Friday, November 27, 2009

John Doe Has Got to Go

Yesterday. SK Gaming posted an article written by an anonymous writer only known as John Doe. This the third article on that SK has allowed without revealing the said writer. And John Doe did not come to exactly the warmest welcome, and for good reason.

In the first John Doe article, posted in April after Game Services, the company that ran the ESWC, went bankrupt, the writer claims that this type of stuff is actually good for professional gaming. The article got mixed comments. Then life went on. No big deal.

A few days after the launch of the WWFOG's website, John Doe returns to give a token bashing to not just the WWFOG but American pro gaming as well. Doe pretty much praised Europe and Asia-based leagues for simply existing while listing American leagues as "FAIL". Among the "FAIL's" was the CPL. Although it did not have happy ending, the CPL is recognized in Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition as longest-running professional tournament organizer, running from 1997 and folding in 2008. Pretty much like saying that Michael Jordan was a failed athlete because his team did not make it to the playoffs in his final season. Doe conveniently omitted Major League Gaming, which has a vice grip competitive Halo and is now teamed up with EA Sports to run Madden tournaments.

And then yesterday the latest Doe article emerges. The piece about the so-called evolution of eSports sponsorship is poorly organized badly written to be in a column for any pro gaming site. My favorite phrase is "The official prize money changed from tons of beer to tons of money". Seriously? The prize money was once beer but is now money?

But the biggest eyesores in article 3 are the cheap swipes at American gaming journalists, even using a vulgar line from a bland cable TV show. The quote was "I won't go down in history, but I will go down on your sister." Fit for the news section, indeed.

Third time is the charm. Three strikes and you're out. However you phrase it, John Doe's third article was the straw that broke the camels back. How could SK post such poorly written articles without identifying the writer? Aren't they even remotely worried how this would look to their readers? More important what would the sponsors think about this. I can't read minds, but if I saw this type of stuff posted on a website run by a company I gave sponsorship money to. I would think twice before writing them another check.

I'm not losing sleep over these articles but I do feel they need to stop. If you feel the same way don't just post finger-wagging comment on SK's site. That is clearly not working. Instead direct your outrage to the sponsors. That should get us better results.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wii Sports Resort Skydiving Walkthrough

This guide will hopefully help you boost up you score for the Skydiving game in Wii Sports Resort. Now please don't assume that reading this will make you able to pull off 200-point games instantly. Practice along with knowing what to do is key.

Game Objective:

The game is not too complicated. Once you jump out the plane you star grouping with skydivers, grabbing fellow divers and posing for a pictures. You get bonus points for each smile you catch. If your diver catches four others you the TWO photo ops, the regular one where you are to catch the smiles your screen and the second one where the diver smile for the photographer. When you fall a certain distance you will go into form up phase. You will see three rings below you. When you go through each ring your formation gets more people. After that is one last photo op.


The controls are pretty much straightforward. The Wii Remote will represent your diver. Tilt forward to move forward, back to move back, and so on. Be careful because tilting all the way will make you fall faster.

The Plan:

The key tactic for skydiving is to go for perfect catches, doubling your photo ops. For the regular picture make sure all the divers' smiling faces are shown are your screen, and when the photographer shows up make sure you have everyone face her. The first few formations are the easiest since there are falling and the same level. But with some groups the some divers will be higher than others. Go for the highest most FIRST then work your way down. It's not easy trying to catch somebody above you.

Form Up!

When it's time to form up you will three rings. Go through all three of them in order to get the full formation. During the final photo op flip the Wii Remote buttons down to make everybody smile at the camera. Game complete.
That sums up the walkthrough for Wii Sports Resort Skydiving. Good luck on your scores.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Star Fox: What Went Wrong?

In an interview with MTV Multiplayer Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto said that he was a big fan of the Star Fox series, and enjoyed making Star Fox games. He did also say, however that he was disappointed in the lack of sales the series had conjured up during its lifetime. Star Fox 64 has very impressive sales numbers but the three games after that one did not fare so well in copies sold. Why did the franchise fall so low on titles released after SF64? Was it because people were simply tired of the brand? Or was it something that Nintendo themselves could have avoided themselves? Maybe the reasons for low number are a bit more complex than that. Let's try to see.

Star Fox (SNES)
Realease Year: 1993
GameStats Score: 8.5

This space shooter is the first game where you see Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy. Star Fox's cartridge utilized a SuperFX chip, boasting 3D graphics that set it apart from common 2D Super Nintendo games. There a several different levels but you couldn't play them all by playing in one sitting. It was well accepted by critics and gamers alike. An ideal start a video game franchise can get. There was an SNES sequel in development called Star Fox 2 but it was cancelled in the favor of...

Star Fox 64 (N64)
Release Year: 1997
GameStats Score: 9.0

Ah... This is where Star Fox has some of its best moments. It takes what was good about the SNES version and made it even better. It made good use of the Nintendo 64's power, not only getting visual facelift and some tank and submarine missions, but you also get to HEAR the characters say memorable lines such as "Do a barrel roll!" "Can't let you do that, Star Fox". A few new characters get introduced, making a potentially deeper story than the SNES version. SF64 also came with the Rumble Pak, which soon led to future consoles to having force feedback built in to their controllers. And there was even a Vs. Mode where up to four Arwings can battle. Needless to say, this was by far Star Fox's biggest game to date. And I'm pretty sure that nobody at Nintendo was disappointed at the sales for this title.

Star Fox Adventures (GCN)
Release Year: 2002
GameStats score: 8.2

This game is pretty much like no other Star Fox game. Actually the game wasn't a Star Fox game to begin with. (Super Mario Bros. 2, anyone?) Rare was working on an adventure game called Dinosaur Planet on the Nintendo 64, having nothing to do with the Star Fox franchise whatsoever. The game got delayed and eventually canceled so Rare could work on a GameCube version with Star Fox characters added. I wouldn't call this a bad game. But besides a few token Arwing missions, this didn't feel like a Star Fox game. It's more like an adventure game with Star Fox characters. The disappointment from those who expect a sequel to a 3D flight shooter to be a 3D flight shooter is understandable.

Star Fox Assault (GCN)

Release Year: 2005
GameStats score: 7.8

This game brings Star Fox back to its space-shooter roots. Not only it has the classic space shooter missions there are some missions where you fight on foot on your blaster (FINALLY!) or wage damage with your Landmaster tank. Not only this some sizzle to the Star Fox story but it also brings back some Star Fox Adventure character, confirming Fox's mission on Dinosaur Planet (known in Assault as Sauria) as official canon. The controls were okay controlling the Landmaster was a little off, and the on-foot controls are awkward when compared to other shooters. Aside from the setback in controls it's my favorite post-64 Star Fox game. I'm surprised that the game didn't do well in sales. I don't know if that is because it was on a lower-selling system or it was overwhelmed by competing title on other platforms. Not matter how many theories I come up with none of them can't erase the fact that the game was not as well received when it came out.

Star Fox Command (NDS)

Release Year: 2006
GameStats score: 7.8

Star Fox Command is franchise's first handheld title. It is also the first title to have online play via Nintendo Wi-Fi. The game retains the 3D flight scheme and throws in a game board where you have to direct your ship(s) towards the enemy before you get to fight them. There are multiple versions of the main story (and even multiple endings) which can be determined by which path you take in single player. This game you get to pilot different ships (almost each fighter gets their own ship). That's a plus for me. But one setback for Command was that it that there is no spoken dialogue, which was part of what got me into franchise to start with. Also there is no solid canonical story behind wonder what truly happens, leaving a cluster of what ifs. The multi-player is not where it should be. The biggest complaint is that if you kill shoot down an enemy, you have to collect the star it leave behind or someone else steals your point. Also you can't select the ship you want use in multiplayer. That's quite a letdown when your get tease with the ability to play different ships on the single player missions. It's nice to play Star Fox on the go but Command is not even close to the potential blockbuster it could have been.

The Next Star Fox: What they need to do

Nintendo needs to put out a Star Fox title for the Wii. I'm pretty sure it has been a topic in the Nintendo offices, but I guess you could have said the same thing for a Metroid game on the Nintendo 64. If such a Star Fox game were in the works, it would pay off to make use of the Wii Motion plus. And that is not saying that it should not use the option for a Classic Controller or GameCube controller. The main focus for development should be getting the air/space gameplay down pat, and then add a few foot, tank, and submarine missions into the mix. Online play would be nice if they add it but I would be happy if you can choose your ship in multiplayer. And last but certain not least, they should make sure the game's story blows gamers way. If the developers do these things alone, they would be already making in bringing Star Fox brand back to its former greatness.