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JordanElek Blog

The devil went down to Indiana and got his little spikey tail kicked

For the last month, I haven't played Guitar Hero 3 much. It's not that I got bored with it or that I didn't have time or that other great games took its place. It's that I was stuck on Lou on Expert. Every time I turned the game on, I had to try to beat Lou at least a couple of times, and I'd end up being royally pissed off and in danger of breaking my fist against random objects, including my own head. I wonder what it'd be like to knock myself out with my own fist.... Luckily, it never came to that.

I decided to set my camera up today because my friends say I look funny when I really get into Guitar Hero. While it was set up, I thought, you know what.... I bet if I record myself playing Lou, I'll beat him after only a couple of tries. Things change when the camera is on.... That's just a fact of life. I needed some kind of intervention if I was ever going to beat this stupid boss battle.

So here's my bad quality, poorly edited video of the greatest day in my life since... I don't know... yesterday. You can't even begin to see the notes because of a glare, and the clicking is too loud, but enjoy it anyway. :evil:


IGN and the electric chair

IGN has recently published a few exclusive previews of one full game (The Conduit) and two WiiWare titles from developer High Voltage.

I'm seriously starting to wonder how much High Voltage is paying IGN (or rather, promising to pay after they get some money). All of these glowing previews for decent games at best seem a little sketchy. Just look at this opening paragraph from the latest preview, crazy parts emphasized:

Development studio High Voltage Software is on a roll. In the last week alone, it debuted exclusively with IGN The Conduit, a technology-pushing first-person shooter designed from the ground up for Wii, and Gyrostarr, a psychedelic WiiWare launch effort packed with 50 levels of shooting mayhem. But the company isn't quite done. Today, we're able to bring you the first look at its second WiiWare title, an ambitious game that looks like a warped cross between Viva Pinata and Resident Evil. It's called Animales de la Muerte (Animals of the Dead) and it's one of the most exciting titles scheduled for Nintendo's download service. You might want to sit down as we explain the premise, especially if you fancy yourself a gamer with bloodlust.Matt Cassamassina

When we look at these games without buying into IGN's hyperbolic descriptions, we see that they're really nothing special, at least not at this point. But the IGN guys are making the exclusivity and exaggerations way too obvious for comfort. The worst part is that people are actually falling for it. People have been saying that the graphics in High Voltage's tech demo rival those of the PS3 and 360. All I can say is, ".....wha??"

I hope High Voltage's games turn out to be good, because I have nothing against good games. But don't buy into whatever IGN feeds you. Use your eyes and your brain to see what's really there.

Best of the Wii Forum - now monthly

I've been thinking about this for awhile now. Making this a monthly feature will give me more time to find threads and more threads to choose from. I've been struggling to find even three threads per week, not really because there's been a lack of quality threads, but more because I've been busy.

I know what you're thinking.... First it was weekly, then bi-weekly, now monthly.... it won't last past May. I've never done anything like this before, so I had to give myself some time to gauge how to go about it. Three-and-a-half months tells me that weekly is too often. And three-and-a-half months never lies.

Look for the next edition next week.

Critic of RE5 trailer accidentally compliments our generation

Edit: Make sure to read the original MTV article in its entirety. He directly addesses several of the issues that you guys have brought up in your comments.

According to GamePolitics, Newsweek's video game writer, N'Gai Croal, blasts the Resident Evil 5 trailer for having racist imagery:

"I was like, 'Wow, clearly no one black worked on this game.' …The point isn't that you can't have black zombies. There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with cIassic racist imagery. What was not funny, but sort of interesting [about the controversy], was that there were so many gamers who could not at all see it. Like literally couldn't see it…"

I don't know about you, but that last sentence seems more like a compliment to me. It reminds me of the episode of South Park where the kids just don't see why their town's flag, which features a black stick figure being hanged while several white stick figures celebrate, is racist. They don't even notice the colors of the people on the flag until it's pointed out to them.

When I watch the RE5 trailer, I don't see a white guy killing a bunch of black people - I see a cop killing a bunch of zombies. Their race is only an afterthought. There are white and black zombies in the other RE games, and I honestly never even thought about that fact until this very moment.

So Mr. Croal is right. Some of us literally can't see the racist imagery in this trailer. Is that a bad thing?

Best of the Wii Forum - Weeks 13-14

Before I get to the good stuff, I have to rant a bit about something bad. I realized this week that I hate the word waggle. If anyone is actually waggling their Wii remote, they're not using it right. People only use that word to exaggerate any kind of poor motion controls. It's the same strategy people use too often to make fun of anything.... "Basketball is stupid, all you do is shoot a little ball through a little hoop! Video games are stupid, if I want to shoot people and have superpowers, I'll just go in my backyard and do it!" So stop exaggerating the simplicity of something to make it seem worse than it is.

On a brighter note, we saw some of the best threads in the history of the Wii forum this week. No joke. The top three are all leaps and bounds above your average thread. Here are the best threads from the weeks of March 23 - April 5:

4. Non-JRPG please...who's with me?
- by heffy79

This is one of those threads that I thought would be nothing more than "who eltse want RPGs on the wiii?? i like obivlion." I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked on it and saw a description of what he wants and even an explanation of why Western RPGs would be perfect for the Wii. And the discussion is pretty good, too. Check this one out.

3. Worries About Third Party Titles Failing on Wii Are Needless Worries
- by Jaysonguy

The first post of this thread is decent at best, but it sparked some of the best discussion we've seen in the Wii forum in quite awhile, despite some tiresome circular arguing at times.

2. This is an absolute MUST read
- by bob_newman

This thread makes the list because the article in question is pretty good. I think a lot of people only praised it so much because it's the longest gaming article they've ever read, but the author does do a good job of outlining Nintendo's basic business strategy as of late. It didn't spurn as much discussion as I was hoping for, though (too many "Great read! .. but I have nothing to say about it" responses).

1. Strange Habits in Gaming
- by ZumaJones07

This thread is a joy to read from start to finish. That's all I really need to say about it.

Best of the Wii Forum - Week 12

It was another blah week. I think most forum-goers are still playing the hell out of Brawl, and I don't blame them. I've been doing the same thing. And I'll take this opportunity to thank Lark Anderson again for setting up SSBB Saturday. Not very many people showed up, but it was still fun. Several matches lagged out, but we just made the most of those times and either screwed around in the game or talked in the chatroom. Good times were had by all.

Back to the Wii forum.... Yeah, this week wasn't too exciting. I only have three threads, and one of them shouldn't have even made the list. I was desperate to find the best threads from the week of March 16-22, though, and here they are:

3. We are getting less VC games for a reason
- by gamer6464

The argument in this topic is nothing new, but it comes packaged with a link to a good article, and it spawned some good discussion as well. The grammatically incorrect title irks me a bit, but I think nearly a decade of forum reading has given me a tiny bit of patience in that area. ;)

2. Wii Games That You Think Everyone Should Be Tracking
- by Haziqonfire

Haziq's all about talking about the future, and this is just another clever way of doing it. These topics always bring a sense of hope to the forum, since they remind us that the world does not end with Brawl.

1. Brawlblems
- by Galaxy2322

The only reason I'm highlighting this thread is for the title. I love it. It's clever, it's fun to say, it has two b's in it. You can't beat that.

Reggie said something mysterious again... Yippee.

I can hardly hold in my excitement. Reggie wouldn't say these games are secret unless they're going to be the greatest games of all time, would he?

Yes. He would. (Don't know what I'm talking about? Click here.)

If you're a Wii forum regular, brace yourself for the coming onslaught of "E3 surprise" threads. Last year, we had to deal with the September Surprise, which never really came to fruition. People blew it out of proportion and were consequently pissed off in the end.

I'm not doubting that Nintendo will announce (and probably show) some new games at E3, but I am doubting that it will meet expectations. Reggie's job is to get people excited about his company, so he says, "We have games that everyone is going to be excited about." That's a paraphrase but really isn't too far from a quote. He doesn't reveal any details, so the possibilities are endless. But we have no reason to assume that these games will be the greatest in videogame history. Just because they're "secret" doesn't mean they're going to be amazing.

We all have our hopes. One of my biggest hopes is for another Pikmin game. But in all honesty, Pikmin is a certainty, so I don't care if it's announced at E3 or not. The Wii's controls and demographic and the game's styIe are perfect for each other. Whether it comes sooner or later, I don't really care. Just as long as it comes sometime.

My advice is that we don't get caught up in the hype too much. It's okay to be excited about what Nintendo has in store for the future, but it's not going to help to assume that Nintendo is going to deliver all of these specific games that we want, only to find out at E3 that the actual games aren't what we were expecting.

Got my GH3 replacement disc


I only had to wait two weeks.... about what I expected.

The sound issues are indeed fixed, and it's obvious. You can actually hear the clank when you miss notes now, several other sound effects that were either quiet or missing altogether now sound fine, and the bass doesn't drop out when you use star power. I'm satisfied.

Best of the Wii Forum - Weeks 9, 10, 11

I've been too busy for the last couple of weeks to properly sort through all the Wii forum threads. The one thread that I have bookmarked is too old to even matter any more. And now all my Wii forum time is spent locking Brawl threads.... And I'm going on vacation this week.

Hopefully by the time I get back, the forum won't be cluttered with Brawl stuff. Sorry for being a slacker, but it happens.