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E3 2011: Welcome Back Nintendo

The last big conference ended just an hour before; I'm talking about Nintendo of course. It has brought some surprises, most of them predictable but still sweet. You all know what I'm talking about so I will go straight to my opinion.

Starting with a Zelda video and a live orchestra was very touching and I'm sure a lot of fans felt that way. Nintendo really knows how to connect with our feelings through gaming history. The 3DS part was very predictable, they need to reinforce their new portable system considering that the 3DS didn't have strong launching games and almost none important games until this day (that will change with Ocarina of Time 3DS of course). A new Mario game is always welcome, but the video felt like a younger son of the Galaxy games, just saying.

Now to the big moment, the WiiU. What can I say about the name?? My first impression was an attempt to hold the casual market with the Wii brand, which is ok by me. It would be stupid to forget about the so profitable casual market, and for casual gamers Nintendo is not as heavy as Wii as a brand. The U part is trying to say they care about the personal experiences of gamers and what the controller can bring to the table. I don't like the name, but like I said with the PSVita (bad name too), that is the least important thing. At the beginning of the presentation I was afraid, especially with the so casual presentation through Wii sports and WiiFit. Watching a Zelda HD small clip and some pics with a less squared Wii relieved some worries concerning the new controller being for the Wii and not part of a new console. I don't know if I was the only one at that moment about what Nintendo wanted with this new controller.

This is when the heavy guns showed up. Publishers and developers talked about the possibilities of the new console and giving to it their support. Nintendo has done this a lot of times and then a few of them actually do games for the console. Showing that games like Darksiders II and Batman Arkham City are going to be developed for the WiiU, that is a true way to show publishers and developers commitment with the console. Also, this demonstrates Nintendo's goal of recapturing the hardcore market like all of you have heard during the past last months. Finally, inviting an EA representative to talk about the possibilities and all EA's support to the WiiU with most of the franchises tells a lot about what Nintendo is doing to create stronger relationships with Third Party Developers. Like Iwata said, EA is the biggest and most successful independent developer in the world, and having its support means a lot of third party games coming to the WiiU.

I think I sad everything I wanted to say clearly enough so I'm going to cut it now.

In my opinion, Nintendo won this year E3, with Sony following it very closely and Microsoft just lost before the other two did their conferences.

Let the love or hate begin, so leave your comments bellow.

E3 2011: Sony's Conference, Now put your 3D glasses on!!!

Hello Gamespot community , Sony's Press Conference just finished with a lot of things being exposed there, under my scoop, some were good and some were bad. Now its time for my second ranting of the day so here we go.

I will start saying that Sony succeeded in what Microsoft failed today (just my opinion), which is the balance between regular games (hardcore) and motion games (most of the casual). How they did that?? by mixing he games they were showing, 2 of one and 2 of another. Great way to keep interest of both audiences without boring one too much. What i don't like about this is that most games were predictable and most of us knew they were going to be there (just like Microsoft did). This is why I loved the introduction of BioShock Infinite, nobody expected that, and no one ever imagined a PS move feature in that game. For me, this was the best part of the conference, with the irrational games guy (sorry, but i don't know his name) giving us some comedy (I missed you Kevin Butler). I will just add that I love Sony's focus on customers, announcing prices and bundles allowing us to know how affordable is that thing or another for sure

What I don't liked and is becoming really annoying for me is Sony's determination to put 3D entertainment in our homes. Yeah the bundle including the screen and the glasses is pretty affordable, but from my eyes 3D technology is just a gimmick and a way to take more money from us in theaters and buying TVs. Last year was the same, with some Sony or developer representative saying before the demo "now put your glasses on to enjoy the fully experience". Well, you know what?? I don't want to put the effin glasses on, so show me what you got without stupid gimmicks.

About PSVita, I think its a lame an plain name, but the name is the least important thing for me. What I saw concerning the games is truly impressive, and I definitely want one. Uncharted showed how powerful the portable is, and most important, it gave the motion and touch features as an option, not a must. Take note developers, because that is what we want, options, not imposed motion/touch gameplay. What i didn't like about the PSVita is its presentation, in one word it was awful. You don't present a brand new device just saying it and putting a pic on the screen. They should have started with the video they showed at the end. First you get an idea of the overall concept and then you explain some of its features and power through some games. But hey, this is just my opinion, maybe some of you think that way of presenting it was awesome.

Thats it, opinions mixed for this conference but this was definitely better than Microsoft's. Not impressive as i expected considering the full announcement of a new device, but that is what we got, so i better deal with it LoL.

Let me hear your love or hate bellow.


E3 2011: WTF Microsoft!!!

Hello gamers all over the Gamespot universe. As you may noticed from the title, I'm going to talk about the Microsoft Press Conference some of you saw a few minutes ago. Don't worry, this is only ranting and its going to be short.

Warning!!! you will read the word Kinect a lot!!!!

Its clear to everyone that since the introduction of Kinect, Microsoft's goal was to enter the so profitable market Nintendo created when they launched the Wii. We haven't heard from Kinect in a while so E3 was a big chance to remember the world Kinect was not only a one year fad and launching some Kinect games. I understand that most of last year show was Kinect since they were going to launch it at the end of it, but doing the same thing and filling the show with soft Kinect game is wrong, at least for me. Xbox success was because of its focus in the hardcore gamers, thats why Xbox360's library is full of hardcore games. Just showing some games that most of us knew would be there is not a way of showing respect to the loyal Xbox gamers, And no, showing a Halo remake and a brand new Halo game is not enough. Tomorrow Nintendo is going to show CAFE, at least try to compete with that. For me, Microsoft gave up in this attempt to win the throne this year. I don't want to be extreme but this kinda felt like Nintendo's E3 2008 conference with some real good games.

This is all I have to say, I will do an opinion post ranting on Sony's and Nintendo's press conferences, and any big games in the expo.

Let the hate begin, leave your opinions bellow!!!!

What I Learned in 2010

We are so close to Christmas and the end of 2010 that is inevitable to feel the need of giving at least a little present to the people you love and care about, but also this is a time of meditation about all the things we have done through this marvelous year.

All of this comes with a nostalgia feeling full of great memories, which makes me think i need to do some kind of review for the year.

So, I will share with you all the things I learned or understood through this year, which are:

1. Wonderland can be a really creepy place full of murderers and evil people (American McGee's Alice).

2. Rockstar is the Midas of videogames, turning everything they touch into gold.

3. Most gamers (including me) buy and have more games that they can actually play.

4. Sony is blatant enough to copy Nintendo (PlayStation Move)

5. Harry Potter as a character is awful.

6. Hermione Granger is the best character in the Harry Potter universe.

7. The twilight books are a complete disappointment and I want my money back.

8. Mario will always be the king of platformers.

9. When I thought I finally understood Math, I realized I was totally wrong.

10. WRPGs are more entertaining than JRPGs.

11. People dedicated to teach you how to be good at FPS actually exists (FPS Trainer).

12. Gamer Girls are overrated.

13. Cloud Gaming is the future of gaming (OnLive).

14. For what I have seen so far, the 3DS is going to be mostly a port for old awesome games with some improvements.

15. My PC is too old.

16. Everybody in The Jace Hall Show thinks his show is not funny at all.

17. Virtual societies are a reflection of real societies.

18. Multiplayer Online is the new gold mine in the gaming industry.

19. The Resident Evil Movies are not going to get any better.

20. Gaming is an expensive hobby.

21. Gaming is a very expensive hobby in Colombia.

22. Everybody thinks at first sight that my nick is a rip off of LadyGaGa (It is not, my nick is a combination of my name, which is Leidy, and the first syllables of my two last names, Gacharna and Patiño, Leidy+Ga+Pa = LeidyGaPa, see??).

23. I don't know if this world is real or just a dream, I lost the damn spinning top.

24.Christopher Nolan is the best director of our time.

25. Burger King is better than Mc Donalds.

26. The Red Ring of Death is still a threat to Xbox 360 users.

27. You have to pass your toys to a younger generation rather than donating them to a kindergarten (Toy Story 3)

28. All MTV awards will be getting worse with every passing year.

29. I need to buy a last generation console next year.

30. I love this place, thank you people for making it so special.

I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Handhelds: A Link To The Past

When I read the 3DS launching games list, I could not help feeling nostalgic about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was such an incredible and wonderful game, and for me, everything in that game is perfect. This led me to think that the re-launching of OoT is a great opportunity for the new generation of gamers to experience one of the most important games in history.

After reviewing in the depths of my young memories, I found that this isn't the first time Nintendo does something like this. The Game Boy Advance is the perfect example to explain this trend. The GBA was my first gaming device, and when I got it on Christmas, my father also gave me two games: Metroid Zero Mission and Yoshi's Island (Super Mario Advance 3). My brother told me that he played Yoshi's Island back in the SNES times, and he thought that the game was perfect for me to start my gaming life and also it was one of his favorite games back then. Experiencing this game would have been impossible if Nintendo hadn't re-launching it, because like most gamers, my brother sold a lot his games in the past in order to buy a new console or new games, and finding a game that was released about 10 years ago is almost impossible, specially in countries like Colombia, where garage sales and flee markets are almost nonexistence.

Yoshi's Island wasn't the only opportunity to try great games from the past. The Game Boy Advance gave me the opportunity to play Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, masterful titles, no doubt about it. Again, playing these games in the SNES these days (2004) would have been very difficult.

The Nintendo DS also bring back Super Mario 64, through Super Mario 64DS, which was the same old awesome game with some new features. Now, with the 3DS launching date next year, some titles announced like Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64 and Paper Mario show that this trend will continue to be very strong in the future. I'm personally looking forward to play Paper Mario, because I have played the thousand year door, awesome game, and I think the original can bring me some Mario joy.

Because handhelds are always behind home consoles in matter of graphics, the only way to translate the previously mentioned games is to wait a few years until the handheld graphic power reaches or passes the graphical power of the game's original console. That is the reason why the Game Boy Advance served as a port for Super Nintendo games, and now the DS and 3DS are serving as a port for N64, and maybe, the 3DS has the power to handle some GameCube games.

Everything written above has a single goal, which is to show you, lovely readers, that handhelds have served as a link to the past for great games to come into the present. For me, this has been a blessing. I know some hardcore and experienced gamers that started to play with the early consoles should think that this re-launching strategy is only a way to win easy money, and maybe it is, but despite the fact that buying this games for you have no sense, for gamers like me who hadn't the opportunity to play them in its glory days, is absolutely wonderful, so thanks for that Nintendo.

I guess that is all, I just wanted to share my opinion about this issue, I hope I have been clearly enough explaining it. I would love to read some feedback and opinions through your comments.

Thanks for reading!!!!

Best Wishes!!!!

Price, Piracy, Inustice and Greed

Let me start with a short story

It was 2002 Christmas when my brother and I (6 year old, starting to play games) went to Ibague (the closest city near my town) to look up for the Nintendo GameCube with a copy of Super Mario Sunshine and maybe buy it. When we arrived to the first store my brother ask for the price of both things, and the saleswoman said blatantly that the GameCube cost was USD $300 and Super Mario Sunshine was USD $100. Obviously, my brother thought it was a bad joke and the people in that store were abusive with the price. He continued looking for his desired console, but after asking in many stores he realized that the price in the first store where the actual prices for Colombia. He just saved USD $280, which contemplated the U.S. price of the console and the game, and a little surplus, so this finding broke his illusion of taking his GameCube home and start playing with it.

I'm pretty sure this kind of story has happened to many Colombian gamers, and if there is any reading this, he or she can attest about what I'm talking about, which is THE VIDEO GAME MARKET IN COLOMBIA.

The first thing I want to write about is console and game pricing in my country. In Colombia the most important retailers that sell video games are Panamericana, Pepe Ganga, Exito, Ktronix, and others, so I'm going to base on their prices and compare then with GameStop, Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon prices. Lets start with the Nintendo Wii, the most expensive price in the U.S. is USD $199 (even you can find USD $149 ones) and prices for most new games are USD $49.99. In Colombia, a new Nintendo Wii costs USD $350 and most new games USD $100. Xbox 360 price in the U.S. is about USD $199 for the 4GB and USD $299 for the 250GB, while the price of new games is USD $59.99. Again, in Colombia the price for a 4GB Xbox 360 is USD $350 and USD $450 for the 250GB, and the price for new games are about USD $100. And finally, PS3 U.S. price is USD $299 and new games price is $59.99, while in Colombia the console price is USD $575 and new games price is USD $100. I must add that the Kinect price in Colombia will be about USD $175, which is very close to the U.S. price.

I know the comparison may be too bored, but it was important to make my point here, what the hell is going on with the consoles and games prices in Colombia. I can't understand how a Wii can cost USD $199 and I have to pay USD $350 to get one. If the reason is logistics costs, I don't believe that, how can the price of a console can increase 75% just to bring it here, that is a total lie, this is just the result of the greed of a few, I really want to see those numbers. So, as you can see, it is really expensive to get a console and have a decent collection of games. But what if there is another way to get your games very, very, very cheap…..

That takes me to the second point of this post, the Colombian black market. In here, the black market is called San Andresito (that is because Colombia has an Island call San Andres where many products are sold duty free). In these places, because every important city has at least one of them, you can find many products much cheaper than in regular stores, specially candies, electronics, and definitely, video games. In the past, you could find consoles cheaper, but that is not the case anymore because of stronger controls on smuggling by the government, so I'm going to focus on games. San Andresitos are the principal piracy source for music, clothes, movies and games. You can find Wii and Xbox 360 games for just USD $2, which is the 2% of the cost of buying the original game. All you have to do is take your console to one of the hundreds of technicians that work there, they just hack it with a program and abracadabra, you can play all the pirate games that you want. This is not the case of the PS3 because copying Blu-Ray disks is expensive and the price is not attractive.

Most of my friend's Xbox 360 and Wii games are pirate, because is cheaper and for the price of one original game you can have 50 pirate games, so guess what is more economic for then. And this is the way how piracy works in my country, attracting consumers with very low prices in contrast with the abuse of licensed stores.

To finish my story, my brother managed to buy his desired GameCube with the Super Mario Sunshine copy with a little help from my father. And because GameCube games couldn't be copied illegally until 2005 (a year before Wii's launching), my brother bought all his games original, at a cost of USD $100, and with my father buying all my Game Boy Advance (my first gaming device) games 100% original, taught me that I have to buy original games, thing that I'm proud of.

I know that you have to buy original games to support the industry and the hard work of some people, but with all I wrote above you can realize that the line between legally and illegally is very thin in here, because both sides are bad from my point of view (ok! Maybe Microsoft is changing that perception with the Kinect launch price), one is breaking the law and copyright (piracy), but the other one is selling consoles and video games at a very unfair price (retailers and stores), so, who deserves the support of consumer?? Is not an easy answer.

Well, that's all, I hope you enjoy it and don't get bored, and finally a question, what is the situation of the video game market in your country?

Best Wishes!!!! :P

What Happened to Star Fox??

And not just Star Fox, but all the games in the genre. In my particular case I enjoyed a lot since I started playing Star Fox 64, it was a reaaaally good game, good graphics for the time, excellent and simple gameplay, and in my personal opinion a kick-ass multiplayer (ok, maybe a little simple). Also it was very innovative with the rumble pack bundle. At this point I must say it was a good time for shooters of that kind.

>After that, we had to wait a while for a Star Fox game, until Rare (I really miss you) came out with Star Fox Adventures. I know this is not the normal Star Fox kind of game, but despite others opinions, I think this game is awesome (Check the review).

And finally, the last Star Fox we saw was Star Fox Assault back in 2005, not as good as Star Fox 64 but in my opinion a nice game (again, check the review for more details). For the love of God, that was 5 years ago, 5 YEARS AGO, and since then I haven't heard any news about some new Star Fox coming (I'm not taking into account Star Fox Command for the DS, because I'm focusing on home consoles), and in my personal opinion, these series are very valuable and considered amazing games for many people, so I think Nintendo must pay more attention to this game and start making a new one if they are not doing it at the moment, and if they are doing it, please let me know. Really, just imagine the possibilities of a new Star Fox with the motion capabilities of the Wii, in my mind it could a 9.0 easily.

And is not the Star Fox series only, the whole genre is going down, really, I haven't seen any titles for the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii that made big noise (or I am very forgetful, which is also possible). The last nice shooter series I enjoyed was the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron trilogy, very nice games. If the possibilities for a Star Fox game in Wii are incredible, imagine a shooting game of this kind developed with the graphic level of a PS3 or an Xbox360, in my opinion, MIND-BLOWING. If you are thinking right now in the Tom Clancy's Hawx series, I don't think they are going into the right way (without the intention to hurt).

Well, I'm not sure if I made my point, maybe it is a little confusing because I didn't organized my ideas, but if you are getting the idea just comment about it, or at least give me an answer (maybe I'm blind and I can't see any good shooters recently, in that case, let me see the light).

Thanks for reading

Best Wishes!!! :D

Hello?? Any Latin Gamers Around Here??

I won't start my blog introducing myself, everybody starts with that, and I think is a better way to know me through my post (yeaah, laugh all you want, but I have the hope that somebody out there is going to read me). So, the purpose of this entry is very simple, I just want to know how many Latin gamers are around the gamespot.com network, and maybe in that way I won't feel so alone in this world full of American people (I'm not saying they're not nice, I love Americans). My invitation is simple Latin mates, speak up, let me know you are there, let us gather together and discuss issues from our unique perspective and things that happen just in our context. mmm, I guess this is it, I just want to find my Latin mates, and maybe asking gamespot.com why so little interest in the Latin market, which is a big one. I will try to write about something more interesting next time, just adapting, and sorry for my English, is not the best. Best wishes, Muaaaah!!!!!