's Epic

Afternoon Retail: A Modern Gamer’s Epic
By Karl Castaneda

This past Friday, I headed down to The Falls, a mall in my hometown of Miami, Florida. I was there to meet up with some friends to see X3, but I got there pretty early, so I decided to walk over to the Electronics Boutique. Now, I usually avoid the store, due to a hairy situation that I was involved in a while back, but I was pretty bored, and there wasn’t much of an alternative. With a good hour to kill, I walked in.

Touching is Believing

Not soon after I’d entered the store, I heard a mother talking to the clerk about purchasing a PSP for her son. Since the demo kiosks were all being used, I decided to eavesdrop. Apparently the son wanted a DS, but the clerk was making the point that a PSP would be a better decision as, “it can play different media formats and has a bigger library of games.” I’m not usually one to point out inaccuracy, but the fact that this woman was going to be suckered into paying extra when she wanted a product of higher quality made me shed my obscurity, and I entered the conversation.


Standing on a Soap Box

Standing on a Soap Box
By Karl Castaneda

Often, in times of social unrest, variations of media are used to siphon opinions on particular issues to the masses. Parodies, often cynical in nature, have been around for ages, poking fun at what's usually a very serious issue in the hopes of rattling a few feathers; getting a few things done. In the modern age, we've seen it travel from the silver screen and radio to television and the internet; novels, newspaper, and even comics have been known to snub the sword for the pen. The question is, are games the next step?

First we must ask ourselves if gaming is really meant for such a thing. It's a storytelling medium yes, but the principles it was founded on meant it to be an entertainment medium. If there's time for catharsis, it's always welcome, but can social and moral commentary be used as a focal point in video games? Well, I could tell you now, but what's the fun in that? Let's explore first.


Untapped: Nintendo, Non-Games, and Next-Gen

Untapped: Nintendo, Non-Games, and Next-Gen
By Karl Castaneda

After the video game crash of the mid 1980s, Nintendo arrived to pick up the pieces and revive the industry with the Famicom (NES in the States) and Super Mario Bros., instantly pulling in former gamers and new customers alike with its fun and easy-to-manage gameplay. The premise was simple: press one button to go forward and another jump. It took only a minute to explain and even less to master, and because of this, everyone from your best friend to your grandmother could play without too much trouble. Heralded as a classic to this day, when people look back at old-school gaming, there’s no bigger icon than Mario.

Over the years Mario’s gotten more complex as the industry’s become bigger and (supposedly) better. The drawback to this is that, while thousands upon thousands of polygons might be devoted, try giving your mom your GameCube controller and Super Mario Sunshine. The end result isn’t pretty. “But so what,” the hardcore say, “It’s my experience that matters.” This is true, but when you’ve got enough cash to sustain an entire company, look me up. I’m sure Infinium Labs would like to meet you. In business, you expand your wealth by expanding your market, and that’s just what Nintendo’s been trying to do with its Blue Ocean strategy where, instead of catering specifically to the hardcore, they’re dividing their efforts into the classic face that we’re used to and a new outreach to people who’ve never picked up a controller before. Yes, we’re talking about non-gamers.

Problems in Paradise



Ok lets be realistic here. Lately it seems that I have been dissing Sony and kissing Nintendo's ass. Praising Nintendo for everything they have been doing the past couple of years. Well why not? To me they are finally doing onto something that is not only getting people excited but getting the sales figures to back them up that they are doing the right thing. The DS at one point I thought was extremely risky, now I can't put the bloody thing down. Right now I am hooked on the "NEW" Super Mario Brothers game.

But you see, to some people that means I am a Nintendo fanboy. However this is not the case. Let me tell you something, I used to be a SEGA fanboy for the longest time. I have the master system, Genesis with Sega CD, Saturn, a Dreamcast, and last year I bought Sega CDX. However I realized that being a fanboy wasn't really rewarding besides the games you play. And it is also pretty childish. If you start out as a fanboy as young as I did, you can get pretty extreme dissing and insulting other systems and never even trying one. However, I luckily never became one of those "extreme" fanboys and eventually I grew out of it after the fall of the Dreamcast. And to this day I am not a fanboy to any one company or console.

Of course, I have a right of preference. I seem to enjoy my Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS quite a bit. I once in a while buy a PS2 game and play them on my girlfriend's PS2. But if there is one thing I shall never be its a fanboy. I equally look at all system's and handhelds and decide which I like better. Right now I am loving the DS, the Xbox 360, the concept of the Wii, and few PC games. I've got a lot on my plate right now.

But still, some people seem to think that my negativity towards Sony is still fanboy-ish behavior. Well, actually its not. I am a very harsh person and very critical. However I don't think Sony is all bad. I mean I enjoyed the PSone and the PS2, even though I don't either. I can't deny the fact either. Over 100 million consoles for both systems sold worldwide. However, as time goes on Company exec tend to get cocky and start to belittle the competition.

Oh sure belittling someone is just part of the game. But when you bash someone for releasing two sku's and then announced that you will be doing the same thing almost 9 months later then thats just being a jerk. I don't have a problem with Sony taking their motion sensors idea from Nintendo because everyone has been taking cues from the Big N. The digital pad, analog control, rumble features, etc. So of course I am not suprised to see Sony trying to capitalize on the idea of motion sensor technology.

Anyway as I have demostrated I definitely don't have the mind frame of a fanboy. Seriously you can hold an intelligent conversation with me without me de-evolving myself to a petty name calling little snot chanting, "j00r such a n00b! joo sys3m teh sux0rz! However if that is what you want you can definitely find that kind of attitude over at Gamefaqs' messageboards. There are some people over there that that bad but their numbers are small. Well thats enough rambling from me. You will hear from me again really soon when I post Lost Gems 5: Star Wars Dark Forces.


And thats a wrap! E3 2006 is over.

Wow! This was probably the best E3 that I have ever witnessed from afar. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony throw down the gauntlets and were focused on stealing the attention away from each other. However in the end it appears our buddies at Nintendo came away vitorious. Nintendo's press confeernce was probably one of the best I have seen in years. They did nothing but center on what the Wii can do and highlighted the Wii edition od Zelda: Twilight Princess and Red Steel.

Nintendo showed off 27 Wii titles on the floor and had tons of future DS games including a Yoshi's Island 2, Star Fox DS and Final Fantasy 3. Nintendo definitely came away the winner of this year's E3. However Nitendo did have a couple of issues that I seem should be handled soon. For one, Nintendo has again skipped out on annoucning the Price and release date of the Wii. Two, Nintendo showed of the classic controller for the Wii. The Classic controller was going to be the "shell" but it appears Nintendo has opted not to do that. The classic controller design is something I'm not the keen on actually. It's shaped like a dual analog Super NES controllerhowever I would've opted that the Z button was behind the controller and there were extra face buttons for the N64 games but I guess I'll still end up buying it.

Microsoft's E3 press conference had to be big in order to compete with Sony and Nintendo this year. However it was to say the least an average press conference. Microsoft did announced Halo 3 and showed off a 2 minute trailer, which developer Bungie says is using real time graphic rendering. Take that Killzone. Microsoft also announced Fable 2 from recently aqcuired Lionhead Studios. There was also a list of new Live! Aracade titles as well as tons of new next gen titles for the 360.

Sony came away with not only the least impressive conference but it was their worst ever since coming the first E3 back in 95. To start off Sony finally unveiled the new controller design which is, behold, a shiny silver Playstation 2 contoller. The controller did have a couple of twists to it however. First the controller is completely wireless and has a usb connection used to recharge the controller. Second the PS3 controller motion sensor detectors which was taken from the idea of the Wii's remote. The "limited" motion detectors allow for limited game play and all you can really do is play racing sims and flight games that are more keen to using this kind of technology. The controller takes its final addition directly from the 360's controller. In the center there is a button that acts the same at the 360 symbol on the controller.

Oh and did I mention the price? Sony announced that they will release the PS3 in two sku's. A low budget sku will go for $499 and will come with a 20 gig hard drive but minus some usb ports and wifi access. The premium package will come at a hefty $599 and have a 60 gig hard drive instead and include all the bells and whistles not available for the low budget pack. I actually expected the PS3 to be announced that around those prices, so no big deal there. However what actually urks me is how Sony ripped Microsoft for releasing two sku package plans for the Xbox 360 and then later decides to do it themselves. Have you guys over at Sony have no humility?

I'll be honest with you. I do not plan to get a Playstation 3. Period. I don't care if SquareEnix is releasing 3 versions of Final Fantasy XIII or if Virtua Fighter 5 will be exclusive. By the way the multi-game apporach to FFXIII that SquareEnix is taking urks me as well. More on that another time. What really matters is at the end of the day I plan on getting my Wii and buying a couple more games for my 360. Sony has really lost me this time with the way they are carrying themselves. Maybe if they drop the price in a couple of years then maybe I'll consider getting one.


Anyway its late, I'll talk some more about the games of E3 for the Wii, Xbox 360 and the PS3. Pace.


One moment please.... Information overload.

Hubbs is going to make a post about the E3 press conferences right after he recovers from his nerd-gasms. Stay tuned.


And it shall be called Wii.

I will be straight and to the point. I like the name Wii. I think it's refreshing, weird, and somehow fits in the universe that Nintendo has created for themselves. Wii, which is pronounced "we", is the new name for the new Nintendo console, once dubbed by the codename Revolution. The codename definitley explains what the system was all about with its new angle on gameplay. With the unveiling of the remote/controller hybrid, Nintendo is showing the world how to play games again.

But then came a rather shocking announcement from the big N. It has become custom for Nintendo to reveal some of their projects before E3( Nintendo DS, GBA SP), and so this year Nintendo dropped the bomb by announcing that their new console will henceforth be called Wii. This has got the whole gaming world off gaurd and has garnered mixed reactions. Most of which has been in the negeative. Here are some examples of what a couple of editors over at 1up.com said.

"What the holy hell are they smoking over there in Nintendoland? This is a classic cross-culture blunder; it may not be "bite the wax tadpole" but lord, it ain't good. Although, I do appreciate that it opens the door to some awesomely bad urine jokes."
- Joe Rybicki

"Actually, it's probably smart. It will never be a good name for a videogame console, but it's so unbelievably weird that it's bound to have people talking."
- Shane

Despite the reactions however, the vast majority seem to either dislike the name or abuse it for toilet jokes. I have been guilty of the later, but I seriously like Wii. Wii just seems to have enough weirdness to it that it just seems to fit. Anyway, the choice of the name Wii was rahter intersting. Game Informer held an interview with a NOA rep who said that the name "Wii" symbolized playing together and allowing people to interact with their games in a new way.

However, with a name like Wii for Ninendo's next big console, one must take a look back at the other consoles with usual names that didn't sit well with the public. For instance our good buddy the Dreamcast is a prime example. A console that had a good and unfortunately short run. Dreamcast seemed like a name that might be associated with those deamcatcher rings. While it is still an odd name for a console the Dreamcast has managed to not only become a staple in gaming history but years after its life, to be known as one of the best console names ever.

Of course this might also go to show that a console's name when first announced can in fact hurt sales of a console. Why buy a system as weird as a Dreamcast when you can buy the cool sounding system like a playstation 2. A poll over at Gamefaqs has shown that over 37,000 people won't buy the system or say that sales will hurt Nintendo because the name is just weird. That 37,000 that aren't getting a sysem because of a silly name. Its probably really silly of them to do that, but its their choice and in the end it's Nintendo who get's hurt.

Nintendo lately seems to be taking huge risks with what they have been doing. The DS was a big risk and in the end has become profitable. The name DS has also become a staple in the view of the public. Weither it meant Dual Screen or Developer System, it didn't matter since the name was well recieved by the public. Nintendo wanted to change the way people played games and the DS is proof that people will want new experiences when playing games. Eventually this might be the case with Wii once everyone is able to fully realize what the system is capable of. And for that we must wait until E3.

E3 is the ultimate test for Nintendo. Once they win people over with their games and virtual System service I gaurentee that you'll still hear the toilet jokes but the name will have a more positive impact on gaming. Revolution by description, Wii by name, a gaming expereince Wii will soon enjoy.


This Magic Market

This Magic Market
By Karl Castaneda

The video games industry is growing, and with that growth, there’s lots of money to be made. Unfortunately, the competition for those fat sacks of cash is fierce. It takes a lot more than a good concept to sell a title to gamers these days. Some prefer familiarity, others look for something original, and some of them go simply be word of mouth. To push their chances to the absolute maximum, though, publishers invest millions every year in advertising. Whether it’s a full-page spread on Electronic Gaming Monthly or a thirty-second TV spot, you can bet the most popular games of the year have big bucks backing their success. But there are so many ways to do it. Let’s explore a few…

Classic Style: Print Ads

Everyone’s familiar with print ads. We see them in newspapers, in magazines, and even on the street at bus stops. With gaming, it’s pretty straight-forward; some concept art or a fancy-looking render with a super-imposed logo and some PR-talk designed to get you hyped and ready to give up your hard-earned cash. However, it’s not always pretty when a publisher decides to deviate from the basic formula.


Sin & Redemption 8

Sin & Redemption
Karl Castaneda


When the N64 lauched in 1996, we all thought Nintendo had it in the bag. They had a stronger processor (courtesy of Silicon Graphics Inc.), a revolutionary control scheme, and Super Mario 64. When it released in America, there were only two games. The aforementioned Mario title, and Pilotwings 64, a sequel to a game that had accompanied the Super Famicom. Unfortunately for Nintendo and Hiroshi Yamauchi, they had overestimated themselves.

After Square had completed Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the SNES (Fun Fact: The game brought together two masters in the art of game music for the only time ever: Nobuo Uematsu from the Final Fantasy camp and Legend of Zelda/Mario's Koji Kondo.), they had grabbed hold to Sony's wing. And with them went Enix's Dragon Quest, Capcom's Mega Man, Konami's Metal Gear, and a plethora of other valuable properties. The paradigm had shifted. Things had changed. Nintendo was, for the most part, alone.


Lost Gems 4: Star Tropics

Alright kids, pack your stuff we are going to Coral Island for vacation. We are going to visit an old friend. The Star Tropics series. Easily one of the greatest and overlooked franchises on the NES platform. At times it was seen as a joke to the public mainly in part that the main character's weapon was a yoyo, but looks can be deceiving. And since this was a Nintendo title you are going to get more than just a decent game here.

Image hosting by Photobucket


What About Hubbs.

Well I think I need to let you people know straight up that I am kind of tanking. My engines aren't running properly and I can't get them started. Fear not though as apparently this is kind of a seasonal thing I believe. About this time last year I was haivng difficulty finding the urge to write and this went on for about 2 to 3 months. I was still able to write but not as often as I usually do.

I was going to do a new Lost Gems on the Sega CD game Vay, but then I thought it would be neat if I could try and get a small interview with Victor Ireland of former Working Designs fame. I wanted to do something unique like how the project went with the game and such. However Victor is rather elusive at the moment so that project is on hold. SO instead I am going to work on the Star Tropics series as my next Lost Gems.

Cross your fingers and hope I don't competely burn out on you folks. I have a quota to meet and I am pretty sure Karl is tired of providing a vast majority of the material for this site.



Sin & Redemption 7

Sin & Redemption
By: Karl Castaneda


When we last left Nintendo back in Sin & Redemption 6, they were on the road to disappointment with the N64, and while they would put out many memorable titles on the console, it wouldn't be able to uphold the legacy created by the Famicom and Super Famicom. Indeed, it was a crushing blow to the company, and especially so to Hiroshi Yamauchi, who had put so much stock in the system as yet another success in his tenure as President and CEO of Nintendo Co. Ltd. But that's not what Sin & Redemption 7 is about. Let's do it differently, this time; how about we explore the man who would blow a new wind into the industry, not only in Japan, but the entire world. Let's talk about Ken Kutaragi.

Visions of Grandeur


In Search of Player 1

"The single-player game is a strange mutant monster which has only existed for 21 years and is about to go away because it is unnatural and abnormal."-Ralph Koster, chief creative officer of Sony Online Entertainment in a panel for the Churchill Club

The quote you see before you was taken earlier this year, a month or so before the Game Developers Conference, where Koster would make a keynote speech about the importance of "fun" in gaming. Now, as I outlined in a previous editorial, this is a great thing; it's entirely necessary to pursue entertainment rather than the ego-driven pretentious trash we see so often. However, and I'm sure this is what you took notice of first, the blunt wording of his comment is not only wrong in a factual sense (I had no idea video games had only been around for 21 years!), the very implication that single-player games are a pox on our industry is ludicrous. But what of "...and is about to go away...?" Well, as much as we disagree of a variety of things, Mr. Koster might have a point.


Gaming Vision: What's Up Next

Well, I know there hasn't been anything new in about a week, but that doesn't mean we're out of ideas, far from it. After my little vacation in Ocala (read: that city sucks) I'm ready to get back to work. Check out what's coming up soon on the digital pages of Gaming Vision:

  • A new season of Sin & Redemption
  • New interviews!
  • A new editorial coming this week
  • 13% more Hubbs

    And that's just the beginning. Don't fret; new stuff's coming.
  • 4.02.2006

    The High Definition Era of Gaming

    The idea of HD gaming may have started as far back as the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast was the first system to support vga, s-video, and rgb inputs. It was also capable of outputing games at a resolution of 640x480 on a pc monitor. Microsoft a few years later said that the Xbox wil support HD with a minimum support of all games at 480p. For the 360, Microsoft made the decision that they would push HD gaming into the mainstream. So now I dare ask the ultimate question of life.

    Are we there yet?

    High Def gaming. Is it really the future of where the next gen of gaming needs to go? Are we at the point where we all need High Def to further improve our gaming experience? Well to be brutally honest I believe we aren't quite there yet. Right now I am pretty sure all you High Def buffs are all up in arms now about I don't really see the point in pushing high def gaming yet.


    Innovative Tendencies

    Innovative Tendencies
    By: Kart Castaneda

    The latest buzzword in the industry today seems to be "innovation." Every press release, every keynote address, and every preview seems to include it least once in its content. The race to be "new" and "fresh" has been iterated over and over again, and for a while, I was completely in favor of it. The fact of the matter is that innovation is only effective when it's thought out clearly, and when it isn't, the term becomes rather weightless.

    In an American Scholar essay, the author made the point that with an added emphasis on creativity, where everyone and everything was supposed to be "original" and "different," the word eventually lost its potency, and fell to frivolous use. In the games industry, the same process is happening to "innovation." To put it simply, too much is being put into our games.


    I Am Indie: New Frontiers

    I Am Indie: New Frontiers
    By: Karl Castaneda

    The more I got into writing about games, the more I've pondered on what interactive entertainment journalism should be, and as such, I've made my thoughts tangible with various editorials and rants, as you've all seen from time to time. While my opinion on the subject has become more refined since I've started my trek, the goal has remained the same: to take the medium and do all I can to raise the standard. I'm not nearly there yet, but through perseverance, I hope to one day claim victory. What I've learned through research on this piece is that independent game developers have the same goal, only instead of wanting to change journalism with Op-Eds, they're looking to alter games as a whole with innovative design.

    Before starting this project, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I wasn't too open-minded when it came to non-corporate studios. I pictured small, six-man garage teams working on flash-based titles on Newgrounds. While this may be true of some groups out there, when it comes to the niche' at large, it's a lot more organized and focused than I (or any of you, in all likelihood) had realized. Unfortunately, these guys are all but ignored when placed next to the likes of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.


    Something screwy is going on....

    I can't seem to edit my posts or edit the site's template for that matter. Until the issue is resolved further posting will take a rest. However that doesn't mean me and Karl aren't going to stop working on our current articles.

    Karl's next piece will be an interview with Jamdat. All I know is that they are a cellphone gaming company. My next article will be about HD gaming. Should be a goodie. After that we are gonna take a little break. Maybe a couple weeks off.

    Oh and we have a new poll up BTW. Thanks to everyone who voted on the last poll.


    EDIT* - Everthing seems to be fine now. That was fast now wasn't it?


    Lost Gems part 3 – Space Quest series (PC)

    Where no Janitor has ever wanted to go before.

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    When you think of the old point-and-click PC adventure games, you normally think of King’s Quest, Grim Fandango, Leisure Suit Larry and the Monkey Island series. Only a small amount of us old school PC gamers remembers the Space Quest series which is now considered to be nothing more than a cult classic. The Space Quest series was one of Sierra’s big 3 Adventure games back in the late 80’s early 90’s along with King’s Quest and Leisure Suit Larry.

    The Space Quest series was created by Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe. The Space Quest games by their design was meant to be a comedy adventure series making spoof at popular sci-fi icons of the past (terminator, aliens, star wars and star trek). These two went on to being known to their fans as the “Two Guys from Andromeda” and sported fake Mohawks, Disco Glasses (looked more like the 3D glasses) and pig snout.


    Gaming Vision Talks Elder Scrolls With Bethesda

    Gaming Vision recently had the chance to speak with Bethesda’s Gavin Carter, who told us all about their latest and greatest game, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

    Gaming Vision: In all previous Elder Scroll games, there was a known hatred towards (dark elves not being accepted anywhere else besides Vvanderfell) other races in the game, which affected how a character progress in the game. Will those same attitudes continue to exist in Oblivion and affect the player’s outcome in the game?

    Bethesda: Racial prejudices are built into the dialog system as disposition modifiers. So you’ll find, for instance, that if you play as an Argonian, Dark Elves will be more hostile to your character. On the other hand, other Argonians will like you more. Since disposition figures into just about every gameplay system somehow, it can have a wide range of effects, from affecting prices at a store, to varying the amount of information characters are willing to give you about a quest.


    Sin & Redemption 6

    Sin & Redemption
    By: Karl Castaneda

    Sakaguchi and Sin

    As a student at Yokohama National University, Hironobu Sakaguchi was on the road to being a computer technician, and would've likely gotten his degree were it not for Hiromichi Tanaka (Fun Fact: If this name sounds familiar, it's because he directed the first game in the Seiken Densetsu, i.e. Mana, series.), who introduced the young scholar to Wizardry. A Western RPG on Tanaka's Apple II Computer, Hironobu was soon obsessed with the game, playing it from early afternoon to the wee hours of the morning.

    On Spring Break in 1983, the pair decided to drop out and get jobs at Denyu, a PC software company looking to start a video game division. Working inside a small two-bedroom apartment in Yokohama with three other new hires, Sakaguchi designed many-a-game for their little branch at Denyu, this branch called Square...


    Interview with Ken Chan of Acclaim

    Hubbs: Welcome and thank you for taking your time to represent Acclaim for this small interview. Can you please state your name and tell us a little about yourself and what you do for Acclaim?

    Ken: "It's my pleasure to speak with you, thanks for giving me this opportunity. My name is Ken Chan and I'm the brand manager on BOTS. However, I would say that my job is not like a traditional brand manager. In other companies, brand managers very rarely have the ability to adapt the product. For BOTS, I plan to bring the game to the players and then let the players tell me what they want from the game. "

    Hubbs How did the company that you work for come across and later decide to buy the Acclaim name and trademarks? Why not maybe other well known companies like 3DO or Interplay?

    Ken: Our CEO, Howard Marks, decided to buy the Acclaim name because he was a fan of the brand and he believed it to have much more potential than what we've seen so far.


    Sin & Redemption 5

    Sin & Redemption 5
    By: Karl Castaneda

    The R Stands For Rareware

    Throughout the existence of the company, Nintendo's always had fair warning of threats coming their way. They should have known that Sega would eventually be a force to be reckoned with; nobody else has ever failed that much and kept on trucking, all in the pursuit of victory. And with the Genesis, Sega showed it knew how to rumble. With mature titles and a knockout sports selection, it was able to eventually grab the leading market share in the United States. Nintendo was stunned.

    How could this company, the same company that had the ineptitude to showcase a mediocre franchise (at best) as their mascot (Ed Note: Alex the Kidd, for those of you wondering), overtake the largest and most successful supplier of video games in the world? I'll tell you how. Sega saw that as gamers grew up, they wanted dark, moody content that would satisfy their at-the-time-untapped teen angst. Games like Altered Beast, Shining Force, and the breakout hit Sonic the Hedgehog are still known as classics of their respective genres. Sega came a long way since the SG-Mark III, to say the least...

    Luckily for Nintendo, they had an asset that would bail them out of their doom.

    Ultimate Innovators

    Chris and Tim Stamper were just a couple of game-crazy teens in England when Space Invaders was a massive hit, but even then, they were gathering information and experience, readying themselves for what was to come. Then, in the early 80's, they broke out as Ultimate - Play The Game, a trading name for Ashby Computer and Graphics, their small personal business. Mostly working off of the Sinclair Spectrum, they had amazing success; their first game ever, Jetpac, sold 300,000 copies.

    Obviously, when the NES was released, the Brothers Stamper were interested in seeing what they could do with it (much like our fabled tech junkies of old, Argonaut). Now operating as Rareware, they released such classics as the insanely difficult Battletoads, RC Pro-Am, and Marble Madness. In all, Rareware produced almost 60 titles on the NES, which of course caught the attention of Nintendo of America President, Minoru Arakawa, who had already been impressed with the boys' work. When the SNES was revealed, Rareware went to work on a game that would change gaming forever...

    Dig This Monkey Rap: Money Money Money

    To be truthful, the Stampers and Co. didn't release that many SNES games; this wasn't due to a lack of interest though. It was because they were trying to seek out the system's true potential, which they ultimately found and perfected. This, crossed with the idea of translating high resolution graphics to the SNES, amounted to an impressive visual representation; pre-rendered polygons allowed subsequent games to appear much more advanced than anything Nintendo had done before, even surpassing Argonaut's Super FX chip. So what did they use it for? As if you didn't know...

    DKC was, obviously, a huge success, selling eight million copies. Along with the seminal fighting game Killer Instinct, Rareware had proven that it could hang with the big boys at NCL. Not only had they produced sine of the best 16-Bit games ever, the success of said games propelled the SNES back into a clear #1 spot in the West.

    Seeing their worth, NCL bought a 25% stake in the English developer. And for good reason; they had saved Nintendo. And when the N64 hit, they would time and time again with hits like Banjoe Kazooie, Perfect Dark, GoldenEye, and Conker's Bad Fur Day. It was meant to last, though, because in 2002... well, let's tell that story another time.

    Switching Gears

    In case you haven't noticed, this series has dealt a lot with Nintendo in the West; their dealings (or lack thereof) with Atari, their partnership with Argonaut, with Rare, and the Genesis beating them out for Top Dog in said territory. But now it's time to head back in time a little bit; it's time to switch over to Japan.

    They say that every action has an equal and oppossite reaction. Well, if there was ever a reaction to the tyranical rule of Hiroshi Yamauchi, it was dealt by a college dropout named Hironobu Sakaguchi and his Final Fantasy...

    Next Time: The RPG That Broke The Dam: Final Fantasy VII

    See Also
    Sin & Redepmtion 1
    Sin & Redemption 2
    Sin & Redemption 3
    Sin & Redemption 4


    Sin & Redemption: Part 4

    Sin & Redemption Part 4
    By Karl Castaneda

    NES Goes Super Saiyan


    By the time 1986 rolled around, the NES was still doing phenominally well in Japan and oversees. These were the glory days; the days when Miyamoto and a couple other guys could have some bad sushi, and in the process of clutching their stomachs, have a stroke of genious and develop a game around it. These were the simple times of 8-Bit Bliss. And then, as usual, Sega fucked it up...

    Sega, formerly known as Service Games (and before that, Standard Games), was a moderately successful coin-op amusement company that also owned a few bowling alleys (some of which held Gunpei Yokoi's earlier efforts, oddly enough).


    The Alex Verrey Interview

    It's finally here. I wan to give thanks to Alex Verrey, aka Big Boy Barry, for allowing me to waste his time. =) Here ya go.

    Hubbs: Since not many people in the US know who you are, can you introduce yourself and give us a tiny bit about yourself and career highlights?

    Alex Verrey: Sure thing. Well my name is Alex Verrey, I’m 6”3 tall, and a Gemini. I’m ‘Big Boned’ though devilishly attractive. My turn on’s are warm fires, long walks on the beach and chocolate. My turn offs are arrogance, pollution and cruelty to animals.

    On a slightly more serious note, my real name is indeed Alex Verrey, I’m better known here in the UK as the ‘Tubby Titan of Tea Time Telly’ “Big Boy Barry”. Playing the character of Barry has allowed me to present more hours of video game TV than anyone else in the UK, which included a pretty cool video game sitcom by the name of ‘Barry’s Joypad’ and then ‘Barry TV’. The show debuted as the second highest rated program on Sky TV (Just behind The Simpsons!) and co-starred the talented Mr David Walliams of UK smash hit ‘Little Britain’ fame.


    Don't Fret: New Stuff Is Coming

    Just thought I'd let you guys in on a couple things. Firstly, I got a confirmation on the Bethesda interview. It's coming... and it's gonna be awesome. Robert and I are both really excited about it. Secondly, he's got us ANOTHER interview coming up soon. Stuff's just rolling in the right direction for us at the moment.

    I wish I could say I was working on a new feature, but I'm really feeling worn out now. With work at Planet GameCube piling up and school stuff demanding more and more attention, I feel a little exhausted. I think I just need some R&R, though. Once Spring Break arises in the next four or so weeks, I'll get my medicine and I'll be ready to crank out some gangbusters. Fireworks, man! Fireworks!

    So, until then, dear reader, keep doing your job (reading) and we'll keep doing ours (hopelessly delaying actually working, then eventually writing).



    Where is Hubbs?

    Well I am currently trying to get a few things in order. Recently I installed Windows Vista Beta 2 and in a way it messed up my pc for a time. A partition was created giving me the option to boot to either XP or Vista but because some files were moved around I couldn't boot XP. SO buying myself 5 DVD-RW's I was able to back up what I needed and do a complete reinstall after wiping out my harddrive.

    Now everything seems to be in order again except for the fact that I can't get Neverwinter Nights working. But I am now working on finalizing my interview with Mr. Alex Verrey from the UK gaming scene.


    Ethics Economics

    Have you ever read a review that you really didn't agree with? How about a cover story that seemed completely unnecessary and overloaded with praise for features that seemed... lacking? Has a magazine and/or website ever seemed biased towards a specific group or console? Most of the time this results from a difference in opinion; different gamers breed different tastes, after all. Nine times out of ten, when someone accuses a publication of unjustified bias, it's based on false presumptions.

    But, one time out of ten, they're absolutely right.

    Ethics Economics
    By: Karl Castaneda

    When David Jaffe, of Sony - Santa Monica fame, accused game journalism of being lackluster this past November, I was with him 50%. On one hand, he's definitely right that game journalism doesn't have a Rolling Stone (or even an Entertainment Weekly, to be quite honest). But there's a reason for it: the game industry is too closed off to allow the full coverage you get from the aforementioned two magazines. So you see, the media is stuck between a rock and a hard place: they want great coverage, but they're limited only to what publishers want consumers to know.


    Are Games Art?

    Are Games Art?

    An Editorial By Karl Castaneda


    What is art? Is it a panting, a symphony, or an emotional roller-coaster of a movie? Can art be interactive? And if it can, where is the line drawn that separates masterpieces from dregs? These are questions that pretentious, elitist, and self-proclaimed "artists" pose on a daily basis to their contemporaries. In every medium, its respective patrons seek to prove that their pastime is the pinnacle of human achievement - that their vision is "art." And as such, gamers have been trying to show the general public for some time that their hobby is worthy of the title.

    Can a Game Make You Cry?

    Yeah, but so can slicing an onion. It's odd that the emotional output needed to qualify as "art" is usually tied to sadness. Thus, when people give examples of interactive entertainment as art, they cite the death of Aeris (or Aerith, if you want to get hardcore on everyone's asses) - they cite ICO, they bring up Link's Awakening.


    Lost Gems part 2: Beyond Oasis

    Ah yes. Now here is a game that has been lost in history. Beyond Oasis was Sega's top down action rpg that was in the same vein as The legend of Zelda franchise. Except Beyond Oasis was able to stand up the the Zelda franchise in many ways. In fact in many ways I like Beyond Oasis a lot more than Zelda: A link to the Past.

    Beyond was about a boy who went on an excavation and found a lost golden armlet. When he put it on a ghost of the former wearer appeared before him and told him that an evil man has found the silver armlet and is doing evil things. Thus your quest begins. Kind of linear is your ask me. The game doesn't hold you hand though like most action RPG's have done in the past. But even if you are lost and can't figure out where to go ther is a map available to you that shows a flag of where your destination is.


    Weekend Update With Karl Castaneda

    Howdy guys; I just thought I'd take the time to make a few notes about upcoming stuff and where' I've been since Sin & Redemption 3.

    First off, S&R will be taking a little break. It will be continued (and finished), but I'm taking some time off so that when I go back, it'll feel fresh and not forced like Part 3 was. It's a feature that I'd like to be my best yet, so when it all comes together, I want every piece to stand out on its own as something worth reading. If I make myself write, it'll be average, and average is definitely not what Gaming Vision is about. In the meantime, you'll be seeing other stuff from me.

    Robert and I are looking into new ventures to stir up some revenue for the blog, which of course, means better reading oppurtunities for you guys. I don't want to say anything yet (because it's all liable to change pending certain requirements), but if we can hack it, GV will be infinitely better than its current state. Wish us luck!

    Also, I'd like to announce that I finally got myself a DS. I bought the $150 Mario Kart Bundle, and I'm very happy with it. In addition to the stellar MK (if you've got a DS, buy it; if you don't have a DS, start saving), I've got Sonic Rush (classic good Sonic with great level design; buy it), Meteos (a good puzzler, but in the end, it's not a must-buy), and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (my second favorite DS game, right behind Mario Kart; a must-purcahse). I'm definitely happy with the brand new addition to my gaming family. My Zelda SP is still a dear, dear console, but I'm afraid it'll only be used for GB games from now on; GBA and up goes on the Dual Screen, all the way 100%.

    Finally, what Robert said in the post before about my trying to get a Bethesda interview lined up is absolutely true and I'm very excited by it. I have a feeling I'm going to have to weasle my way in, but whatever it takes, we're talking Elder Scrolls, mofo.

    Take it easy, everybody, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!



    Holiday Break is over. Hello 2006!

    I'm back and ready to kick some booty. I am working on getting a new interview for the site. Karl is hard at work trying to get ahold of Bethesda Softworks for an interview and I am looking to get one some other places.

    I would also like to talk about some games that I got for chrismas break. First would be Need For Speed Most Wanted. This game is simply amazing. NFSMW has some insanely stunning graphics and the gameplay is killer. I rejoiced at the reinsertion of the cop chasing action and the customizing your car is always fun.

    Next is Worms 4. The worms franchise has been around a long time and Worms 4 is the pinnacle of the franchise if you ask me. The graphics, collision detection, and fun have been improved from Worms 3D. New to the game is the addition of editing the appearance of each worm by selecting from a variety of hats, facial hair, glasses and gloves. And the game has quite a bit of unlockable content as well.

    The final game I wish to talk about is DOA4. Finally Team Ninja released this game and I... I... can't get enough of it. I simply love it. I loved DOA3 and DOAU but this game is by far the best of the series. Team Ninja upped the difficulty of the single player game, added lobbies for people to gather and chat, tons of unlockable content and hours upon hours of pure hardcore kick-that-guy's-a$$ gaming.

    Oh! I completely forgot I bought Mario and Luigi partners in time for the DS. I haven't gotten to far into the game but its quite amusing. I enjoyed the first Mario and Luigi game on the GBA. Of course this game is going to be a blast.

    Anyway, thats all I have for now so peace out and enjoy the new year!