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September 2011

August 2011

Capcom Now Charging $3 For Additional Colors

Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online EditionCapcom has been going to the frivolous downloadable content well quite a lot lately, but the company's newly announced expansion for Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 goes above and beyond ridiculous.  The game's first set of DLC is coming next week, and while the various incarnations of Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs Capcom 3 asked players to kick in more money for alternate costumes, Street Fighter III is offering extra color palettes for a fee.

“Color Pack 1” will be launching next week, on September 6th/7th.  The price for this is $2.99, and buying this one pack will add 7 new colors for each character!  The colors are available in pretty much all modes, but can’t be seen by people who haven’t purchased the DLC.  (Also, we weren’t able to save the color palettes in replay files, so please be aware of that.)

Capcom has nickel-and-dimed its customers far too much with its fighting games over the years, but this Color Pack 1 is really absurd.  $3 for extra colors is even more of an insult than overpriced DLC costumes and characters.  There's been talk that this generation's DLC consists mostly of content that used to be included in the base game for no additional charge, but I believe that extra color palettes are a textbook example of content that used to be free and really should remain free.  Also, take note that this is apparently the first Color Pack, too.  There will surely be others on the way for an additional cost.  It's disgusting and I strongly encourage everyone not to buy into this insult.  Show Capcom once and for all that we won't stand for this kind of treatment.

You Still Can't Own These Gaming Collectibles

Watara SupervisionEvery few months or so, Platypus Comix brings us a look at a variety of video game-related collectibles that are so unique that you'll most likely never own them.  We've seen ancient Metroid cookies and golden Game Boy Pockets in previous installments, but this third edition takes us into uncharted territory with development kits capable of playing pirated games, promotional items that were supposed to remain secret for some reason (so why bother promoting?), oversize shipping crates, store kiosks from days gone by, autographed hardware signed by people who aren't involved in the industry outside of licensing, and so much more.  Here's a sample:


This hard-to-find peripheral, released years before Super Game Boy, will allow you to play your Watara Supervision on the TV, in glorious four-tone color!


....But what's a Watara Supervision?

eBay Price: $200

I'm glad you asked!  Released in 1992 as a cheap competitor to Nintendo's Game Boy, the Supervision sported a variety of handheld titles such as Super Pang, Happy Race, Dancing Block, Recycle Design, Witty Cat, Journey to the West, John Adventure, and a number of other games with comical Engrish that will fail to instill you with confidence or interest.  Needless to say, it didn't last long in the market up against the likes of Super Mario and Mega Man.  So while can you can not own the complete Supervision experience, I don't think that you'll lose any sleep over it.  Rest in peace, Witty Cat.

And Now, Some Half-Assed Video Game Reviews

WarioLet's be honest: reviewing a video game is hard work.  No, wait, check that: writing a video game review is hard work.  Sometimes the writing and reviewing process is such a massive, soul-crushing undertaking that the end result is... oh, how to put this delicately... half-assed.  Over on Twitter, a bunch of folks are tweeting their favorite hypothetical half-assed review snippets.  Here's a sample:

Metacritic gave this game a glowing score! - starven

Guide to writing a Call Of Duty review: take last year's review and update the subtitle with this year's name. - PressTheButtons

If you loved the last one, you'll want to play the latest game in the series! - whatthegeek

This title is the second in a trilogy, which is always the best one.  - ZenMonken

"... which means that Metroid must summon all of his courage and confront the Mother Brain with his powerful energy gun."  - PressTheButtons

It doesn't allow you to invert the Y axis. 2/10 - RyanDJGNation

Got tired of waiting for the install to finish. Box art looks sweet.  - piratesyar

Rent it, see if you like it. 7/10. - Jim_Crikey

I'd have to fire up my computer, install windows updates, install the game, patch the game. Who has time for that? 4/10 - starven

"You'll love seeing Solid Snake back in action in Metal Gear Solid 2."  - PressTheButtons

Final Fantasy XIII is one greater than Final Fantasy XII, so it must be better. - crunchychocobo

I watched a few videos of other people playing - looks like an 8 out of 10 to me. - whatthegeek

Why not give it a try and come up with your own piece of a half-assed video game review?  If tweeting, be sure to use the hashtag #HalfAssedReviews to join the fun.

Play Them Ghosts 'n Goblins Ragtime Boos... Er, Blues

Sorry to rush the Halloween season, but it's time for our annual check-in with the video game music performances of ragtime pianist Tom Brier.  In the past we've had a listen to his takes on various Super Mario musical themes, but today's clip features the classic theme from the first stage of Capcom's brutally difficult Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts.  Want to attempt your own performance?  Here's the sheet music.  Just remember that even if you make it all the way to the end of the song, you'll have to repeat it to hear the true ending.  Funny how that works.

Complete List Of Free NES Games For 3DS Ambassadors Announced

NES Open Tournament GolfEarly Nintendo 3DS adopters (and those who skirted the rules) are set to download their ten free Nintendo Entertainment System games later this week, and today the company announced which ten games (five of which we already knew) are going to be offered up as make-good freebies in North America and Japan (and, presumably, other regions as well).  Remember, these games are lacking a few features that you may expect compared to other Virtual Console titles on the 3DS, but an update will be available later that brings them up to their full potential.  Free up some space on the SD card for the following:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • Metroid
  • Balloon Fight
  • Yoshi
  • Ice Climber
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Wrecking Crew
  • NES Open Tournament Golf

That's a nice list of classic first-party titles that offers a little something for everybody.  Obviously Mario, Metroid, and the two Zeldas are the stand-out titles on the list, but don't underestimate the others.  Yoshi, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climber are the perfect size for quick, instant gaming on the go.  Wrecking Crew is worth the extra exposure, and you know you'll dip into Donkey Kong Jr. for nostalgia's sake.  NES Open Tournament Golf, on the other hand, doesn't have much to offer these days (it barely did back in its prime).  I'm surprised to see it here now considering some of the other titles in Nintendo's library that could have stepped in to take its place, but then I remind myself that Nintendo isn't going to give out all of its gold for free here.  Super Mario Bros. 3 and Kirby's Adventure must wait for another (paid) day.

Weekly Poll: The Last Great Arcade

Weekly Poll for 8-23-2011Most of you out there aren't going to buy a new Nintendo 3DS or Sony PlayStation 3 now that the price has dropped, but out of those of you who are, the 3DS is your system of choice.  It's a fine choice, but those previously mentioned worthwhile games need to hurry up and release already.  Mario's Picross on Virtual Console can only take me so far. 

Moving on to other things, I recently shared the sad story of visiting a pitiful video game arcade at a dead mall.  Things haven't improved since then; Nicole and I spent a decent chunk of last Saturday driving around the area tracking down what turned out to be false leads and ghosts.  Eventually we found a place with a few failing machines in similar condition as Fantasy Arcade, but set to free play, so things weren't quite as dire.  Is it really so difficult to find a well-kept arcade with modern games such as F-Zero AX, Mario Kart GP, and Super Street Fighter IV in addition to working classics?  All of this arcade hunting has me wondering when the last time you visited an arcade.  How long has it been?  Months?  Years?  A decade?  Have you ever been at all?  And it has to be a real arcade.  A dusty Pac-Man machine in the corner of a pizza joint doesn't count.  Let's hear about your experiences.  Meanwhile, the search continues...

Nintendo Reveals Zelda: Skyward Sword Special Edition

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward SwordNintendo doesn't usually go in for the premium priced special edition treatment of their games, but the company is making an exception for the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword due out for the Wii on November 20, 2011 in North America.  Fans can mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Zelda franchise with a $70 package that includes the game, a gold Wii Remote with built-in Wii MotionPlus technology, and a soundtrack CD that features some of the orchestral selections that can be heard as part of the upcoming live symphony tour.  $50 will get you just the game and the CD.  Here's some of the press release:

The limited-edition gold controller bundle for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be offered at a suggested retail price of $69.99. The game will also be sold separately at a suggested retail price of $49.99, though the gold controller will only be available as part of the special bundle. As an additional 25th anniversary treat for fans who purchase the game early, every copy in the initial production, whether sold by itself or as a part of the limited-edition bundle, will come with a free CD featuring select orchestral arrangements of iconic music spanning the history of the franchise which will be performed at The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert performances in October 2011.

If you don't already have Wii MotionPlus capabilities and you're already planning to pick up Skyward Sword, then this is the best, cheapest way to buy a controller with the required technology.  The soundtrack CD is a nice gesture, particularly when it's packed in with the basic non-special edition for no extra charge.  This is how to do a special edition package, publishers.  No pointless statues or a few pages of stock promotional artwork.  No unreasonable $100 price tag.  Just useful and enjoyable extras at a fair cost above the usual retail rate.

As for that soundtrack, I bet it'll sound a little something like this bonus track from the previously released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D soundtrack that was made available to very early owners of the game earlier this year.

Power Button - Episode 60: Deus SNEX

Power ButtonThis week on Power Button we take a look back as we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the release of Nintendo's Super NES in North America by talking about our favorite games, the classic console war fought against the Sega Genesis, and discuss some truly unusual peripherals such as the Super Scope, the Sega Menacer, the Satellaview, the Sega Channel adapter, the Super Advantage controller, the Capcom Pad Soldier, and so much more.  After a break, the topic shifts to Square-Enix's new Deus Ex: Human Revolution; Brad Hilderbrand and the returned Joey Davidson explain what they like and what they don't like about this new title while I wonder what it's all about (as I haven't paid attention to it).  We also touch on the Deus Ex GameStop/OnLive controversy and assign blame where blame is due.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, or subscribe via iTunes, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach all three of us via  and you can even follow all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons, @aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.

Power Button - Episode 60: Deus SNEX

Back To The Future: The Game Coming To Retail (Or: Tell Me Doctor, Where Are Wii Going This Time?)

Back To The Future: The GameEveryone who was disappointed that Telltale Games was unable to bring Back To The Future: The Game to the Nintendo Wii should pay attention to the news that the company has struck a publishing agreement with Nintendo that will result in Marty McFly's latest adventure arriving at retail on a disc in a box in October.  Heavy stuff!  A similar deal with Sony will also bring the game to stores around the same time, and other Telltale Games (such as the upcoming Jurassic Park) are sure to follow.  This agreement has been long overdue.  Telltale's titles are simply too good to remain digital distribution exclusives, and while some of the company's games have been to retail before, Telltale wasn't the company behind the ports.  For instance, Atari butchered Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space when it ported the series to the Wii.  I'd link you to my review of the game at Kombo if Kombo were still around, but this video of the Wii port that I captured will have to do.  Here's hoping that Telltale's own conversions end up much, much better than this:

And while we're talking about Telltale and Back to the Future, I might as well mention that those of us who bought the PC version of the game via digital distribution can now order a boxed DVD version of the game directly from the company for just the cost of shipping.  There's also a deluxe package that includes some bonus pack-ins such as a shirt and an art book.  Now, when is Season 2 of the series coming out?

Sonic CD Speeding Back With New Features

Sega's Sonic CD has never quite been re-released in such as way as to showcase its true amazingness, but now Sega is bringing the game back for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC as well as a variety of mobile platforms (including iOS; in fact, this entire project may have spun from that proof of concept port of Sonic CD to the iPhone two years ago).  Sonic Retro notes that this release has community involvement to help bring the game into the twenty-first century.

The title isn’t the usual port job with the ugly blue borders seen in Sega’s Vintage Collection series, including true widescreen support thanks to community member The Taxman’s Retro Engine.  It goes without saying (but will be said anyway) that achievements will be supported, in case you want to show off your massive Sonic CD skills to the world. Additional features, according to The Taxman, include a soundtrack that loops properly along with the option to choose if you want the original style Sonic CD Spin Dash or one closer to Sonic 2‘s spin dash. Choose wisely as it also affects the behavior of the camera in-game.  The trailer further brings an additional surprise that the International soundtrack (read: the soundtrack the U.S. didn’t get) will be included in the release.

It sounds like this could be the ultimate reworking of Sonic CD designed to feature as many things as possible to please fans.  Widescreen support is greatly appreciated (the recent Sonic Adventure port to modern hardware didn't even have that which I still feel is a disappointment), while the inclusion of the famed international soundtrack is even more of a coup.  I look forward to seeing if this enhanced version lives up to its potential when it hits digital distribution services this holiday season.