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December 2008

Air Man Lives!

Air Man So here we are in the year 200X and there's not a single Robot Master roaming around with his awesome weapons.  Technology is starting to catch up with the world of Mega Man, however, as one blue bomber fan has created his own action figure of Mega Man 2's beloved Air Man and — get this — it actually features a working fan.  Check out this video of Air Man coming to life by way of an altered Gundam figure.  Get ready to be blown away!

Impressive!  This could be the start of a whole line of functional Robot Master action figures.  Imagine a Fire Man that doubles as a lighter or a Drill Man that features an action spinning bit.  How about a Plug Man that acts as a battery charger?  Perhaps a Flash Man that can stop time?  Well, maybe not that last one, but at least the Air Man fan concept is solid.

(via Protodude's Rockman Corner)

Weekly Poll: Overachiever

Weekly Poll for 12-15-2008The majority of you out there haven't had the PlayStation Home experience yet, but those of us who have seem to be mostly underwhelmed.  I just don't see the point to the service at its current level of development.  Why would I want to hang out in a virtual world full of idiots?  That's part of the reason I don't care much for the real world, so I'm certainly not going to bring that sort of chaos into my home.  Now, moving around Home with friends could have its perks, but I've never seen anyone on my PlayStation buddy list using the service.  I'm hoping that Home grows into something unique, but it has a long way to go.

A few days ago I pointed you at the new online game based around earning Achievements, Achievement Unlocked.  Playing through the game and unlocking all of the Achievements led to some thought about the whole Achievement/Trophy gimmick.  Do they really add anything to the gaming experience?  Do they enhance replay value or drive players to push on when progress stalls?  Are they just an annoyance or have they become an integral aspect of modern gaming?  Let's hear your thoughts on Achievements and Trophies.

Optimistic Wii Owner Expects Great Things From New Video Card

Dr. Wily How would you like to give your Nintendo Wii a hardware boost?  All you have to do is rip out the console's video card and replace it with a more powerful model.  It's obvious that this will instantly crank the Wii's visual output quality to 1080p.  This is so simple that I don't know why it hasn't been tried before.  Somebody has to be the first to make history, and apparently it's this optimistic person who goes by the name "kielbasa" over at the 1UP forums.

I just noticed today that there is a sticker on the side of the Wii that mentions that it uses ATI graphics instead of a proprietary graphics card. Has anyone tried to open one and swap out its graphics card for a newer one? It should work, if its motherboard is made to operate on ATI cards it shouldn't matter if you used the one it comes with (left-over Cube GPU's, lol) or a newer one. I just ordered a 4650 from Newegg, I'm hoping it'll fit if I rip off the metal thing with the DVI port. Even if it doesn't, who cares if my Wii looks a little sloppy with the back ripped off if it means 60fps in every game? I'm guessing there may even my hacks out there to upscale games to HD if you are using a nicer card, I'll have to check it out.

Did anyone else experience the Morbo reaction after reading this little saga?  Even after being presented with plenty of evidence why this will just not work, kielbasa is unwilling to accept the cold hard truth.  Stubborn ignorance or baffling troll?  You decide.  Keep reaching for the stars, kielbasa!  Next week: soldering an extra motherboard to Microsoft hardware to create the Xbox 720.

(via Reddit)

Achievement Unlocked (Played Achievement Unlocked)

Achievement Unlocked One new aspect that has been added to video gaming this generation are Achievements (or Trophies, depending on your console of choice).  It's no longer enough just to slay monsters or rescue the princess, as now games track how many times our heroes run, jump, shoot, die, as well as other such statistics.  Did you defeat Concrete Man in less than ten seconds?  Here's your Achievement.  Have you crashed through thirty billboards in Paradise City ?  Mazel Tov, have a Trophy!  Some games go a little heavy on the Achievements, turning even the most mundane and expected accomplishment into a grand celebration.  Enter the amusing little metagame Achievement Unlocked in which the goal of the game is to unlock all one hundred Achievements for such necessary tasks as preloading the game, pressing the mute button, taking a step, jumping, dying, and much more.  Don't worry, there's a list of the Achievements to check if you find yourself stuck (and, of course, you earn an Achievement for checking that list).  I completed the game in 994 seconds.  Think you can do better?  Beat my score by a significant margin and I'll give you an Achievement.

(via MetaFilter)

Victory Is Mine With Valuable GameCube Games

Nintendo GameCube Action PadConsidering that I began my gaming journalism career with the world of the Nintendo GameCube it shouldn't come as a surprise that I have more GameCube games in my library than any other console.  In addition to the games I actually wanted to play, I've held on to the review copy freebies that I really don't see myself replaying in the hopes that someday they might be worth some obscenely high price.  Chuckle at that seemingly misguided belief all you want, but once you take a look at Retrogaming with Racketboy's list of the rarest and most valuable GameCube games you'll find that stocking my investment portfolio with GameCube titles may yet buy me that private island someday.

Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix - $56 - $140
DDR Mario Mix is a regular DDR game with Mario characters, music, and art. It is the only US released DDR game on the Gamecube. Nintendo released the game in limited quantities for the 2005 Christmas season and it quickly sold out. In early 2006 Nintendo restocked shelves but quietly discontinued the game soon after.  It should be noted that games with prices below $70 don’t usually include the Dance Mat.

My love of Mario Mix is no secret around here (even though I haven't been able to play since my terrible injury in early 2007), and while my Mario Mix game and Action Pad are well used, thanks to a shipping mix-up back when I reviewed the game I wound up with a second unopened untouched undanced package.  When news of the game's impending out-of-printness first cropped up, I carefully packed it away in a secure location in the hopes that someday it would be worth a bundle.  It continues to amaze me that Nintendo and Konami don't team up for a Wii sequel considering the casual gamer appeal. 

I'm not putting all my investment opportunities in just the Mario Mix basket though.  I have a few other of the valuable games on the list just waiting to turn into gold such as Worms 3D, Super Smash Bros. Melee (but doesn't everybody have that one?), and both Legend of Zelda compilation discs.  It's not private island time yet, but I'm patient.

Christopher Nolan Has No Time For Video Games

Why so serious? With The Dark Knight breaking sales records and still wowing audiences months later, one might think that director Christopher Nolan might be interested in using his Hollywood clout to branch out into the world of video game development.  If prolific directors such as Steven Spielberg can do it, why not Nolan?  Well, put that thought right out of your mind.  It's not going to happen anytime soon.  I was watching last night as the director took part in a live commentary for The Dark Knight via the Blu-ray version's online interactive commentary feature.  Viewers could send questions to Nolan as the movie played, and when asked if he had an interest in working in the world of video games, the director declined citing a lack of available time.  Also, don't believe any wacky Batman 3 casting or story rumors you may hear or read.  He says there's no truth to any of them since they have yet to develop a story or even sign a deal to make another Batman film (although of course there's interest).  Relax, my friends.  Eddie Murphy is not set to play the Riddler.  You can trust me on that one.  I'm a man of my word.

Personally, I'm holding out for David "The Doctor" Tennant for that role.

Nintendo Q1 2009 Lineup Is Pathetic

Yoshi, Mario, and Toad I know that the talented folks over at Nintendo have been preoccupied with counting money lately, but someone needs to get the quality control department back on the job to crack down on the pitiful shovelware that makes up the recently announced January - March 2009 lineup for the Nintendo Wii and DS systems.  I think Wired's Chris Kohler has said it best:

After a thoroughly disappointing holiday release lineup, Nintendo has pulled back the curtain on its early 2009 release schedule for Wii, and as it turns out there was nothing behind that curtain, either.

As it stands right now, the entirety of the company's first-quarter game release schedule is comprised of the upgraded ports of the GameCube games Pikmin and Mario Power Tennis. So if you were hoping for Disaster, or Fatal Frame, or really any new Wii game, you're SOL for another three months.

Don't get me wrong -- I think we can all agree that playing Pikmin in widescreen with pointer controls is potentially awesome. But the "New Play Control!" series, as the games are being called in North America, was a good idea when it was used to supplement Wii's catalog, not serve as the entire damn thing.

So I read that and said to myself that it can't be all bad.  Surely there's a gem or three on the list mixed in with the shovelware and games for the kiddies.  Then I started reading the actual list and made myself sad.  Well, after I finished making sarcastic comments, anyways. 

Continue reading "Nintendo Q1 2009 Lineup Is Pathetic" »

Happy 21st Anniversary, Mega Man!

Mega ManHappy Anniversary to Capcom's beloved Mega Man which turns twenty-one years old this week.  Yes, it really has been that long since character creator Keiji Inafune and his team of talented developers first introduced us to the blue bomber and his many weapons (not to mention the first batch of classic Robot Masters).  I cannot let the moment pass without pointing you to some of my favorite Mega Man-related PTB entries as we celebrate the characters and games that make the popular franchise so enjoyable.

And just in case these are all rerun articles for you, here's a little something new.  Enjoy this retrospective of weaponry as Mega Man takes on a single Met with less than stellar results.

(video via Kombo)

Another Big PS3 Sale At Today Only

Buy somethin' will ya! loves to offer nice deals on popular gaming items every few weeks, so with the holiday shopping season coming into the home stretch that must mean that it's time for another big one-day-only sale.  Today's platform of choice is the Sony PlayStation 3 where there's discounts on games, Blu-ray movies, and even the console itself.  Snag Motorstorm: Pacific Rift for $39.98 all day long (and allegedly get an additional $10 off with the discount code MSTORM10) and check out the limited time deals for things such as Tomb Raider: Underworld, Pro Evolution Soccer 2009, something Spider-man related, and a bunch of other stuff that will be announced as the day goes on.  Remember, every purchase you make through one of those green links here helps support Press The Buttons and is greatly appreciated. 

Chun-Li Sort Of Explains New Street Fighter Movie

Kristin Kreuk I always thought that Raul Julia gave us the definitive live-action portrayal of M. Bison back in 1994's Street Fighter: The Movie, but Capcom is going ahead with another film from the world of Ryu and Ken with next year's Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li starring Kristin Kreuk as the Chinese lightning kicker herself and and Chris Klein as American Interpol agent Charlie Nash.  The two actors have been talking storyline and memories of the video games upon which their film is based.  At least, I think that's the idea here.

"It's about the character Chun-Li," [Kreuk] said in an interview on the red carpet for the Video Game Awards in Los Angeles over the weekend. "It's her origin story from when she was a little girl. She loses both of her parents. Her father is taken away. She doesn't know that, and she goes on a revenge journey and then eventually finds a teacher, a master to help her overcome her emotional attachments to getting her revenge so that she can actually see a greater good, and then go forth and fight from there."

Klein admits to being a fan of the Street Fighter game from way back. "Capcom is coming out with a new version of the game," he added. "Street Fighter version four for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in the first part of next year. But I was Nintendo 64 Street Fighter version two, since I'm a little bit older."

I must have missed that Nintendo 64 edition of Street Fighter version two.  How would one even play Street Fighter on the unconventional N64 controller?  My hands cramp up just thinking about it.  Give me Super Street Fighter Version Two Turbo High Definition Remix on the Sony PlayStation Version Three any day.