The video game industry has relied heavily on video game mascots since the days of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, but this generation might be the first generation that has forgotten how to make a great kid-friendly, yet universally appealing mascot. This generation is filled with ultra-realism or space marine action (not that there's anything wrong with those games) yet traditional video game characters are being ignored even though I believe there's still room for the typical anthropomorphic heroes and cartoon human protagonists. From the top of my head, I can think of only 3 new characters this year that can achieve mascot status.
Sackboy could eventually become Sony's equivalent of Sonic or even Mario as a character that can define the company. Sackboy is just the most recent creation Sony can call their own, but Sony has probably been the most aggressive company in the past several years when it comes to creating fresh characters to compete with Nintendo's stack of 80s and 90s stalwarts. After Sony ditched Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, they just ramped it up last generation with Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, and Sly Cooper. This generation, the only new boy in town is Sackboy, but give him credit for being pretty good at his craft. He's a master of disguise and damn near adorable, something we need to see more often.
The Rabbids are really more of a race than a single character, but they've managed to screw Rayman over by taking over the Ubisoft mascot scene. Yes, they're mostly about minigames, but at least a little bit of love is put into the games unlike the tsunami of half-assed minigames during the Wii's early days. Maye the Rabbid craze has faded a bit due to overexposure, but they can still make me laugh... maybe it's because they're the most French of the mascots we've seen lately.
And finally, de Blob. THQ stumbled upon a family-friendly game that's not based on a Disney movie or rhymes with Plungemob Snarechants. de Blob reminds me a bit of Kirby with Sonic's attitude circa 1992, before Sega ruined him. I was glad to see de Blob get a sequel as well as widening his audience to the HD crowd and I'd like to see it pay off.
The aforementioned mascots of this generation are doing their damnedest, but what about the established mascots? Mario and Sonic are forever going to exist, but why no Rayman? Where's Jak & Daxter? Or Fox McCloud? Or fucking Conker? I'm gonna have to call out Nintendo a little bit here for not helping this situation by relying a little too much on Mario (although Galaxy 1 and 2 and New Super Mario Bros. were amazing) and forgetting how to make new characters that aren't Miis. And maybe that's the problem? Miis, Avatars, and... avatars could be partially responsible. Also, where the hell is Microsoft?
So is the traditional video game mascot yesterday's news or am I paranoid?
That's about it, really. That's all the video game I'll need this year if it comes out this year. Unless Portal 2 actually makes it current release date which is... in 4 weeks? Shit, better get my pre-order money ready!
It's March Madness, a time of year when college students in America give a shit about college basketball. And since basketball, March, and madness was invented in America, that makes this time of year awesome by association. It's also a great time for gamblers who fill out their brackets hoping to win the office pool. And so I filled out a bracket the other day and I gotta say I'm quite confident in my picks. Let me know what you think.
It's hard to deny the fact that the Wii has been losing momentum for a little while now since we're starting to see the Wii taking a backseat to the 360, PS3, and now the 3DS, Nintendo's latest handheld brick of cocaine. I have a feeling that Nintendo is about to kill off the Wii sometime in the next year and personally, I'm ready for Nintendo to move on and try to take on the HD console world. Yet I would like to see a last-minute push from Nintendo this year and just unleash a whole mess of games because except for Ubisoft and the inevitable sequel to Just Dance 2, 3rd party publishers are doing jack shit as they all gave up in 2009. There's Skyward Sword, the Twilight Princess/Wind Waker hybrid, and... and... is Pikmin 3 still in the works? No need to worry since that's how Nintendo has been rollin' lately. Keep shit a surprise until around E3 or some self-promoted media event to tout their latest games. Donkey Kong, Goldeneye, and Kirby were all announced to the world mere months before release.
However is the Wii now more like the PS2 compared to the 360 or PS3? According to this dude from EA Games, yes. If you're not into clicking links, he calls the Wii a "legacy platform" like the PS2. In layman's terms, the Wii is old hardware. I'm sure a lot of you agree with that statement and in a lot of ways, the Wii hasn't aged as well while we're gobbling up HDTVs and iPads that can do some crazy things. Software is lagging behind as there have been few notable releases this year and very little (if anything) in the next few months, much like the PS2 during Sony's transition. Motion controls are no longer console exclusive, the Wii's online system is archaic, and something has to be done.
Like perhaps a new console? The Wii is turning 5 this year and I don't see how Nintendo can wait any longer.
So what is the Wii's legacy? An innovative machine that lived up to its potential or a flawed machine with a few brief moments of greatness, but overall an utter disappointment? Either way, the Wii is Nintendo's most successful home console to date and the next machine has some big shoes to fill.
BurgerTime HD is an upcoming video game that has no reason to exist as a product to be purchased in any format. Then again I'm the crazy guy who believes that Nintendo shouldn't be wasting its time on a 3DS version of Ocarina of Time. But I can't be the only one who thinks BurgerTime HD is one of the dumbest attempts at a classic revival in recent memory. It almost rivals that Adventure Island WiiWare game some time ago.
What the fuck is this shit? I don't see how this can appeal to anybody who remotely liked BurgerTime (myself included) or the young whippersnappers (most of you) who never got to enjoy BurgerTime way back when. Call me old-fashioned, but fuck this game and the developers!
However I will endorse it if they change the name to DurgerTime.
I remember a simpler time when CollegeHumor was a site you went to just to see slutty college girls flash their boobs. Now it's just stuff like this... but it's cool. The internet is chock full of naked.
It's been about 6 weeks since I last bought a game and nearly 3 months since I last bought one at full price, but I guess the moment was inevitable. There are games available soon and I will be buying at least one, if not two games on Tuesday... both on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Maybe more than two games.
I will probably buy Bulletstorm even though that $60 price tag might be a bit steep for a game that will inevitably go on sale for a more reasonable price on the PC. I've already blabbed about how awesomely stupid it will be so onto game #2.
There's de Blob 2, a G-rated platformer about blobs who love color and hate gray. This little game has gone virtually unnoticed until very recently even though the original was one of the better games to come out on the Wii. I gave the first de Blob the seal of approval so I'm pretty excited for this one as well.
And if I have any money left over, I should get to pre-ordering Portal 2 because I expect to do so at some point. I just wonder if Valve can recreate the magic of the first game even though Portal 2 looks to be a much bigger game. One of the best things about Portal was that it didn't overstay its welcome... a short, but near-perfect experience. I just don't want to see the expanded length dilute the game as a whole.