Those famous words were spoken by Edward R. Murrow at the end of his broadcast each night in the 1940s. And so with its recent closing I, likewise, bid fare thee well to NSider.
I wouldn't dream of trying to write something that attempts to represent the masses that make up the former NSider community, but I would like to take a moment to express my own sense of loss. Sure, we may have managed to salvage something here or elsewhere, but it will never be the same. Perhaps when and if Nintendo brings back an online community of their own we'll see something better than NSider. That, however, remains to be seen. For now, I still feel somewhat homeless.
As some of you may already know (or would have to presume), I am a dad and husband. I was a Sage at the former NSider forums. Sad, to be sure, but I really had a great time there. There's little doubt that my screen name fits my personality, but I'm not ashamed. There were a lot of fun discussions, and I felt like - for the most part - my time was well spent there.
I began my stint at NSider when my wife and I first decided to take the plunge and bring video games - full on - into our household. My wife and I, both, had been enjoying various PC games for years - Diablo, Warcraft, etc. - as well as many generations of home consoles back in our younger years. But when we decided to get a Gamecube for our kids, I came to NSider for advice on what games were good and appropriate for them.
Well, I never left. I ended up getting caught up in the fun, and for our 10-year anniversary my wife and I treated each other to his & her's Nintendo DSes. My DS has been my best friend ever since. I love what it's capable of and what all the system has to offer. I spent most of my time, after getting the handheld, in the DS discussion forum on NSider, but I was also a fairly big contributor to the Reviews forum.
In January of this year, I received a PM from NOA_ANDY telling me I was being considered for the next round of Sages. Later that week I got the rank promotion, along with some nice little trinkets in the mail; I'm now the proud owner of a Triforce lapel pin. I remember coming home from school (I went back to college in early January of 2005) and finding my PM box on NSider crammed with messages. I knew something was up. Evidently, when you get your Sage rank, everyone and their mothers PMs you to congratulate you on your new status. I was overjoyed with the showering of positive adulation. For the next few days I was, admittedly, high on life. Sure, it's really only a pat on the back, but it was nice to know that the community thought enough of me to set me aside like that and tell me so in their own way.
And then NSider said goodbye...
I was beside myself. I felt like I had finally found a neat place to hang out where folks weren't too serious, they didn't flame rampantly, and discussions there were great, light-hearted fun. I could help kids who wanted advice on reviews, chit chat about the latest games, and randomly peek my head in for some nonsensical spam talk on the Power On forums whenever I was feeling particularly playful.
Is there someone to blame? NOA_ANDY perhaps? Nah...all good things come to an end. People are people wherever you go. Whatever reason NSider closed, it was a corporate decision, not some arbitrary revenge against the community, I'm sure.
We'll still miss it, there's no doubt about that - at least many of us will. But tomorrow's another day - as my mom always loves to say - and there will be another party. However, midnight has struck, and last call is over; time for everyone to go home. Just keep your eyes open for the next shindig.
[From an editorial I wrote on Sept. 24, 2007 for NSider2 -- regarding the closing of Nintendo's NSider forums.]
This one looked good from day one that I saw it, but it actually turned out better than expected.
I'm only a short ways into the game, but the first thing you notice is just how beautiful Rune Factory looks. I've said it a fews times already, but it immediately reminded me of Final Fantasy IX in its look. The game uses gorgeous 2-D backgrounds with some really wonderful 3-D character models, then layers it with brief voice-overs from all of the various characters.
(courtesy of IGN.com.)
In addition to the splendid presentation is an enormous Harvest Moon adventure. When I first went out on my second day to explore the nearby town, I was amazed by just how much town there actually was. There are about 10 different shops, along with a couple of regal homes, a beach and an absolutely breath-taking town square.
I'm not gonna go into any detail about the gameplay -- I just wanted to whet your appetite a little -- but check out the reviews. It is, however, true to the Harvest Moon franchise, but with some new and exciting life injected into it.
I'm just back from a two-day ban. I was watching the most recent episode of On The Spot, enjoyed it, and made a harmless joke at the expense of the host, Jeff something (don't recall his last name). Evidently, someone took it the wrong way, and I was banned for "flaming." Either someone has a terrible sense of humor, or one of the Gamespot MODs has taken a special interest in the GeekyDad.
Anyhoo, I've got another review up -- this time of Brothers In Arms DS. I know a lot of folks were excited for this game, so if you're interested in reading what my take is on it, then stroll on over to my review (linked to at the bottom of this page).
You know, I loved Elite Beat Agents (EBA) so much that when I stumbled upon the two games I'm about to tell you about, I couldn't resist checking them out. Both are imports, and both are really fun games. Like EBA, they'reboth rhythm games, each with their own distinct flavor.
Pinky Street Kira Kira Music Hour is a mix of rhythm game, adventure and sim. You control a chibi-girl character, who is absolutely adorable. The gist of the game is that she competes in dance competitions. As you win, you earn money (pica) and prizes. The prizes --which are clothes, hairstyles and accessories -- when used, allow your chibi character to gain bonuses. She can get more pica, more popularity, or some other bonus during her performances when using these items. There are a lot of little cutscenes that really add personality to the game, and it's got a great presentation overall. If you are a sucker for great graphics, this is also one of the very best games to check out.
(Courtesy of OJGames.)
The other title I've just gotten is called Taiko no Tatsujin, another rhythm game that has you beating a taiko drum in time with a huge selection of songs. The tunes range from well-known, video-game themes, like the ones from Super Mario, to ****cal (for some reason Gamespot is censoring the word "c.l.a.s.s.i.c.a.l") and J-pop. Taiko no Tatsujin is cute, extensive and a whole lot of fun.
(Courtesy of Play-Asia.)
Both games are not only a ton of fun, but either game is wholly playable without any knowledge of the Japanese language. As far as imports go, both games are as import-friendly as they come.
Well, that's what I've been up to as of late. You can scroll down a bit where my reviews are listed if you'd like to read my full review of the Kira Kira Music Hour game. Thanks for checkin' out my blog.
That's right. I went from God of War to Pokemon Diamond (DS).
My wife & I pre-ordered both Diamond and Pearl, and she's playing Pearl. We both really love the games, though she won't admit it. But the amount of stuff to do in this game is exhausting -- just amazing, really. These are our first Pokemon RPGs, though our sons have been playing Emerald and Mystery Dungeon for the GBA for quite some time. I must say, I'm quickly becoming a Pokefan. Good stuff.
I am still, however, playing God of War -- strange mix, I know. But it, too, is a great game, and though reviewers gushed a little more than what was deserving for the game, it still is well deserving of the ratings it received. Though it takes elements from several other great games, it blends those elements with a story and production that are polished to a glimmering shine.
I'll try to do reviews for both games soon, so keep you're eyes peeled if you're curious about either.
(Pics courtesy of IGN.com.)
(Courtesy of IGN.com.)
It took me a while, but I finally caught up to this game. To be honest, when I first learned of the game it terrified me. It just seemed, at the time, and perhaps still does, that games have been getting progressively more violent. But you catch me in the right mood and I'm game for a little bloody action.
I'm about five hours in, and am being very entertained. Though God of War is a kind of amalgam of Rayman 2: The Great Escape and an uber-dumbed-down version of Soul Calibur, it's a wonderful game in its own right. The gameplay is extremely polished, and the production values are truly in a league of their own. Everything, so far, ties together to make a really exciting adventure.
Look for my full review shortly...
It's just so easy to log onto Wallyworld's website and buy stuff...
I'm, of course, holding out for Pokemon Diamond later next month, but I have had a hankering for something I haven't had a hankering for in almost 15 years: survival horror. Now, I've read from some that Resident Evil created the genre, but when I was originally in college we had PC games like Wolfenstein and, later, Doom. To me -- though I always felt somewhat guilty about taking pleasure in such gratuitous violence -- there can be an undeniable pleasure in mindlessly shooting and hacking monsters.
Quite a contrast from Pokemon, eh?
Well, Deadly Silence is now only $20 from Walmart, and I couldn't resist. I was very tempted to go with Resident Evil 4 for the Cube, but after watching some footage on Youtube I opted to go the aforementioned route. For one, that's some extreme gore for a guy like myself. Besides, I would have to play it at home, and that's a vibe I'm leery about bringing into my house with three young children. But with Deadly Silence, the graphics are closer to those of the older games I'm used to and shouldn't present nearly the same onslaught of intense stimulus. Plus, I can play it while I'm on the go.
I'll let you know what I think after I've played through it a bit, but I'm still awaiting its arrival. However, like most games I order, I'm very much looking forward to it. The game promises a type of excitement I haven't experienced in quite a long while.
(Pics courtesy of IGN.com.)
(Courtesy of IGN.com.)
Just a heads-up, if you were ever wanting to try this game but didn't because you weren't sure if it was worth the full price, now might be a great time to pick up a copy. Circuit City currently has Rocket Slime on sale for $16.95. Be aware, though, that the game may still show the original price on the box, but it should scan up for the sale price at the register.
P.S. -- I got two copies for my & I to play, and so far the game's a blast.
It seems it's been a couple of months since I posted anything here. Well, school started up for me again in early January, which was about the time of my last blog post .
(Courtesy of IGN.com.)
So, what have I been up to with respect to gaming? Diddy Kong Racing DS. Yup, I got it. The story mode was a little tedious at times and downright grueling at others, but for the most part the game was very enjoyable. The online multiplayer, on the other hand, is very, very good, as is the single-card offereing -- the very best I've seen on the DS thus far.
Right now I'm awaiting the release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. I pre-ordered the games a few days ago for my wife & I. I talked her into playing alongside me, so we could share the experience. I think it'll be a lot of fun for us.
(Courtesy of IGN.com.)
But I can't wait `til then for another game -- come on! Enter Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. I had said to myself that if it came down in price I would likely give it a try, and when I saw it for $20 new the other day on Half.com I went ahead and ordered it. I'm still waiting for it to come, but I am very much looking forward to it. I actually am trying to talk my wife into getting her own copy of this game as well, so that we can take advantage of what promises to be some very fun mutliplayer gameplay.
(Courtesy of IGN.com.)
Yup, more chatter about JUMP Ultimate Stars. You probably don't need to read my review to have already gleaned that I love this game. But check it out anyway to find out why:
(Courtesy of Nintendo of Japan)
Click here to read the review.
(Courtesy of IGN.com)
Truly, I'm loving this game more & more everyday. I just got my WiFi USB adapter (ordered direct from Nintendo) yesterday, and have been having a ball with the online battles. Which brings me to the main purpose of this blog post...
If you've got the game and would be interested in playing a match or 3 with me, PM me your friends code. Mine is: 1632-9673-1005
Hope to hear from YOU soon!
Yup, it arrived with my mail yesterday, and here are my thoughts after my first day with the game:
Okay, now I'm getting the hang of it. I'm becoming a bit more accustomed to the controls, which are really wonderfully thought out. I was able to evolve several characters and make several decks. A couple of characters I evolved, however, I am not yet able to use -- not sure why. But I really like Nami, she's pretty cool. I evolved her 5 & 6 komas, and think she's going to be one of my regular battle characters.
I'll tell you what, though I cannot read most of what's there (or any of the Japanese whatsoever), this game's presentation is huge and like no other DS game I've played. In this one respect, every single other DS game released in America pales. The amazing amount of customization and the way it's all incredibly user friendly (for the Japanese-speaking audience) just put this game in a class way above anything else I know of. Now, we have some great games, don't get me wrong. But if JUMP Ultimate Stars was a game that came out in the U.S. this year -- it's likely that Elite Beat Agent, NSMB or any other game would have no chance of being Game of the Year.
The sprites look & animate a good step above those in Dawn of Sorrow, and though I'm usually one to prefer polygons, sprites really are perfectly suited for this game.
The gameplay is tremedously fun. The constant comparisons with Super Smash Bros. Melee are definitely not unfounded. It's just that -- like having SSBM on the DS.
It's a bit bewildering first turning it on and seeing all the Japanese, but already after the first day I'm making my way through most of the various menu options. By the way, before I forget to mention it, my wife and I played some of the single-card play last night. It's very fun and gives you a great taste of the game. However, the random decks are very limited, there's just the one background (Naruto), and it gets old quick. What the single-card offering does do very good though, is it makes you want to buy another copy of the game . It's still too soon really to talk much further in depth about the game or what I think of it, but so far I'm very happy I decided to import it.
One last thing, though, to make mention of: the music is absolutely fantastic! Best music soundtrack I've heard in a DS game yet. The opening song, especially, is amazing in the respect that it's on the DS. I sat there and let it run fully on the opening screen (the start screen, not the opening animation), and the sample is about a full 2 minutes long and it sounds great.
Well that's it for now. Look for my review in a couple of weeks after I (hopefully) complete the story mode, do some WiFi and generally experience the game more. -GD
(Courtesy of IGN.com)
I've been on the fence for a while, but this game just looks too good to pass up. I don't speak or read a lick of Japanese, but I'm going to take a dive off the relative deep end, with respect to gaming on the DS.
(Courtesy of Famitsu.com)
I've been reading one of the main published FAQs for the game, getting versed on komas, decks, gems and the whole J-universe; and I'll likely be submitting my order for the game next week from Play-Asia.
I'll try and post an update once it arrives. But until then you can check out what I think is one of the best video overviews of the game available right now: Jump Ultimate Stars video overview
Just an update to my DS collection of games...
My wife & I were up at Blockbuster looking for a couple of games for our daughter to play on her PS2 this Christmas, and while there I managed to also find a couple of good deals for myself:
True Swing Golf ($10 new)
Surprisingly fun, especially the single-card multiplayer. My wife & I have been enjoying this game for the last couple of evenings. I'd never played a round of real golf in my life, so I had to pay a visit to Wikipedia to brush up on the rules and such. But in no time I was having a lot of fun with the game.
Kirby Canvas Curse ($20 new)
I'd been wanting this game for quite a while, but held off because my son had just gotten Amazing Mirror and I didn't want to be competing with him and his favorite video-game personality. But now that it's been a while and the game came down in price I grabbed it up when I saw it.
It's a real treat as well, and as advertised, it's a very clever way to experience this sort of platformer. The colors are really beautiful to boot, and all the familiar Kirby themes are present. The presentation as well is really wonderful, with a shop that allows you to spend earned medals on all sorts of goodies, including unlockable characters. I know Sqeak Squad was just released, but this one is not one to forget about either. I'm really loving it.
That's it for now. My wife got me New Super Mario Bros. as my holiday gift, but I can't open it `til Christmas Day. Oh well, I'll get back to you on that one.
(All pics courtesy of IGN.com.)
Finally, it has come...
(Courtesy of IGN.com)
It was a long wait, and I must say that it was well worth it. After logging in about 8 hours of play I think it's safe to say that Square-Enix has hit the mark with Final Fantasy III for the DS.
That's right, after only a few days of owning Children of Mana (CoM), I sold it on Half.com -- shipped it this morning. Not a bad game, but not a great one either; and not something that I was really into.
(Pic courtesy of IGN.com)
Enter Elite Beat Agents (EBA). Just like my switch-a-roo with Phoenix Wright & Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (scroll down a couple of posts for more about that...), CoM is out and EBA is in; and just like my previous experience, I am much happier. EBA is fun and terribly funny. It's also got the most amazing presentation I've seen in a DS game yet. I'll be posting more as I play through it, but so far: thumbs up!
Well, I told myself not to do it, but I caved anyway and bought Children of Mana yesterday. What do I think thus far...? Well, the main character sprites would be nothing special on the GBA, let alone the DS. In addition, they have a negative effect on controlling the character. Diagonal movement is very difficult, and the gameplay is hampered significantly because of that.
The backgrounds and such are quite nice though, and the music is exceptional -- the best I've heard in a DS game thus far. There are many interesting gameplay elements that make the game fun, but there's still so much more that I think could have been done to bring this game up to par with the standards of a really good DS title.
(Pics courtesy of IGN.com)
I've only played a little over 3 hours so far, so take this preliminary critique for what it's worth. But thus far it's a mixed bag.
I finally took the plunge and got a copy of Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble. It was the game I had actually intended to buy at the time of buying Phoenix Wright, and after returning that -- having not really been in the mood for it -- I came back to the game I was originally excited about.
This is actually my first foray into the series, and that's probably a good thing. I'd heard that the console versions were pretty difficult, and stayed away because of that. I'm not one for impossibly-hard games. Double Trouble, however, had the promise of being more my speed, and after a fair amount of play I can say that such is the case. It's a whole lot of fun so far, and the way the DS is used to create puzzle elements is really unique. The game has a very neat feel to it, but I can see why IGN in particular had issues with its presentation. That aspect is definitely a bit sloppy, and it's a shame since the presentation is kind of the game's calling card. But looking past that, the gameplay is really fun and innovative.
I'll probably have a full review up in the not-so-distant future, but for now VJDT also gets my seal of approval.
(Note: Screenshots courtesy of IGN.com)
I was finally able to pick up Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (for the Nintendo DS) today, and it is a blast! As I write this I'm on floor 6 of the game. The DK boss battles are surprisingly more fun than they looked in some of the videos I watched prior to buying the game, but the thing that really jumps out at you is the game's presentation. It's perhaps the best I've seen yet on the DS; I especially appreciate the constant updates to the Help menu, which acquaint you with the various, new elements that pop up throughout the duration of gameplay.
I'm sure I'll want to write a full review for MvDK2 sometime down the road, but for now it has my seal of approval -- good stuff!
Yeah, my sons and I have become huge Naruto fans, "believe it!" I had considered getting the first Clash of Ninja for the Cube, but held out for the 2nd one because many folks suggested that there would be a lot more added to it. Anyway, my wife picked it up for us on release day (thank you, dear), and here are my thoughts about the game: