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December 2011

Power Button Presents Kombo Breaker - Episode 10: New Year's Relaunch

Power Button Presents Kombo BreakerOh, we have a special rerun of Kombo Breaker for you this week.  The calendar may be rolling over into 2012, but we're taking you back in time to our very first episode together as a team.  This is Episode 10 of Kombo Breaker in which we assemble for the first time and discuss the games that we played over the holiday break and list our top gaming picks for 2008.  This one originally aired on January 9, 2009.  It's worth noting that we really didn't quite know what we were doing in terms of podcasting at this point.  We were throwing ideas at the wall to see what stuck, so don't be surprised if things are a little rough here.  I'm talking through a wireless microphone, so I sound like I'm on AM radio, for instance.  As you know, we got better at this.  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 , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons, @aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.


Power Button Presents Kombo Breaker - Episode 10: New Year's Relaunch


Here's The Super Mario Theme Performed By Floppy Drives

There isn't much demand for the old fashioned 3.5" floppy disk drive anymore in our world of Wi-Fi, flash drives, and CD-Rs.  1.44 MB won't even hold a single song or high resolution photograph these days.  What can you do with a floppy drive now, let alone eight of them?  If you're sh4dowww90, then you wire them up in such a way as to coordinate their inner workings to grind melodically in order to produce the classic overworld theme from Nintendo's Super Mario Bros.  Have a listen as obsolete hardware gets one more moment in the spotlight.  Up next: a dial-up modem squeals the theme from The Legend of Zelda.

(via Reddit)


Secret e-Reader Levels In Mario vs Donkey Kong Revealed

Mario vs Donkey KongNintendo's e-Reader peripheral for the Game Boy Advance always seemed like a solution in search of a problem, but despite the add-on's poor performance in the market, a few interesting things were done with it.  Super Mario Advance 4's extra content is well documented, but SMA4 isn't the only major game to feature intriguing bonus content unlocked by scanning special cards.  2004's Mario vs Donkey Kong also featured its own e-World of extra levels, although you wouldn't necessarily know it.  The content was buried deep and with the exception of a limited release of the e-Reader cards in the Japanese market as part of a promotional contest; the mode was never accessible in the North America version, while it was removed entirely from the European release.  While only five cards were released, there's space for twelve levels in e-World.   Leave it to e-Reader enthusiasts to do some digging and discover how to access all of the seemingly lost data through emulation and a little hacking.  Check out five of the bonus e-World challenges in these videos provided by eddine67 on YouTube.

Continue reading "Secret e-Reader Levels In Mario vs Donkey Kong Revealed" »


2011 Box Art Walk Of Shame

Aladdin Magic RacerIt just wouldn't be the end of the year without a fresh installment of GamesRadar's annual feature in which the year's worst video game box art is trotted out and mocked openly for the ill-advised collection of clip art and off model sketches that they truly are.  This year's class isn't as hilarious as what we've seen in previous years, but there's still plenty of material worth cringing over.  Prepare yourself for disturbed farm animals that know what you did last summer, Aladdin with a rockin' modern makeover (and his magic lamp is a teapot!), rednecks wearing kicky berets, Duke Nukem's hideous vascular swelling, a guy wearing a hoodie that breaks all the Kinect rules, large-headed racers trapped in a 1990s world of spiky-haired attitude, and much more.  You'll even find a few big name titles like Battlefield 3 and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record on the list.  Can you handle these thirty-five images that prove that some publishers lack shame and/or artistic talent?   On the bright side, CGI gummy bears did not make an appearance on this year's list, so perhaps things are looking up overall.


Weekly Poll: Holiday Loot '11

Weekly Poll for 12-12-2011There's an overwhelming cloud of pessimism surrounding Shigeru Miyamoto's inevitable departure from Nintendo.  It's easy to understand why.  The man has his hands in just about every product that Nintendo releases.  Without his presence, Nintendo's creative output will be markedly different.  That's not to say that it'll be worse or that it'll be better.  Just different.  As for me, I'm in no hurry for Miyamoto to depart.  The company needs him and, by extension, so do we all.

Moving on, it's time for that annual PTB holiday tradition in which I ask you all if you received all of the games that you wanted for your respective gift-giving end-of-year event.  Did you get all that you wanted?  Some?  None?  Let's hear your results.  As for me, I received the most important of what I wanted and did very well in the 3DS department with Sonic Generations, Mario Kart 7, and Super Mario 3D Land.  It's a great season for handheld gaming.


Power Button Presents Kombo Breaker - Episode 17: The One with Garnett Lee

Power Button Presents Kombo BreakerAs the Power Button team takes the week off for the holidays, it's time for a retro rerun of our previous podcast program, Kombo Breaker.  In this installment that originally aired on February 27, 2009, we're joined by Garnett Lee who was with 1UP.com at the time; today he's Editorial Director for GameFly Media and host of Weekend Confirmed.  The discussion revolves around the future of the game journalism industry (but don't call it journalism, apparently), surviving the economic collapse, and the demise of print media as well as lighter topics such as my week with Street Fighter IV & the Legendary Cars of Burnout Paradise, Joey Davidson's decision to sell his Nintendo Wii after buying a Sony PlayStation 3, purchasing indie games, and the madness that comes with doing one's taxes.  It's a fun flashback that'll help you get through the holiday season.  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 , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons, @aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.


Power Button Presents Kombo Breaker - Episode 17: The One with Garnett Lee


Bionic Commando Swings To 3DS

Bionic CommandoCapcom isn't resting on its eShop laurels, as the company is bringing the 1992 Game Boy version of Bionic Commando to the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console offerings.  While the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the game is the most well-known from that era, the Game Boy version builds on that iteration as a more polished product.  The story is approximately the same, but with a few minor changes: Radd Spencer is sent to rescue Super Joe who has been captured by the Doraize Army as part of their plan to launch the Albatross weapon under the direction of Director Wiseman.  The military trappings of the NES version are replaced with a more sci-fi bent, meaning that while the song may sound familiar, the words are a bit different.  It's a fun game and not to be missed when it lands on the eShop on December 29, 2011.  Now, what would it take to get the original NES game reworked into a 3D Classic?


Mega Man X For iOS Looks Disappointing

Mega Man XIt's been a tough year for Mega Man and his many fans, but 2011 isn't going to end without a new adventure for the blue bomber. Capcom has arranged for its 1993 Super NES title Mega Man X to land on Apple's App Store as a $5 iOS game for iPhone, but the game is a bit different than you remember it.  Specifically, it seems to embody the worst aspects of bringing a popular classic video game into the mobile world.  While changes to the visual style are the most obvious alteration, there are now load times, level structure has been chopped up into separate screens instead of one continuous flowing design, the camera angle has been zoomed in to give X and his enemies more visibility at the cost of losing some details from the edge of the screen, and there's now an in-game store in which players can pay real money for X's upgrades rather than earning them the old fashioned way (although paying for them instead of collecting them is not required).  There's even a replacement music pack for sale that replaces the traditional X soundtrack with the Maverick Hunter X remake's music.  Have a look at the trailer and tell me if you get a sinking feeling while watching it.

It's a shame to see Mega Man X half-assed this way (I think the in-game store is the biggest insult of all), and while I think that there is a way to do Mega Man on the iPhone, this is not it.  Perhaps it's time for Capcom to build a new Mega Man title from the ground up for the mobile market with that platform's limitations in mind.  While I admire and appreciate the attempt to bring Mega Man X back for a new platform, the end result appears to not do the original game justice.  I never thought I'd say this, but Capcom should take a page from Sega's book.  The latter company's recent release of Sonic CD for iOS is a perfect example of how to adapt a console game from yesteryear for the mobile platform.


Mini-Review: Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2This article was originally published at Kombo.com on April 8, 2010.

Plenty of video games promise that players can do just about anything during the course of the adventure and then deliver mixed results, but Just Cause 2 from Avalanche Studios and Square-Enix for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC delivers the purest form of the action-sandbox genre to date. Cast as secret agent protagonist Rico Rodrigeuz, players have one basic ever-present objective: cause chaos. While there is a storyline involving a fellow agent who has gone native on the military dictatorship island of Panau and Rico's mission to find out just what has gone wrong, it's all window dressing to justify the ongoing chaos. With thousands of structures to destroy, dozens of vehicles to hijack, and an endless army of soldiers to kill, Just Cause 2 presents more to do than any other game in recent memory, and ultimately that freedom to do just about anything in the name of destruction provides a seldom seen side of the genre.

Continue reading "Mini-Review: Just Cause 2" »


Power Button - Episode 72: The Best That 2011 Had To Offer

Power ButtonWith another year wrapping up the time has come for us to look back on 2011 and discuss our top picks for the coveted honor of Game of the Year.  With so many amazing games out this year it was difficult to narrow things down, so this week on Power Button we fire through twenty games from this year that we feel you must know about.  Which one will win top honors?  Is it The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?  What about Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and Super Mario 3D Land?  Where's the love for Portal 2 and Batman: Arkham City?  Does Back to the Future: The Game stand a chance against the likes of inFamous 2 and Child of Eden?  Where does Resistance 3 fit into all of this?  Sonic Generations, anyone?  Join Joey Davidson, Brad Hilderbrand, and I as we bring order to this year's chaos.  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 , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons, @aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.


Power Button - Episode 72: The Best That 2011 Had To Offer