Sunday, November 30, 2008

In a mood for a [MASSIVE] rant!


First I want to get one thing clear: if you have an iPod and even have the slightest liking of rock music you should instantly get Nickelback's Dark Horse. It is by far the Canadian rockers' best yet and that's saying something because All The Right Reasons was phenomenal. I have to say that Nickelback are the most dynamic rock band I have ever heard. They are so inconsistent with their style of music. Silver Side Up, which made them famous through How Do You Remind Me, was the perfect example of progressive rock. Catchy riffs, melodic vocals and so on; never threading on non-progressive territory. The Long Road, which to me was mediocre compared to their previous compilation, went from strictly progressive to mainly monotonous crap; except maybe Someday. All The Right Reasons stuck all the right chords. All of the songs were singles-worthy and Nickelback knew this because they released six singles from the album! In this one they opened up their boundaries to more solid, heavier rock. Just listen to the intro to the first song and you wouldn't believe you're hearing from the creators of How You Remind Me.  Now after the astronomical success of ATRR Nickelback weren't afraid to change their sound again. They are oozing confidence and it shows because Dark Hose couldn't have been better. Their new sound has become darker and I am sure that through this Nickelback can catch heavy metal fan as well as the progressive modern rocker that has been following them since their beginning. Buy it NOW. No don't download it, buy it. It's well worth the price. Unlike Chinese Democracy... but that's for another rant.

Games (full of F-bombs):
Why are the so called 'hardcore' gamers so anti-Wii? Seriously. In every Wii-related article there will be comments from 360/PS3 owners claiming that their Wii is gathering dust somewhere. No. You're lying. You don't have a Wii and all you seem to like to do in your pathetic miserable and outright boring life is to bash your console's competitors to justify your purchase. Oh and one more thing: the Wii has more that just "Zelda, MP3, Super Mario Galaxy, Brawl and Kart" for the hardcore. Believe it or not there is a thing called third-party support! Yeah dude. So grab a Wii remote, buy de Blob/Okami/Boom Blox/Tauma Centre etc. and treat yourself to something other than a fucking shooter. 

Yeah I agree the Wii does have an overwhelming ammount of completely horrible minigame compilations. But I'll say just one thing: who the fuck cares. Simple: DON'T BUY THEM YOU FUCKING DUMBASS.  If you have a Wii it doesn't mean that you have to buy and play this shit. This year was the year of sleeper hits: we got Fire Emblem, de Blob, Okami and Boom Blox. Plus so much awesomeness from the WiiWare titles World of Goo, Lost Winds and the rest of top quality software available only on the Wii's downloadable service. 

This goes for the other consoles as well. The awesome Playstation 3 does not only have Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resistance. Those who only own those two only are failures in life. The Xbox 360 doesn't only have "Gears and Gaylo". Stop the god damn hate and be true gamers.

For a gamer there is only games. I am mainly a Nintendo gamer. Their games speak to me like no other but that doesn't mean that I don't like or play games on other systems. Nintonysoft FTW!

Other random shit:

A new mall just opened, The Duke, and I've noticed two very peculiar things:

- No Nike seller to be found. Just addidas with a huge Steven Gerrard poster and a Liverpool FC shirt on display. Fail. Epic Fail. 
- There is a Toshiba shop; mostly HDTVs. And how do you advertise an HDTV? By plugging a Wii in the set of course! To add insult to injury it was plugged through an RGB cable not component plus is was only showing the system menu. Why bother putting the Mario Kart disk in and letting the game loop the opening cinematic just for looks? Here's a little tip: plug the PS3 that's tanding next to the Wii. It can show 1080p. Or at least for fuck's sake put in Mario Kart and let the game loop.  Some people are just plain stupid.

Important Reminder:

Today - @ 2:30pm -  Man Utd vs Man City at the City of Manchester Stadium.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Androo's Random Rant: I'm sick, bored and helpless - play time then!!

Yes I am sick. So sick in fact that I had to make a mature decision - I decided to stay at home instead of going to lectures and such at University today to get better. I like making mature decisions; so much so that I'll probably make one again tomorrow!

Anyway since I am stuck here I thought it would be a good idea to pop out The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess [GameCube version] again since I haven't completed it once. I completed the Wii version twice but not the GC version. I honestly cannot believe how much this game is standing the test of time. It still plays, looks and feels so epic that I felt as if I was transported back in time, to Christmas '06, when I first fired it up and just stood there amazed at this fantastic piece of software.

I am currently at the beginning of the water temple - my least favourite of the nine temples in the game. I actually cannot wait to complete it; what follows is truly spectacular and worth watching. I'll link a video of the cutscene after the 4th temple [the turning point in the game] for those who care.

So many things have been done right in this game that I cannot phantom how Nintendo will improve upon the Zelda series. There are a few things I would like to see in the next LoZ game though:
- Voice overs [except Link];
- New items;
- Different level design: as in, change the normal mini-boss > new item > boss > kill boss with new item > cutscene etc etc;
- A deeper, darker storyline: TP has probably the best story of all Zeldas yet I'd love to see Nintendo go more into the RPG realm story-wise with the next one;
- Of course better visuals: push the Wii to the limit. If Galaxy is any indication the Wii can do so much that I'm dying to see how the next Zelda looks!

The series can benefit a lot if the story is deeper and the visuals are better. TP was a big step for the LoZ series. The [proper] Wii iteration, which supposedly has been in development since 2006, will blow our brains out I'm sure of that just like TP did in 2004 [look below - unbelievable].


Well, I'm waiting.


Friday, November 21, 2008

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: HBC successfully installed!

After exactly 17 attemps I have been able to install the Hombrew Channel via the Twlight Hack. I absolutely couldn't install it. Whatever I did, what ever I tried the Wii usually froze right before the "Install" screen appeared. Ultimately I found out that the SD card was the problem. Message to Ascer: YOU FUCKING SUCK! 

How to install and a demonstration of the HBC:

Anyway now that I have the HBC here is a little list of what I can actually do with the device:
- Homebrew apps/games;
- Play mp3/wma/ogg files;
- Play PS1/SNES/NES/N64 (as well as many others) ROMs completely free - goodbye Virtual Console;
- Manage files directly from my computer to my Wii;
- Without any hardware modifications I can actually play backups;
- many many many more applications that I cannot bother list.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Santa needs a big sack for me this year!

Here's the tiny list of the things I will be opening on the 25th of the coming month:

- Super VGA cable;
- Component cable for Wii;
- Loads of clothes for my wearing pleasure!!

I can add two other things there but that would be unfair because they will be downloaded not opened: WiiWare titles - World of Goo and T_t__s P_r_y. The last one I will be buying and downloading specifically to play with my girlfriend! Hence my desire to not reveal the name.

~ If you're a curious cat CLICK ON THE ITEMS you'd like to know more about!! Some of them pictures/videos/info linked to them. 


*     Already opened.
**   I'm hopeful...
*** Hopefully one or the other.

Friday, November 14, 2008

*UPDATE* October sales data are in: Wii shatters records once again!

Just before the official sales estimates (for America) were released Reggie Fils-Anime, President of Nintendo of America, predicted that the Wii would have sold around 450k in October. That is already quite a heafty number - extremely high expectations? Not quite. More like - way off the mark because the real figure is almost DOUBLE that. Un-farking-believable. Look:

Ninetendo Wii: 803,000;
Nintendo DS: 491,000;
Xbox 360: 371,000;
Sony PSP: 193,000;
PS3: 190,000;
PS2: 136,000.

Combined, both Nintendo devices on the market have sold 1.29 million units in October alone... in America alone. The PS2 - the best selling console EVER, didn't ever have this momentum. Very healthy for Nintendo. Software estimates have also been released with Fallout 3, for the Xbox 360, taking the top spot and deservedly so. Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit as well as Wii Play are still occupying top spots from the top ten list! I am amazed at the shelf life of these games. Wii Play is probably selling because of the Wii Remote packaged with it - which is cheaper that then stand-alone controller. *WTF?!*

UPDATE: Nintendo have released an official statement in reaction to the October NPD sales data:

Wii™ and Nintendo DS™ topped the U.S. sales charts and combined to sell more than 1.29 million units in October. Nintendo sold 803,210 Wii consoles and 491,176 Nintendo DS systems in October, according to the independent NPD Group, which tracks video game sales in the United States. These figures bring the lifetime U.S. sales for Wii to more than 13.35 million and Nintendo DS to more than 23.02 million, extending their leads as the best-selling hardware of this generation.

Nintendo’s total hardware unit sales represent a 25.7 percent increase over October 2007. They also account for 59.3 percent of the industry’s total hardware unit sales.

Wii Fit™, the game that combines fun and fitness, sold nearly half a million copies in the United States in October, six months after it launched. The lifetime U.S. sales for Wii Fit now total more than 2.83 million.

“Nintendo provides consumers with the best value not only among video games, but also among most entertainment options,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Nintendo also provides an incomparable range of experiences that everyone can enjoy, whether you’ve been playing for years or are just getting into video games.”

Three games made for Nintendo systems placed in the top five best-selling games of the month, including Wii Fit™ at No. 2 with 487,234 copies sold, Mario Kart Wii™ at No. 4 with 289,869 copies sold and Wii Play™ at No. 5 with 281,844 copies sold.


The world is currently deep in recession, especially America, and still the gaming market is shattering record after record. This must be one of the heathiest markets in the world. Brilliant!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Champions League Update 06/11/09

How English Clubs faired in Europe:

- Manchester United got a late equaliser through a Giggs header at Celtic Park.

- Arsenal were held to a goal-less draw by Fenerbache. The Gunners are struggling.

- Chelsea lost 3-1 to struggling Roma. Shameful.

- Liverpool, again, equalised by a scrupulous move by Gerrard and a clearly empty-headed referee which resulted in a penalty in injury time.

Surprises of the week:

- Juventus shamed Real Madrid with a 2-0 victory on Spanish turf.

- Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Basel.


A Nintendo themed Christmas

I want to take this opportunity to share with you why Nintendo is, for me, the best videogames company out there: honest-to-God fun. Whether it is their consoles or their games I always plan to get a Nintendo-developed something to open on Christmas morning, right after midnight mass. And I'm 19 years old.

The story begins during the turn of the century: Christmas 1999. I was only 10 years old back then and still without a videogame system even though I had been begging since 1997 when my friend got his PlayStation! My parents decided that I was mature enough to own one (read: I bore the hell out of them with endless rants on how, if they buy me a PlayStation, my school marks will magically skyrocket...). So long story short, I got my first console then and boy was I happy playing endlessly Crash Team Racing! Then, to coincide with my new console, I bought a videogame magazine and what do I read? That my favourite game of all time (from my limited memory of just 3 back then) was a "cheap imitation of Mario Kart 64" said this magazine. How dare they say that such brilliance in the form of CTR was a copy... a CHEAP one at that... or Mario Kart 64. I mean, Mario was for babies. Us, Sony gamers, had outgrown Mario (even though I hadn't played a Mario game in my life... yet)! I declared war.

Until, that is, March 2000 when I was given a Gameboy Colour - coupled with Pokemon Blue. I loved it. Adored it. Cherished it with all the love I could give it yet all this time feeling that subtle, humble anger that I had been cultivating since Christmas before. I DIDN'T want to love it, yet the simple charm of the handheld and the game made it impossible for me to hate. Anyway my PlayStation-owning friends all had a Gameboy so I wasn't a traitor right?

I bought another magazine. This time it had a list of the best 100 games of all time, of course released until then. And the first three spots where given to:

#3: Super Metroid [SNES];
#2: Super Mario 64 [N64];
#1: The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina of Time [N64];

I was stunned. Plus I also started to wonder whether my Nintendo-is-for-kids mentality was unfounded. After all, I was actually still a kid. Slowly I was being dragged over to the wonderful world of Nintendo but, stubborn as I was, I didn't buy the Nintendo 64. Then news hit that the next generation of consoles where on the horizon and I was psyched! The PlayStation 2 was hyped to astronomical levels while the GameCube, because of Nintendo's honesty, was dubbed as an inferior purple-lunchbox! Everyone was talking about the PS2 and the Nintendo GameCube was completely wiped out of my mind.

In 2003 I took the plunge and bought a PS2. I was in seventh heaven - especially after playing FIFA03. Being quite a football fan myself I was completely blown away by the incredible visuals the PS2 could offer. I mean... I could actually see David Beckham in all his free-kick-kicking(?) glory not a pixelated monster with a head, two arms and two legs! After I got bored of FIFA I wanted to broaden my collection with the PS2 iterations of my PS1 heroes - mainly the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series. This is when, I believe, was the turning point in my gaming life. Both Naughty Dog and Insoniac, developers of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro respectively, had sold their franchises in order to develop more, ahem, 'mature' titles for the PS2's cool teen audience. In defense of Insomniac, Rachet & Clank was and still is a far better offering than Spyro [PS1] ever was but Naughty Dog's Jak & Daxter left me wanting. Gone were the days of simple platforming and now Jak had a gun and was fighting the system.

Why Naughty Dog? Why? This trend has apparently gripped ND because with the PS3 they have apparently abandoned the J&D series in favour or a Lara Croft-style adventure but instead with a male protagonist - Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Again, why? This is not to say that they're not good. By far J&D is one of PS2's greatest ever games plus Uncharted was voted one of the best games of last year.

Yet the clumsy cheerfulness of the PS1 days, the very x-factor that made me love videogames so much, was missing. I was left empty.

To counter this I bought the Gameboy Advance. The system had incredible graphics coupled with, what I believe, is the very best RPG game(s) of all time: Golden Sun and it's sequel Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Plus Crash Bandicoot's GBA appearances were far better than the PS2 ones and I loved them. Guess what? I was getting my fix from a Nintendo console. Unbelievable.

Still though, something was clearly missing. One day, when visiting I didn't click on the IGN-PS2/GBA channel like always. Oh no. I clicked on the GameCube channel. I was sinning!! There was my fresh new copy of Final Fantasy X [PS2] waiting to be played and loved and there was I, stepping onto the world of the enemy. But I didn't care. I downloaded a video of Super Mario Sunshine and I was completely hooked. THIS is what I was searching for. That colourful cheesiness which made me so content during the PS1 days. This is what makes videogames such a beautiful hobby. If I were sad all I had to do, back in 1999, was fire up my PlayStation and play some cheerful Spyro the Dragon. All my sadness was wiped away in an instant! And that was it.

I wanted a GameCube. I wanted a Nintendo console. I wanted fun. Goodbye old friend. I hadn't outgrown the PS2, instead the PS2 had, for purposes I cannot even phantom today, outgrown me.

Yet again, before I bought my first Nintendo console, I bought my third Nintendo handheld: the incredible Nintendo DS. Christmas 2004 was a very bright one. I bought it, coupled with Super Mario 64 DS what a blast it was. For one thing I was played what many regarded as the best game of all time on a new Nintendo handheld. This was proof that I was a dedicated Nintendo fan. Why? I got it before it actually launched in Europe. A trend had started.

Christmas 2005 (yes I know... very late) was a landmark year in me. I bought the Nintendo CameCube, with it The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Super Mario Strikers and Killer 7. Add to that the Nintendo DS iteration of Mario Kart and I can safely say that it was the best Christmas I ever had. This was my world, this was me.

Christmas 2006 was a bit disappointing. Mainly because I couldn't find a Wii through any online retailer anywhere and eBay prices where sky high. Yet there was still New Super Mario Bros., arguable the best Nintendo DS game ever, and the almighty The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. It wasn't such a bad Christmas after all!

I got the Wii in February of the following year which made Christmas 2007 all the better because I bought the two greatest games I ever played - ever. One of them demolishing anything in it's best-game-ever path: Super Mario Galaxy, the other being Metroid Prime 3. SMG is the best Mario game ever developed, the best Wii game and the best game on all consoles period. The gameplay was so fresh that I couldn't believe my eyes. Plus this game looked magnificent. Metroid Prime 3 is truly the best ending to an incredible trilogy a fan could hope for. Samus truly left with a bang!

So what's for Christmas 2008? Mario Kart Wii. I am a hardcore fan of Mairo Kart having bought all available iterations except the SNES version because it hasn't been released for the Virtual Console yet. I wanted to buy MKWii since its launch in April but I cancelled my order three times because of several reasons, one of them to keep it for Christmas. Even better - my girlfriend is getting it for me! 

Seriously, I cannot imagine a Christmas without Mario and co., without Nintendo. Thank you Nintendo, from the bottom of my heart.

Your diehard fan,

PS: I'm sure many of you guys out there feel like me. Share your experiences in the comments section below. I'll try to make a seperate post with your stories once I get a significat amount of feedback!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Report: Man Utd 4, Hull City 3 - Old Trafford stunned, Rooney frustrated, Sir Alex fumes despite win!

"If there was an abiding memory from this match, it was not the sight of Hull City making such a dramatic late fight of it, as plucky as it may have been; Dimitar Berbatov bamboozling his markers, as good as he was; or Manchester United missing a mind-boggling number of chances, as has often been the case this season. Rather it was Wayne Rooney, the embodiment of frustration, charging around like a madman.

Opposing teams tend to know when they have United rattled – when steam starts coming out of Rooney’s ears and the brilliant forward suddenly resembles a bull in a china shop. And so it proved, the moment that Geovanni scored from the penalty spot for Hull to leave hanging in the balance a match that the Barclays Premier League champions should have had sewn up long before.

Rooney has delivered some of the best football of his career for club and country this season, but just as he possesses an ability to excite and enthral, so his occasional recklessness can make supporters wince and cringe – and for two of United’s past three league matches this side of Rooney’s character has manifested itself. Can it be any coincidence that he has not scored in those games?

Anonymous away to Everton the previous weekend, Rooney was substituted for his own good by Sir Alex Ferguson when, having just been booked against his former club and with the score at 1-1, the 23-year-old was spotted kissing the badge on his shirt as his exasperation got the better of him. Ferguson did not take the same drastic action against Hull on Saturday, but he should have done.

The United manager complained – rightly – that Michael Turner, the Hull defender, who had already been cautioned, should have been shown at least a second yellow card for fouling Michael Carrick on the edge of the penalty area, but Ferguson might count himself fortunate that Rooney was not dismissed two minutes after Geovanni had made it 4-3.

Nothing went Rooney’s way against Hull, which is saying something given United’s dominance, and it showed. Contesting a drop-ball with George Boateng, the Hull captain in the absence of the suspended Ian Ashbee, Rooney launched in with both feet. It was nasty and dangerous, but Mike Dean, the referee, barely had time to blow his whistle when the ball ricocheted into the path of Andy Dawson and Rooney flew in with an equally reckless challenge.

If Rooney was lucky to escape with a booking, it was a wonder that he was allowed to stay on the pitch after directing a volley of abuse at one of Dean’s assistants, then the fourth official.

Phil Brown, the Hull manager, attempted to defend Rooney by saying that “maybe we need to look at that and instil that kind of anger, that drive and desire to win, in our players”. But watching the forward blow his shaven-headed top like that, it is hard to escape the feeling that such behaviour is detrimental to the team, especially on occasions such as these, when cool heads are required.

“The referee didn’t know who should have possession so I said give it to United and let them give it back to our goalkeeper, but Rooney didn’t want that – he wanted to compete for it [and take a drop-ball],” Boateng said. “I said, ‘Fine, let’s do it’ and then he lost it a bit. He’s a temperamental player, one who plays from the heart. He is an outstanding footballer, but he gets frustrated when things aren’t going right.

“You can’t take that out of him because it’s part of what makes him so determined to win – he’s got fire. But that’s when they realised they had a game on their hands. We had them rocking in the last ten minutes.”

They did, but how United found themselves in such an “embarrassing situation”, as Ferguson described it, was mystifying and a little worrying.

As inspired as Bernard Mendy’s introduction was – the Hull substitute capitalised on a poor back-header from Patrice Evra to make it 4-2 and won the penalty, after being upended by Rio Ferdinand, from which Geovanni scored – United’s failure to put the game to bed was a source of frustration for Ferguson for the third match running.Despite battering Everton during the first half at Goodison Park, United had only a one-goal lead to show for their supremacy and were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw, while Ferguson was critical of his players for taking their foot off the pedal against West Ham United in midweek and not adding to their two first-half goals.

It would be churlish to be too critical of a team who scored four times against Hull, but their profligacy was marked – Ferguson was not guilty of exaggeration when he said that the game could have finished 10-1 – and with Chelsea already boasting a goal difference that is more than double that of the champions, the United manager will hope such wastefulness does not come back to haunt his side.

On the plus side, Cristiano Ronaldo plundered another two goals to take his tally for the season to seven in 11 matches, even if the Portugal winger might have had five, Carrick impressed on his first start for seven weeks and Berbatov produced his best performance in a United shirt, one that left Brown purring. “That’s why the saga [with Tottenham Hotspur over the forward’s transfer] went on so long and United ended up having to pay over £30 million for him,” the Hull manager said.

What the Premier League’s surprise package lack in skill, they more than make up for in character and pride. They were the first team to score three goals at Old Trafford since Chelsea 3½ years ago, but Hull are likely to get under the skin of plenty more teams this season. Just ask Rooney." - James Ducker,


Side note: This was really a football fan's match to see. The European Champions were almost embarrassed by Premier League newcomers in the Theatre of Dreams! Hull City are here to stay and thank God for that. They are a team worthy of the EPL status.

Also in the League Liverpool (aka the scousers) lost to bottom of the table Tottenham Hotspur which saw them loose their first place seat to Chelsea. Liverpool to win the EPL? People talked WAY too soon. Liverpool are on one leg just by loosing Torres. No depth in squad = no PL trophies!

Britain has a new F1 champion in Hamiltom! he almost lost it but the lad came fifth in the final corner of the track. Incredible last moments of the race. Congrats to him!