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Michael-Redd-22 Blog

The Wii U: Innovation taken too far?

Back when the Wii was released back in 2006, within the first week I had purchased one (having to spend an all nighter outside of a mall waiting for them to open the doors, and prior to that I had proclaimed the Wii to be the winner of the console war, praising it's much smaller price point and the innovation behind the motion sensing controls. How foolish I felt later on. My first game was the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a game which I loved and have down as one of the best games I have ever played, and the motion controls certainly played a part in that... but from there, the Wii lost me. I would purchase games as time went on, but none blew my mind. The motion controls felt more like a gimmick than anything else and before long, I stopped playing it pretty much altogether and ended up purchasing a PS3.

I love Nintendo and their products. I am a non-biased gamer when it comes to the market: I'll play any console as long as the games are good. My first console ever was a Game Boy Color, which I deeply cherished and spent many an hour playing. Over the years, I've bought numerous Nintendo systems: Game Boy Advance, the SP version, the DS, DSi and 3DS, and the Wii.

That being said, Nintendo seems to have lost their grasp with what the average gamer wants nowadays. Their stance towards online play, at this point, is completely ignorant. People love playing online: before my PS3/360, I was one of those people that never thought I would get into online gaming, partially due to cost, but also due to enjoying single player/split screen experiences. Sony and Microsoft changed my perspective on that completely and I've never had more fun gaming than I do now.

For Nintendo to continue to shoot down any chance to make their online portion more than functional, kills me. I have no doubt they can continue to dominate the handheld market, but their console market is going to suffer if they can't figure out that people LOVE playing online.

But for the topic at hand: when is innovation taken too far? Nintendo blew my mind with the DS and the Wii. Touch screen gaming seemed odd, to say the least, but I took a great liking to it and have enjoyed it greatly since its release. The Wii, equally, seemed amazing, hence why I took such great liking to it and proclaimed it to be the console winner before it had even launched.

The Wii U, in my mind, has taken the innovation factor too far. Case in point: the controller.

The innovation is certainly there. Does it look interesting? By all means, but at the same time it raises questions as to what Nintendo is trying to do. They've already said that the Wii U will only require one of these controllers due to the cost of producing and therefore selling them, and they don't want to make the consumer pay an arm and leg to be able to play with friends. That screams "fail" right off the bat. If I'm going to buy a console like this, then I would want to take advantage of everything it has to offer, including playing games with friends and seeing what kind of capabilities the controller has to offer. But games might not even support multiple controllers of the Wii U? That's not good.

Again, Nintendo is so hell-bent on giving innovation that they fail to see the real problems. Their third party support, while improved, is still mediocre compared to what the 360 and PS3 consistently get. Nintendo is notorious for their poor relationship with third party developers, and that will prove to be costly if they ever plan on making it back into the thick of the console war. Online play, as already stated, is a major issue, and will continue to haunt them until they make it at least competitive with Microsoft and Sony.

Gaming consoles, at heart, are for gaming. They can continue to innovate all they want, but if they don't release enough quality titles, or too many that just come off as a gimmick, then people aren't going to keep purchasing their home consoles, and the people who do will resort to again leaving it be and gathering dust. Will Nintendo figure it out, or will Microsoft and Sony shut them out of the console war altogether? It certainly doesn't look great for the once dominant Nintendo (home console market-wise).

About my review + other things

I'd like to start by saying that my review for The Book of Basketballis coming within the next few days. I finally got a chance to finish it last night and I'm hoping to have the time to write it.

A few notes: ANYONE WHO PLANS ON READING THIS BOOK, OR ARE CURRENTLY READING THIS BOOK, DON'T READ THIS REVIEW! I'm going to go over each chapter, summarizing it and putting in my own two cents as to what I thought about it and if I agreed/disagreed with Bill Simmons, and reading this review will be a major spoiler.

But anyways, aside from the book, I celebrated my 19th birthday on June 25th. A pretty modest thing, just had a family dinner (and unfortunately had to work, but oh well).

And the NBA Union here on Gamespot has been going strong, with new members joining every single day, and I encourage all my friends here to join!

A Review of a Different Sort

Wow, strange writing a blog after so long (yeah, like I haven't said that enough >_>), but regardless, I thought of doing something different. You see, instead of doing a game review, as per typical with me and most people on the site, I decided to do a review on... a book. Not just any book, but Bill Simmons Guide to Basketball.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, I'd like to note that I haven't actually finished the book yet. This is just a blog to talk about what the review will pertain to. I haven't made it very far, but aside from Bill Simmons attempting to joke a TAD bit much, he really does know what he's talking about, and it's interesting hearing everything from his point of view, and trying not to show his Boston Celtic bias included.

Essentially, the review will talk about agreeing/disagreeing with his opinions, and essentially talking about whether he does in fact know the game of basketball as described. Thus far, I have to give the thumbs up about that.

Meanwhile, the Boston/LA series is becoming very intense, the Lakers down 2-3 going back to Los Angeles. Will Kobe get the support he needs out of his team to win his fifth championship? Or will the Celtics finish them on the road and win the franchise's 18th championship?

Finally, to cap this off, I would like ALL my friends to look at joining the NBA Union here on Gamespot. It's a great union that's unfortunately not getting the attention and amount of posts it deserves. There's a great bunch of people there willing to talk about basketball, and I fully intend on making improvements when my time prohibits.

Well that's about it. The review should be on by the end of the month or so, depending on if I can finish the 700+ page behemoth of basketball. If not, expect it sometime in early July at the latest.

Just Getting the Word Out... + Got My Movie

Okay, so I haven't really been showing my face on here as much as usual, and part of that has been because of my joining of this great website called the the L.A. Minute. Basically it's about LA sports, but it also talks about anything that's happening in any sport, plus it has a nice little off-topic section for people to post in.

We've been looking for quality posters than will actually put in the time to post on a fairly consistent basis, so as long as you come there, and hell, put a post or two it, that's a great step forward. Right now we have 20 members, and activity is fairly high amonst them, so hopefully, for anyone who actually reads my blogs, will at least try to join and see if you like it. I'll definitely put in a good word for everyone.

Here's the link.

Also, I got the DVDs I ordered, and let me tell you; Dexter is an incredible show. Some characters you will love, others you will hate. The story is incredibly captivating, dark, but with a touch of humor, and the plot twists will leave you shocked by the end. I recommend it to anyone, unless blood really grosses you out. I ordered Dexter Season 2 already, and I really can't get enough of this show. Definitely one of my favorites now.

Well, that's all. For those of you who want to join the LA Minute, contributions there are nice, and remember to tell other friends who are interested in sports and whatnot to join. It's definitely worth it.

Bought some new stuff + I FINALLY LEVELED UP!!!

So yeah, I finally got to level 23. Felt like it took forever! Haha, with that out of the way, I decided to get two things, one that I think will be a keeper forever, the other will at least be entertaining.

First off, I decided to get a nice water bottle, since all the old ones I've had either broke or just aren't very good. I decided to invest a little bit and buy a 32 oz Nalgene water bottle, which is very nice.

Pretty nifty if I say so myself? Plus it has BPA, which basically guarantees my liquids never taste like plastic or anything like that. Hopefully this baby lasts me forever!

My second purchase was Season 1 of a Showtime series I'm very fond of, called Dexter. The plot is basically about this blood splatter scientist that works for the FBI, but has the dark secret of also being a serial killer. Basically he kills those that can't be convicted. Either way it's a pretty awesome show.

So yeah, that's all. First blog in a while.

Weekly Blog: Numero Tres (Prom Edition)

Like the heading says, this is the prom edition of my blog. After getting our gym prepared since Wednesday, we finished decorating it late Friday so it was ready. I guess a recap of the events would be the best way to do it.

Saturday morning: I guess it was due to being excited, but I woke up at around 8:30 and couldn't fall back asleep, so I got up at nine and just got prepared. Then my best friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go to his house until we got ready for the Prom Court dinner (the court got together and went to eat at a fancy restaurant). So I hung around his house until about four, then we got dressed up and went to pick up some other people, including the girl I was going with, Jessica (she looked really really pretty, and I will post pictures of her, myself, and others ASAP!).

So, we went out to eat, and afterwards we took pictures at the lake just behind the restaurant. So we finished all that at around six or so, so we headed back to my friends' cousin's house, and drove over to the school at around 6:45. Everyone on court worked on the intros we were using before the Coronation that was scheduled at 11. A lot of people showed up, and it was just a lot of fun, even though I'm really not an outgoing person.

After dancing and stuff for like THREE HOURS lol, we finally got ready for the coronation. Our intro was pretty awesome (we went out to Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard, which was hilarious). The king ended up being my best friend and the queen was the girl I went with. So after the dance commerating the new king and queen, just about everyone left. A lot of people including myself went to the afterparty that was at the bowling alley near our school. That was pretty fun as well, though by the end of it everyone was exhausted and it was like 2:30-3:00 in the morning by the time everyone left. Afterwards I went back to my friend's house and stayed there.

So yeah, pretty fun. It was a totally new experience for me, and I really enjoyed it. Actually, looking back, I regret not going to prom the last two years. Anyhoo, I'll post one pic for now!

My friend and I. (I'm on the right)

My date (Jessica) and I (not the best picture, but the only available one for now)

So yeah, it was AWESOME!!!

Weekly Blog: Numero Dos

Haha, already on Week 2? Feels like I just wrote the first one yesterday! Oh well, time for the updates.

Besides doing what I mentioned last week, I've been reading a lot lately. While it is enjoying, another reason is that I need to read books to get points for my English class on a thing called Accelerated Reader. Basically we read books that have the AR sticker on the side, and once we're finished with them, take a test on one of the school computers. The only problem I've had is finding books that are both enjoyable and worth a decent amount of points, but I've been getting it done.

I'm still watching Scrubs and House, but I've also, of course, been watching the NBA Playoffs! Aside from the Chicago/Boston and Philadelphia/Orlando series, the rest have been blowouts. Not the most exciting thing to watch. I've been really impressed with Derek Rose. Give him another year or two, and he might be mentioned with names like Chris Paul and Deron Williams.

I also got my Nintendo DSi on Friday, and I've been really happy with it so far. Prior to this I owned the original DS, which in my mind was always a pretty well-made device, but the DSi has made me realize its flaws. First off, I love the Matte finish on the DSi. It looks nice, doesn't have marks all over it when you use it, and you can't get anything noticable on it unless you're really uncareful.

The screen difference is also noticable. The sizes of the screens on the DSi have received a noticable face lift, and it makes it a lot easier to play it without it being weary on the eyes.

I haven't gotten an opportunity to mess with the DSi Shop or the Web Browser yet, but as soon as I can connect my DSi to an internet source I'll inform on that. The camera, the biggest addition to the DSi, isn't spectacular in any way, but it works well enough, and it is definitely a lot of fun using the different options (the distortion can be really hilarious, though I noticed it's also kind of creepy on some pics). I'll be sure to post some pictures using my DSi in the future so you guys can see the quality for yourselfs.

The DSi also records sound, which can be pretty fun as well. I haven't messed around with it too much, but I could forsee it being something fun to do if you're really bored.

All told, the DSi is pretty awesome. The battery life might be a little lower than I'd like, and the face buttons (A, B, X, Y) are a little too small for my taste, but I kinda hate the placement of the start and select button. Other than that, the DSi is a great handheld, and for those who don't have a DS yet, and don't have a big GBA library or just don't care about being able to play GBA titles, the you can't go wrong with the DSi.

Well, that's pretty much it for me this week. Prom is coming up this Saturday... I'm really nervous, but a little excited as well. I'm hoping that all goes off without a hitch, because I'd rather not make an ass of myself! :D

Weekly Blog: Numero Uno (the Beginning)

So yeah, I've decided to go back to doing these weekly blogs. I really like doing these blogs, even if they don't get many comments, so I guess leave your feedback, whether it be positive or negative, because either way I'll be doing them.

First off, school has been a bore fest for me these last few weeks. I mean, in only one of my classes are we doing something that's actually making me use my head, that class being Geometry (I'm notoriously bad at anything that involves Math). Otherwise, I'm not doing much. Biology 2 has been at least somewhat eventful, mostly because as of late we've been getting quite a few labs and projects to do. As a matter of fact, we just got three different projects today which are due in two days, so that'll be interesting.

I also have a Spanish 2 class, which is interesting to say the least. We don't learn a whole lot in there... my teacher is pretty terrible. But it's only a class of three, so it's probably my most fun class of the day. My teacher's been out for about a month with a broken leg, so we literally did nothing in their throughout March, which was pretty awesome.

I have an American History class, which is pretty fun. We've been watching Band of Brothers in there, which is awesome, and I recommend that all that read this blog to watch it.

There really isn't anything else worth mentioning... we started playing Volleyball in my Phy. Ed class, which is actually pretty fun IMO, and in my English class we've just been reading a lot lately. So yeah, school's been really boring for the last few months.

That being said, I have other things to talk about. I usually spend a decent amount of time during the school week playing video games, and lately I've been playing a lot of NBA 2K9. I absolutely love the Association Mode, and I've made some great changes to the Bucks to make them a better team. Right now I'm totally dominating on Hall of Fame mode, my defense is getting better, and my offense usually does well. So yeah, good stuff. Oh, and Left 4 Dead has also been in my 360 quite a bit. I encourage all of you to try that game out as well. The multiplayer is freakin awesome!

Besides watching basketball, I've been getting in some time watching other television, and lately I've been getting back into watching Scrubs. I've heard a lot of people bash it, but I've always found it to be pretty funny, aside from Dr. Cox's huge rants. I've also been getting into House, which is another medical show. It has really intriguing cases, and it's also really funny.

So yeah, that's what been going on in my life. I've been playing a lot of basketball lately as well, and I've been getting a lot better in terms of consistency. I guess that's it for my first blog, so imput would be nice. To end this, here's a funny video about Monkey News.

My New Handheld!!!

I just ordered a Nintendo DSi off of Amazon.com! I'm looking to expand my library of DS games (I already own quite a few, but I'm looking for some newer games to play). Any advice would be appreciated.

For now, here's some pics to hold my anxiety.

SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!

Need Some Advice + Cool News

Okay, to start off, I need some advice. My iPod Classic, which I bought less than a year ago, just took a crap on me. It's totally dead, so I've been saving up bit by bit for another MP3 player, but I'm not sure what to get. Here's what I've been looking at, but if you would like to add something else I'll be sure to consider it.

The Zune 120. When my iPod died, my friend let me borrow his first generation Zune, and I've really enjoyed using it. The Zune itself is awesome, but the Zune software is just so much better than iTunes. I cannot stress just how much I hate iTunes, so this was kind of a breath of fresh air for me. Getting a Zune 120 is probably my top choice right now, given it's relatively affordable price and the nice amount of space, but I'm still considering other choices. Case in point:


The iPod Touch. Yeah, while I do hate iTunes, I would deal with it if it meant owning this baby. I borrowed a Touch from another friend a while back for the hell of it, and it was tough letting it go. The apps are brilliant, the touch screen functionality is a blast, and everything is just awesome about it, especially the Safari web browser. Still, I would have to get a 32 GB just to hold everything, and that would set me back about $350, so I'm very hesitant about getting one, especially considering the hardware failure I just had with my ****c (which guarantees that I will get a warranty on a Touch if I purchase it).

Those are my top two choices right now, so please comment on those that I mentioned, or if there's something else you think I should consider.

On to the cool news: in early January I found out I'm going to be on Prom Court at the end of April. I was really surprised that I actually made it on, and I'm pretty excited about it. I found out who I'm going with... which makes me kinda nervous lol. Her name's Jessica, and she's probably the nicest, hottest girl in our grade, so like I said, I'm pretty nervous, but looking forward to it at the same time.

Well, that's all I got. It's been a really long time since I've written a blog, so this feels pretty nice. I hope to post more in the future.

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