Review: Wii Sports (Wii)

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Wii Sports Genre(s): Sports
Directors: Keizo Ohta, Takayuki Shimamura, Yoshikazu Yamashita
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Console(s): Wii
Rated: E for Everyone

Wii Sports is, surprisingly, one of the most important titles of the year. Not only is it Nintendo's first foray into their "revolutionary" motion-based gameplay, but it is the first pack-in game since the days of the SNES as well. To begin, the presentation is very streamlined, with easy to navigate menus and vibrant descriptive pictures of each sport. The Wii pointer makes it all the easier to navigate the menu, and you can even use the D-pad, though the pointer is much more fun. Music is strange in this game. The little chimes and tunes in the background are reminiscent of elevator music, but they don't get on your nerves as much. They're bright, happy... and forgetable. Nevertheless, they never get annoying, allowing you to enjoy the game without your TV turned to 0 volume!

Graphics are, you guessed it, nothing special! It's not for lack of processing power, however, since some very nice background lighting effects and detailed objects can be seen. These look slightly beyond the Gamecube, going to the realm of the original Xbox. The characters, however, cannot be saved by any graphical power from their cartoony, undetailed selves, but they are appealing nevertheless. When you start the game and import your Miis from the console, (yes, you play with the user-created avatars) they get a score, and you can increase this by playing and winning more and more games of "insert sport here." The goal is to become a "Pro", which will take a lot of playtime. You gain at least 75 points every time you win a game, sometimes up to 200 or 300, and you need 1000 points to become a Pro, making it long but easy to reach the milestone.

Finally, before moving into separate sports, the Wii remote's speaker. I have heard many complaints about the "tinny" sounding speaker on the Wii remote. With the speaker's volume turned down low, the sounds coming from the remote sound perfectly fine, and are a great addition to this game. The sound of a tennis racket hitting the ball, a landed punch, and a variety of other sounds keep the game interesting. I will cover each sport in it's own topic in the below paragraphs.

Tennis
This game starts off a little bit frustrating. Nintendo has said time and time again that Tennis does not need us to manually control our character's movements. This is definitely not true! Most of the people who played Tennis, including myself, were put off by the fact that you can only hit the ball back, but you cannot control where you move. Other than that, the controls for hitting the ball were pretty accurate. It will take into account just about every movement you make with the remote. Though I was unable to change my spin by hitting the ball differently, I could pop it up, hit it hard or soft, and hit to the outside or inside of the court.
The Verdict: 2.5 (out of 5)

Baseball
Baseball is also a fairly simplified version of the game. You can only play as the batter or the pitcher, and the controls are not much to talk about. Of course, the batting is just swinging at the ball with the remote, but there is not much in the way of vertical movement. It becomes a timing thing where instead of pressing a button, you swing the remote at the right time. (How you hold it and where you point it makes no real difference, just the movement itself) Nevertheless, batting is fun, and the controls immerse you fairly well into the process. Pitching was also simplified. You swing your arm like a pitcher, and your pitch gets thrown. To throw different pitches, you hold down the A button or buttons on the D-pad. However, there's never any risk in throwing other pitches, since you barely ever get balls. In addition, the fielders just catch the ball, and depending on what would have happened, the game decides single, double, triple, homerun, or out. The fielders can actually make errors, (not under your control) which is a nice touch.
The Verdict: 2.5 (out of 5)

Bowling
Bowling is definitely one of the highlights of Wii Sports. You hold B to grab the ball, swing like you would in real bowling, and release B to let the ball roll. The game calculates everything from tiny wrist movements to the strength you throw with, and ends up with a very accurate bowling game. Granted, this is much easier than real bowling. (My almost total gutterball shots in real bowling magically become strikes and spares in Wii Sports) It's still a ton of fun. Multiplayer can be played either with up to four controllers, or 4 players handing off one controller.
The Verdict: 3.5 (out of 5)

Golf
Also a very accurate game, Golf is very full featured and not nearly as simple as the others. You can hit with many varying levels of strength, and have full control over your direction using the d-pad. There is wind to blow your ball off course, there are very detailed trees, rivers, etc. in the background, and there's 3 difficulties. With a ton of courses at 3 different difficulties, Golf can keep you occupied for a while. The game is also the hardest of any of the sports. It can be played with one remote, just like bowling, so there's no need for extra controllers.
The Verdict: 3.5 (out of 5)

Boxing
Boxing, one of the late additions to Wii Sports, is undoubtebly one of the best sports on the disk. You control your Mii, using both Wii remote and nunchuck, from a back-of-the-head perspective, with your head semi-transparent. To jab to the face, punch forward with either remote or nunchuck, to punch to the body, hit low, to block, hold both up to your face, and to dodge, hold both and move to the side. These controls are the most intuitive set seen in Wii Sports, since even your movement is controlled through motion-sensing, not mapped to a d-pad or analog stick. Even though your punches will oftentimes not come out exactly the way you want them to, you'll still have a lot of fun doing it. The AI can get enormously hard as you progress through the matches, and multiplayer is very difficult. (Seeing as you must outsmart a thinking human opponent) This is by far the most entertaining sport in the game!
The Verdict: 3.5 (out of 5)

Graphics/Sound: 2.5 Average:

(3.1 stars)
Gameplay: 3.0
Design/Story: 3.5
Lasting Appeal: 3.5
Overall: 3.0
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Dojo Day: Super Garlic!

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SUPER GARLIIIIIIC Today's wonderful edition of Dojo Day is being released on a Sunday, and a busy one for me, at that. I was sick for two days earlier this week, and ended up missing a few days of posting on AniGamers. So, to make up for it, here you have a Dojo Day article on the previously unpostable Sunday. (Admittedly, the article is a day late) And looky here, tomorrow is the release date of Super Smash Bros. Brawl! Oh, waaaaait... Yeah, it turns out that the game is actually coming out on February 10! Darn you, Nintendo, you tricksters. As you lament the non-release of your favorite new game in true nerd shame, take solace in this article, into which I poured lots of otherwise useful time, a fair bit of effort, and--some claim--my soul.

Controls: After typing in a name, you can set your control scheme for any of the four different possible control schemes in the game. For each one, every single button in customizable, but you can also set things like the ability to tap up to jump, and the ability to swing the Wiimote to perform a smash attack.

Donkey Kong (Music): Longtime Nintendo composer Hirokazu Tanaka returns to create a really fun composition that combines retro sounds with some very nice mixing effects.

Widescreen Support: Brawl plays in widescreen. This megaton announcement is just overwhelming. Someone stop it, it's just too unexpected.

Wario-Final Smash: Wario eats a clove of garlic, and turns into the infamous Wario-Man. Using his superpowers (and ridiculously stupid costume), Wario-Man runs around the screen, using superpowered versions of Wario's normal moves. (Some midair moves even make him fly) However, if he uses his motorcycle, it will often be too fast for the player to control.

Events: Themed event matches are back, and they have three levels of difficulty. Some cool new events include: -Two Trouble Kings - You play as Mario against Bowser and Dedede in Delfino -Pink Ball Repulsion - As Meta Knight, you defend the Battleship Halberd from Kirby -Cleaning House in Skyworld - Pit breaks all the terrain in Skyworld, and Wario both helps and gets in the way -Dark Link Duel - Obviously, fight as Link against Dark Link (On the Bridge of Eldin)

Melee Stages: Some stages from Melee, including the ever-popular Hyrule Temple, have been included with some minor changes in Brawl. Also, in addition to the original music, there have been new tracks added, like a cool remix to the original Hyrule Temple music from the ill-received Zelda II.

Dammit, this week was dead boring. I had to friggin' title this thing "Super Garlic" for crying out loud! Some of the music was cool, but nearly everything was a confirmation of what we already knew or guessed. Whatever. It's midnight, and I'm tired. Now that I've knocked down the fourth wall with a bulldozer, I might as well be signing off. See you all next week, when we will discuss how we got a demo version of Brawl free from Nintendo due to our great column that everybody reads. (This may or may not be a complete and utter fabrication)

[via Smash Bros. Dojo]
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Review: Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (Wii)

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Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 Genre(s): Action, Anime, Fighting
Director(s): Paul Steed
Developer: Atari
Publisher: Spike
Console(s): PS2, Wii
Rated: T for Teen

And here we were thinking that Atari was pulling an EA on us with Dragonball Z fighters! The first game in the series, Dragonball Z: Budokai, was a 3D fighter much in the style of every other fighter around. Four punches and your energy attack make you do a Kamehameha, Goku's signature move. Then came Budouki Tenkaichi, which gave the high-flying, fast-paced action needed to recreate the DBZ anime. Now, here we are at Tenkaichi 2, in which developer Spike has taken the formula that worked so well in the first Tenkaichi, and adapted it to the Wii. The transition is not without its bumpy spots, but it still comes off as a very enjoyable game.

In BT2, you follow the plot of the Dragonball, Dragonball Z, and Dragonball GT anime. You are paired up with an enemy, and in classic fighting game style, its a fight to the death. A nice feature here is that a lot of levels will have tag team matches. (For example, the fight with Vegeta and Nappa has the two villains pitted against Piccolo, Gohan, Krillin, Tien, and Yamcha, who can switch in and out of the fight at will) As you defeat your foes, you unlock new sagas of the story and even the DBZ movies.

This game is, as each installment in the series attempts to be, a Dragonball Z fan's dream come true. With over 70 characters, many of which have every powered up form ever seen in the show, you can live out all of your Dragonball fantasies. (not that kind) The characters, however, are not particularly balanced. Giant monsters like Hildegarn have seven or so bars of health, while cool yet somewhat weak characters like Pan have only two. This adds to the accuracy in relation to the anime, but for non-fans of the series, this will only be frustrating. Chiaotzu v. Broly is not the kind of thing you want to run into in this game.

As for controls, they have a steep learning curve in the Wii version, but you get a pretty good hang of it after a while. A takes care of all physical attacks, down on the d-pad blocks, the B trigger shoots energy blasts, and Z powers up. To dash at your enemy, you merely shake the nunchuck, and to ascend/descend while flying, you hold C and tilt the nunchuck up or down. The problem here is that you have to keep your hand perfectly steady, or your character will stop movement too early or go too far. Though most of the game mechanics stay the same as previous games with this control scheme, the input for special attacks very much changes the way the game is played. You hold Z and B, then, while your cursor is on the screen, (using the Wii pointer) you move it off in a direction, back on the screen, and then let go of Z an B to finish the attack. (or a few non-pointer related movements) Each character has three of these moves, and the different movements are out to the right/left/top/bottom, move Wii remote back and then forward, or jabbing both Wii remote and nunchuck forward twice. Often, when trying to do the latter two movements, the Wii will pick up your input wrong, causing your character to perform the wrong move. You also have a yellow "ki" bar that must be powered up to use special attacks. To use you ultimate attack, which often causes the decimation of the entire planet you are fighting on, you need to power up until a second blue bar of "ki" reaches the top. Finally, moving to your character's next level (i.e. Super Saiyan) is handled by the 1 button, and switching in tag games uses 2.

Graphics are the typical fare for Atari's DBZ games. Colorful and expansive landscapes are combined with cell-shaded and black-line-bound characters who look surprisingly like their anime counterparts. Swirling dust and energy radiating off of the fighters' bodies is rendered with a nice clean look. When it comes to recreating the feel of an anime while keeping in the features we associate with games, the Dragonball Z games have always been the first ones to come to mind, and this game is no exception. One glaring problem occured in graphics for this reviewer. Since the stages are so massive, and for a variety of other reasons, the game can get mind-numbingly laggy at certain points. The game is almost unplayable when this happens, and worse, it usually doesn't stop until you start a new fight.

Tenkaichi 2 has a lot of features, most of which have been seen in previous installments, but have been tweaked for this game. In Dragon Adventure, you still have to fly to new locations to fight enemies, which feels contrived and unneccesary. There is Ultimate Battle, which is now organized into short lines of characters to defeat, each grouped based on some similar characteristic. Dueling allows up to two players, and you can play a single fight, tag team, or 5-on-5 tag game. To get many of the characters, you will have to use the Evolution Z feature to "fuse" two items that both relate to the character. Tournament mode still plays as you would expect; you fight in a tournament until you reach the first place spot.

Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is definitely a great game for any Dragonball Z fan. However, this is not a top-notch fighter, and so is not for fans of games like Street Fighter and Tekken. In addition, problems like laggy multiplayer are not going to be bearable for those without a big love for DBZ. The Wii controls make the game fun to play, but really complicate the process for new players, and don't really add any accuracy to the control. The multitude of characters and robust multiplayer options can keep you playing Dragonball Z, and as long as your friends have played the game and are fans of the show, the game can be a fairly fun party game. All in all, this is a hardcore game for hardcore players: not for the casual gamer or the non-DBZ fan.

Graphics/Sound: 2.5 Average:

(2.8 stars)
Gameplay: 2.5
Design/Story: 3.0
Lasting Appeal: 3.0
Overall: 3.0
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Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Director: Eiji Aonuma
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Console(s): Gamecube, Wii
Rated: T for Teen

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of the most anticipated games of 2006. It has been heralded as quite possibly the best Zelda game ever made. It lives up to these aspirations almost perfectly, but falls short just enough to hold it back from the true greatness it was thought to possess. The story is classic Zelda fare. A young farmboy named Link has his friends kidnapped by evil monsters. While chasing them, he unwittingly enters the Twilight Realm, a strange area of half darkness and twisted creatures. There, he is transformed into a wolf, and captured by the Twilight Beasts. With the help of the strange twilight creature known as Midna, Link escapes and returns to his true form. He proceeds to travel the land of Hyrule, searching for his friends and stopping Twilight from conquering the world.

This plot is generally what you would expect from a Zelda game, though the emphasis on Wolf Link gives it an interesting twist. Zelda, however, is known for its cliched storylines. As usual, Nintendo manages to make one of the most overdone stories work once again! The plot moves along at a brisk pace, and there are a few twists and surprises to keep you interested. The storytelling is actually much more engaging than most Zelda games before Twilight Princess. When surprises and tragedies occur, you'll find yourself really feeling for the characters. Cinematics are dramatic and moving, and the epic background music is equally powerful. The ending cinematic and credits are a pleasant combination of Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time-style endings; they manage to portray both a very quiet and personal ending and a glorious, epic one. My single minor critique is the reuse of old music and concepts, which creates a nostalgic feel for Zelda veterans, but also makes it feel like we've already played this game.

Graphics are, as many knew beforehand, a fairly major downside to this game. The Gamecube and Wii versions have the exact same graphics, which are not even top-of-the-line Gamecube visuals. While textures are noticeably undetailed, polygon counts are definitely at a good level. In addition, the game pulls of looking beautiful purely through art direction. Objects and characters are designed with vibrant creativity and a very good attention to detail. In addition, the Twilight Realm is beautiful in its unusual creepiness. The ground blackens, the sky and air is filled with an orangey haze, and black pixels rise from the ground. As for more art direction, the characters have a definite style never before seen in Zelda games. Their haphazard, eclectic-looking clothing is initially recognizable as being similar to the RPG Fable. The characters have a new style for eyes as well. They are rendered with an anime style, allowing for their emotions to be beautifully portrayed. This aids in the really affecting storytelling mentioned above. Finally, enemies (there are different types for Hyrule and the Twilight Realm) are gruesome and very well designed. Saliva drips from the shiny jaws of Deku Babas, and Moblins are disfigured purple goblins with glinting red eyes.

Now, on to what everybody's been waiting for... controls! The Wii controls were adapted partway into the process of creating the game, so the game was not built ground-up for motion control. Zelda was said to be the true test of if a hardcore game franchise could move to motion sensing. The controls work well, though not flawlessly. Pointing for use in aiming arrows, boomerangs, and such is astoundingly accurate. Being the kind of person who has to keep pushing the analog tiny bits at a time to get the right aiming in Windwaker or Ocarina of Time, these new controls were a release. You simply point at where you want to shoot, using the analog stick to turn your body, hold B, and release to fire. The pointer is also used for first-person looking and menu navigation. (Both have the additional option of using the analog stick, but your Wii-playing friends will surely kill you for that) Additionally, the pointer is shown as a floating fairy when in the normal game screen. Though you can point at enemies to specifically Z-target them, the game auto-targets them without your help, rendering the annoying fairy relatively useless. (This fairy wouldn't have any relation to another annoying one, would she...Navi?)

As for the basic item and sword controls, they end up playing nearly identically to their predecessors. The sword is controlled with the accelerometer in the remote. When any movement is detected, Link swings his sword. This may sound intuitive, but when you get down to it, Nintendo just replaced the B button with "movement." (regardless of magnitude or direction) You can seriously sit back on your couch and flick your wrist to fight monsters. Even though Nintendo insists you won't, you'll find yourself getting into the movements less and less as the game goes on. Getting up and swinging your sword like an idiot is tons of fun...for a while, but you'll get tired soon enough, and only stand up when you get into really exiting sequences. On another note, the items have an interesting, though minor twist to them in this game. The D-pad has left, down, and right items. (and of course the infamous up-button advice, this time with Midna) However, each of these (but for a couple exceptions) must be equipped to B before being used. Though this doesn't help or hinder the gameplay in any way, the need to take an item out before using it is subtlely more realistic than Zelda games typically are.

One unusual complaint (for a Zelda game) that I have with this game is the lack of side-quests. While the game contained a massive world, it seemed empty, and you never felt the soul that Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Windwaker, and many other games had. In fact, it felt much like the original, where you wander a huge world killing enemies and collecting items, but never having enough interactions with humans. Of course, there are a few quests, such as collecting bugs and poes, but nothing like the mask shop or trading sequence from Ocarina of Time.

When it comes down to it, Twilight Princess is not the "greatest Zelda ever made", as many have hoped it would be. Nevertheless, it is deinitely among my top 3 to 5 choices, and will not disappoint any hardcore gamer of Zelda fan. (seriously, the two are practically the same) The story is beautifully told, the music is wonderful, and art direction is the best I have seen in any Zelda game. As we expected, gameplay is very good, and the puzzles are challenging but not frustrating. However, the Wii failed to add the innvation everyone was looking for, and the large world did not fill itself with enough mini-quests. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an epic, emotional experience, but does not give fans everything they expected from it.

Graphics/Sound: 3.0 Average:

(3.4 stars)
Gameplay: 3.5
Design/Story: 4.0
Lasting Appeal: 3.0
Overall: 3.5
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Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)

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Whoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Genre(s): Adventure, Puzzle, Visual Novel
Director: Shu Takumi
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Console(s): Nintendo DS
Rated: T for Teen

Phoenix Wright, known by the Japanese as "Gyakuten Saiban: Yomigaeru Gyakuten," is a cult hit DS game ported from a Gameboy Advance "visual novel." It tells a story in which the player may choose who to talk to, and at times what to say and do, but it progresses on its own path most of the time. This results in a lot of reading and not a lot of action, hence the term visual novel. (This is often seen in hentai or dating sim games)

You are Phoenix Wright, a rookie defense lawyer walking into his first ever case. Helped by his mentor Mia Fey, Phoenix must learn the skills needed to win court cases and prove his clients innocent. You will play through four levels from the original game, in which you can examine crime scenes, question witnesses, and collect evidence. There is also a fifth case designed specifically for the Nintendo DS, which uses touch screen investigation tools to find blood traces, fingerprints, and more. Phoenix meets friends and foes along the way, such as Mia's younger sister Maya, the dim-witted Detective Gumshoe, and ruthless prosecutor Miles Edgeworth.

Being that this is a visual novel, the plot is naturally the most important aspect. And this is the key to Phoenix Wright's success. It writes a serious and intelligent plot with unforgettable characters and an unexpected amount of humor thrown in. This is like reading a good book. What makes it even better is the ability to control said book. It also maintains a steadily rising level of difficulty, forcing the player to think more and more for each case.

While this game does not require the same level of smooth control that, say, a first-person shooter needs, it still does its own job well. The touch screen integration in the DS makes what was already an easy-to-use control scheme into something truly streamlined. No instructions are even needed, since the touch screen takes care of everything. Want to examine the scene? Simply tap the "Examine" button. Want to find and present evidence? Scroll through the pages, tap the evidence you want, and hit "Present." The touch control almost completely eliminates the need for scrolling through choices that you do not want to find the button you want to press.

Nevertheless, this control is not perfect. Because of the fact that each area you go to is just a background with you looking at it at a fixed spot, you need to select each scene you wish to go to. When selecting a different place to move to, sometimes you will find that there is a confusing heirarchy that determines where you can go from each place. (To get to the Evidence Room, you must go outside the Police Station, then go to the Guard Office, and then into the room) Also, since there can only be 4 places to choose from each time, there are sometimes areas that do not show up at all unless you go to a certain spot.

As you might guess, Ace Attorney is not a graphics-based game. However, that does not mean that it is not visually appealing. The game blends painted and colorful backdrops with anime-style, well-drawn and designed characters. (all 2 dimensional of course) They look crisp and vibrant on the screen, and each one is designed with such a vivid creativity that it is impossible to confuse any two. There are a few 3D sections in the last case, and these are definitely good looking, with fairly natural looking motions and designs. Music in the game is simple, but is very effective for its ability to stop, start, and change dynamically at the right moments, increasing the impact of many scenes.

Finally, Phoenix Wright, however interesting on the first playthrough, is not a game created for replay value. While the game pulled quite a few hours out of me, (I'll put it this way, I got Zelda a month before it and I was still playing this until nearly 2 months after I had beaten a 60-hour game of Zelda) it is still only good for one time. I will probably never play this again, since I already know the answers to all of the problems in the cases.

Most hardcore gamers will dismiss Phoenix Wright out of hand. It is more of a choose-your-own story books, and less of a traditional game. However, for those who have put their time into the title, this game is a really fun experience. Capcom has combined the intriguing plot of a good mystery book with the interactivity of a video game and the absurdness of an anime. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a great example of when games can show true intelligence and good writing.



Graphics/Sound: 3.5 Average:

(3.5 stars)
Gameplay: 3.5
Design/Story: 4.0
Lasting Appeal: 2.5
Overall: 4.0
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Review: FLCL (Hyb)

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FLCL Media: OVA
Genre(s): Action, Slice-of-life
Anime Director: Kazuya Tsurumaki
Studio: AIC
Number of Episodes: 6
Licensed? Yes (Synch-Point)

FLCL? Furi Kuri? Fooly Cooly? What is this strange phenomenon? Well it, happens to be one of the most popular and talked-about anime ever made. This is what we have come to expect from studio Gainax, creators of such controversial anime as Evangelion. Fooly Cooly (as is its official English translation) is, at its heart, a simple coming-of-age story. The main character Naota begins as a bored (and boring) 12-year-old living in a uninteresting town. Through the plot's absolutely bizarre twists, we watch this boy realize how pointless his life is right now, and how all he needs to do is step up and put a little energy into his life to make it exciting.

Naota Nandaba is a 12-year-old living in Mabase, a fairly average Japanese town except for the huge Medical Mechanica plant in the middle. The factory mysteriously spews out smoke and steam all the time, and the people never seem to wonder why this plant exists. Naota, however generic in personality, has a life that is far from normal. His brother went to America a few years ago to play baseball, and his brother's high school girlfriend Mamimi Samejima is, for all intents and purposes, going out with the 12-year-old Naota. The boy feels bored with his uneventful life, until one day, a mysterious girl appears on a motorcycle. She drives right into Naota, and proceeds to hit him in the forehead with a guitar. We later find out that this 19-year-old girl is named Haruhara Haruko, and she is now the housekeeper at Naota's house. As the series progresses, robots and other strange objects begin to appear out of the growing "horn" or lump on Naota's head. (formed by getting hit with the guitar) The show gets crazier and crazier as Haruko helps Naota to mature and see himself in a new way.

The writing in FLCL is a strange type that walks the line between drama and comedy. At times, it will seem like the story is getting very serious and really trying to get across a moral. As quick as this scene appears, Haruko will come by to hit Naota with a guitar, or his dad will pop up with some sexual wisecrack about Naota. The viewer has to be ready to change tones over and over during the course of each episode; to get sense (and sometimes even a lesson) from seemingly random insanity, and to suspend all reality to watch these events unfold. Believe me, this show does not follow any boundaries of reality or genre. Science fiction will be mixed with comedy, romance, and drama. Meanwhile, you will be introduced to secret organizations, giant eyebrows and unexplained problems. (like a giant satellite bomb headed for Mabase) The story is chock-full of metaphors about growing up and making your own choices. Another interesting inclusion is all of the subtle references to anime and popular culture, such as Evangelion, Gundam, and South Park. It is easy to watch FLCL with a shallow eye, only picking up the loud and violent humor. However, if you look closer, you will find a really meaningful story about one boy's quest to grow up and become a man.

Animation is, just like plot, another confusing aspect of FLCL. More tone changes abound, as Gainax and Production I.G. switch us between normal, chibi, manga, and even South Park styles of animation. Each of these represents a change in plot tone, but they are not as effective as the changes in writing. The difference here is that your eyes often cannot react fast enough to pick up and interpret all of the flashing images in front of you. Though confusing, the action scenes are very entertaining. There are hybrid organic-robotic cretures such as Canti, a robot that comes out of Naota's head, and when they fight, they move with a beautiful fluditity of motion. In general, FLCL uses very good animation for its time period, but can sometimes be too confusing for its own good.

Music is the absolute best aspect of FLCL. All of the music, from backgrounds to the closing song, were performed by "The Pillows," a Japanese rock band. The band has a distinctive British sound, and infuse a very contemporary, fun sound to the series. Not only is the music well-performed and very catchy, but it is flawlessly integrated. During action scenes, Gainax actually animated based on the music, as opposed to dubbing music based on the animation. This results in a really synchronized feeling in which the music really enhances the action. Also, slower, more uplifting songs are used during key emotional scenes in each episode. (Most notably the song "Little Busters" in the conclusion of each episode) These cap off each episode with a powerful, emotional mood.

The dub is surprisingly good, and is actually better than the sub. There are many plays on words that only Japanese people would get in the sub, while the dub changes these to jokes that American audiences will understand and laugh at. Also, the actors are both believable and funny when they need to be.

FLCL rightly deserves the title of classic, and it does not shy away from the uniqueness that many anime lack. The plot is twisty and interesting, but manages to tell a profound, very personal story in only six episodes. Those looking for a straight comedy will be disappointed. Deep down, Fooly Cooly is an uplifting, powerful story that can make you laugh, think, or even cry.

Animation: 3.5 Average:

(3.6 stars)
Plot: 3.5
Voice Acting: 3.5
Sound: 4.0
Overall: 3.5
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Preview: Super Paper Mario (Wii)

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Super Paper Mario Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Platformer
Director: Ryota Kawade
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Console(s): Wii
Rated: E for Everyone

Oh boy. Another 2D Mario platformer. But of course, Nintendo throws us all for a loop by giving us everything we love about just about every Mario game. This is a 2D sidescroller, a 3D platformer, a puzzler, an RPG, and its got multiple playable characters from the Mushroom Kingdom. I recently stopped in at the Nintendo World Store for the first time, (and what a nice place it is) and I got a chance to play Super Paper Mario on its launch day. The game is generally very enjoyable, and is a real diversion from the path many developers have taken with the Wii.

Lets get down to the core feature of this game. First off, to play, you hold the Wii remote on its side like an NES controller, using the D-pad, 1, and 2 buttons. Mario can run and jump just like in any Mario game, but here comes the biggest difference. At any point in the gameplay, you can press the A button (right next to the D-pad) to flip the world into 3D. In this mode, the blocks that seemed like they were aligned will be separated, and you might even find a new pathway or way around an obstacle. (You can walk behind large walls, and even occasionally walk on the background to pass over gaps and such) Don't even try to decipher the way this works, since a lot of times something will work in one dimension and not the other. Seemingly far apart blocks will somehow be right next to each other, and defying logic, Mario will walk over blocks that are clearly not in a straight line. As this game proves, everything's different when you look from a different perspective. The controls are tight and simple as expected from a mario game. Some other interesting additions include the ability to point the remote at the screen (at which time it pauses) so your butterfly companion can explain objects and enemies to you, Navi-style. Also, everything but the actual controls plays like an RPG, with collectable and use-at-will items, hit points, and even leveling up. (When you or an enemy gets hit, they lose a certain amount of health, depending on the typical RPG plethora of factors)

Graphics are a striking feature of Super Paper Mario. While the Wii is not very graphically powerful, it is able to deliver some very nicely art directed visuals. Using its typical cartoony style, Super Paper Mario shows us very vibrant and interesting landscapes. Of course, the characters and enemies are cute and very--how should I say it--bubbly (or sometimes even blocky) There are also some very nice effects added in that give the graphics an artistic flair. For example, the screen ripples all around your selection area when asking the butterfly for help. Also, when you enter a pipe, Mario's body is split into blocks, and each one is sucked down seperately. The game uses simple visuals to create fun and colorful gameplay.

I really enjoyed playing this game for the total of 10 or so minutes I spent on it. It looks very nice, especially on an HDTV with Component cables I might add, and plays gracefully, as we've come to expect from Nintendo's development team. Super Paper Mario is looking to be the best Wii game since Zelda, and should tide over Nintendo fans until the spring-summer game drought is over.


Pre-Rating:
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Review: Boogiepop Phantom (Hyb)

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Boogiepop Phantom Media: TV Anime
Genre(s): Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Supernatural
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Studio: Madhouse
Number of Episodes: 12
Licensed? Yes (Nozomi)

One night, a tower of light pierces through the sky from the roof of Shinyo Academy. For a moment, silence, as every piece of electronics in the city shuts down, and then reboots. Across the city, many people witness this strange phenomenon. Their lives, and the city itself, have been changed forever.

This is the opening scene of Boogiepop Phantom. Over the course of the series, it tracks the actions of "Boogiepop Phantom" and "Manticore", ghosts created by the light in the opening scene. High school students are "evolving" and becoming higher forms of humanity. They are being kidnapped by unknown assailants, and people are starting to wonder. Is Boogiepop back? The death god that kidnapped students a little while ago, and took them away, never to be seen again. Boogiepop, his phantom, the Manticore, and the young vigilante Nagi Kirima clash as the students' stories intertwine, and Nagi seeks to uncover the mystery of Boogiepop Phantom.

If Boogiepop Phantom is your first foray into the Boogiepop series, (and for many it is) be prepared for something thoroughly confusing. The opening scene of the beam of light seems so random and unrelated that many viewers will be turned off from the series after the first episode. However, those who stick with Boogiepop for the first three episodes will find something truly worth their time.

The first failure of Boogiepop Phantom is it's weak first episode. While it has its creepy moments, they are very subtle scenes, such as when you realize that a certain character is afflicted with a mental disorder and the reasons for it. It also falls too much into teen drama at times, focusing on the relationship between a girl Moto and the now-missing Saotome. Finally, the first episode fails to do what certain shows of it's genre, Paranoia Agent in particular, have done very well. It does not start with something tangible and easy to understand, break it down over the course of the series, then build it back up at the end. (as with the concept of Lil' Slugger at the beginning of PA) Instead, the first episode sends you blasts of seemingly unrelated material that may seem significant after multiple viewings, but seem like bad direction for the first-time viewer. In short, it fails to hook you.

The plot is just what fans of the psychological horror/mystery genre will enjoy. High school students are disappearing, and no one really knows how or why. Each episode focuses on a different character (usually a high school student) and their descent into near-madness. As you may have guessed, there is usually an "attack" of some sort on this stressed person, but luckily it is not as formulaic as Paranoia Agent's "person goes crazy, Lil' Slugger hits them with bat." (sorry about all of the references to PA, but with the shows having such similar premises, comparisons are inevitable) The character-by-character method of revealing the plot works very well in this case, and serves to slowly highlight the message of the series without having to spell it out. Viewers will delight both in the startling and oftern disturbing twists in each episode. Also, the characters are all connected, in a web that will induce many "ohhh"s from a viewer.

Animation is slightly dated, and does not stand out very much. The character art is rather bland, causing the viewer to have to backtrack and look at many of the characters (mostly schoolgirls) to figure out who's who. However, the animation in general is smooth and precise, with lots of grays and similar "urban" colors saturating the screen to give a dark and unsettling feeling.

The dub shines in these DVDs, showing how sometimes the most overlooked dub tracks can be the most accurate. I watched the entire series with both the dubbed voices and the subtitles scrolling on the bottom. In almost every scene, the dub was better written than the sub, and the actors performed their lines naturally. On a much smaller note, the next episode sequences feature creepy overlayed whispers that do not include subtitles, so the English version gets the point across better.

Sound is another noticeable portion of the anime. Along with the diverse and often disturbing musical track, (made up of strange techno beats and instruments) there is a persistent tone that is repeated to amazing effect. At the start of every episode, and at many times in between, the viewer will hear a the same note played. It is driven into your head until it becomes a symbol of its own, and you know there is something important and usually psychological going on when you hear it.

The Boogiepop Phantom box set is a very good investment for fans of the psychological horror and mystery genres. The set comes with the 12-episode series (with some cool music videos and such inside) and the live action film Boogiepop and Others. Together, "Phantom" and "Others" explain missing information, and Boogiepop Phantom is nearly impossible to fully understand without watching "Others." (Though I suggest watching Phantom first, since Boogiepop's identity will be a mystery until the end if you do, while his identity is given away in Others) This show is confusing, but with that comes the ability to truly make you think. It will leave you pondering its profound message about memories, change, and humanity itself.

Animation: 3.0 Average:

(3.4 stars)
Plot: 3.5
Voice Acting: 3.5
Sound: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
Continue Reading...

Review: Megatokyo (Largo Era)

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Megatokyo Media: OEL Manga
Genre(s): Drama, Humor, Romance, Webcomic
Manga-ka/Artists: Fred Gallagher (Piro) and Rodney Caston (Largo)
Number of Volumes: 5+
Licensed? Yes (Del Rey)

Piro is a pushover otaku and fan of dating sims. Largo is a volatile and video game-obsessed man who "5p34k5 l33t." And these two losers just got themselves stuck in Japan. Now, without money to buy a plane ticket back, the two men must try to gather the money while avoiding the dangers of creepy Japanese women, rentable Godzillas, some violent friends of theirs, a life-size dating sim accessory, Japanese schoolgirls, and hordes of zombies. Oh yeah, and some romance as well. Megatokyo is a comic that begins as a joke-a-day comic that plays on Japanese, American, anime, and video game cultural stereotypes. Eventually, it turns into a very serious story about the disparities between nerds' fantasies and the real life. Yes, that is a rather major shift.

For the sake of a better review, I have written two different reviews of Megatokyo. This one reviews the span of early comics in which Rodney Caston was the co-writer of Megatokyo. The other follows the time period after Piro and Largo split up, leaving all art, plot, and humor to Fred.

Megatokyo begins as a typical webcomic. Here you have your lazy and drunk gamer who speaks in l33t, your wimpy otaku, and a bunch of insane Japanese cultural points and things like anime and games to be the blunt of the jokes. However, the series works well with what it is given, and creates a quite enjoyable webcomic from it.

While the plot may seem rather cliched for a webcomic, the writers pull off gaming jokes that you expect Tycho and Gabe would have done to death really well. You can practically see the clashing ideas of Fred and Rodney as their characters go through their crazy adventures. Largo does or says something stupid, while Piro acts as his foil and makes us laugh at it. Occasionally, the roles are switched, but the jokes generally stay in predictable territory. Even though the jokes never go beyond any realms we haven't seen before, their delivery and inside perspective make this a joy for otaku and gamers. Of course, as the comic progresses, we begin to find mor original comics. Instead of following the story all of the time, we are treated to random (and often comical) looks into the lives of the writers. In addition, things like a rather amusing Penny Arcade parody sneak in there as well. Then, of course, there is "Shirt Guy Dom." Dom Nguyen is a friend of Piro and Largo who helps out with Megatokyo and occasionally...draws stick comics with a trackball when Piro can't draw something that day. While Fred, Rodney, the general readership, and even Dom himself considers these to be the most powerful image of evil in the universe, these comics are undoubtedly some of the funniest in all of Megatokyo. Dom simply writes about events in his life, but his blatant self-parody makes the horrible artwork that much more amusing.

As for art, there is a single major difference in Megatokyo from most other webcomics. Fred draws his comics in pencil, traces them in pencil, and then scans them into the computer where he fixes them up. So, his final drawings end up as pencil drawings, a quite unusual approach for a comic. Nevertheless, his art has a very clear and expressive style. In addition, his experience as an architect allows for him to create very realistic-looking buildings and such. The panel layout begins with a simple yet effective 4-panel square layout, but moves to a harder-to-read, but more expressive manga one later on. Fred creates a pseudo-manga that does not look like an imitation. The influence is there, but almost never overwhelms the reader. There are some problems with his art, though. As good as he is with architecture, Gallagher still has trouble with human anatomy and facial structure. Luckily, his skills progress quickly throughout the comic.

Megatokyo is a very simple webcomic at the "Largo Era" stage. Piro's art is gaining skill, while the two work together well to make jokes that are both absurd and clever. This can make mainstream viewers laugh, while true nerds will find the workings of Piro and Largo's world to be even funnier. Megatokyo volumes 1 and 2 are a great buy for fans of webcomics, and extras like commentary on the bottoms of all of the 4-panel strips make it even more enjoyable.

Art: 2.5 Average:

(3.167 stars)
Plot: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
Continue Reading...

Review: Megatokyo (Piro Era)

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Megatokyo Media: OEL Manga
Genre(s): Drama, Humor, Romance, Webcomic
Manga-ka/Artists: Fred Gallagher (Piro) and Rodney Caston (Largo)
Number of Volumes: 5+
Licensed? Yes (Del Rey)

Piro is a pushover otaku and fan of dating sims. Largo is a volatile and video game-obsessed man who "5p34k5 l33t." And these two losers just got themselves stuck in Japan. Now, without money to buy a plane ticket back, the two men must try to gather the money while avoiding the dangers of creepy Japanese women, rentable Godzillas, some violent friends of theirs, a life-size dating sim accessory, Japanese schoolgirls, and hordes of zombies. Oh yeah, and some romance as well. Megatokyo is a comic that begins as a joke-a-day comic that plays on Japanese, American, anime, and video game cultural stereotypes. Eventually, it turns into a very serious story about the disparities between nerds' fantasies and the real life. Yes, that is a rather major shift.

For the sake of a better review, I have written two different reviews of Megatokyo. The other one reviews the span of early comics in which Rodney Caston was the co-writer of Megatokyo. This one follows the time period after Piro and Largo split up, leaving all art, plot, and humor to Fred.

In June of of 2002, Piro announced that Largo had officially left Megatokyo. His final strip, contained in Megatokyo volume 2, was published to the site on February 4th, 2002. Citing major creative differences, Fred and Rodney decided that it was "better for Megatokyo" for them to split and leave Piro in charge of everything. Largo was given money in exchange for him selling all rights to the property to Piro.

For a time, Fred Gallagher is able to keep up the momentum created together by himself and Rodney Caston. Through the second volume through most of the third one, we are kept entertained by Largo's insane antics. Piro's story becomes much more separated from Largo's, both in terms of distance and literary difference. Piro goes through a long line of emotional troubles, while Largo barely sees him during long bouts of fighting zombies and such. Early in this process, Fred keeps a very good balance between serious and humorous comics, so that readers of many types can still enjoy it. Nevertheless, after a while, he almost completely moves into emotional ground, even turning one of the characters into a love interest for Largo. This type of story can be enjoyable for fans of romantic dramas, but is often just sappy and whiney, due to its focus on nerds.

Of course, Shirt Guy Dom, Leave it to Seraphim, and other random in-between strips remain. These, especially the SGD ones, are usually the funniest things in the comic. I still check back with "the new MT" just to see if I can catch a new Dom strip.

As one would expect, Fred Gallagher's art becomes better and better the further the comics move. However, I would pinpoint his peak around the end of volume 2/volume 3. At this point, he reaches an equilibrium where his art looks like manga, but is not a blatant copy. It is also much better drawn and shaded than his earlier comics, but keeps the simplicity and cleanness that made the older comics so much fun to read. Eventually, his style progesses even more. While his ability to draw clothing and architecture gets even better the ore he draws, Fred also finds himself drawing bigger and more watery-looking eyes, making him look like just another anime rip-off.

The "Piro Era" of Megatokyo is a complicated time for fans of the comic. When Largo left, many fans stayed around just to see if Fred could keep up the original stuff the two created together. Eventually, many fans of the original joke-a-day style left, only checking back occasionally to see what's up with their once-favorite webcomic. Still others stayed, enjoying Fred's new, serious style. It boils down to a question of preference. While I enjoy the combined Largo-Piro style, and I do not like romantic stories, Fred does do some things better. Megatokyo finally focuses on one demographic, instead of scrambling for many of them at the same time. However, I feel that Fred still has not been able to make his romantic storyline as engaging as the humorous one from the early days. The "Piro Era" falls short compared to its predeccessor, but is still an interesting buy for fans of the series, and the 3rd volume will still entertain Lergo fans.

Art: 3.5 Average:

(3 stars)
Plot: 3.0
Overall: 2.5
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Welcome to the Ani-Gamers blog

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Yes, we have joined the mythical entity known as the blogosphere. What this will be used for, no one really knows. Vampt Vo and his other psychotic staff members might use this as a random ranting spot. It could hold minor updates and such. Who knows, we might even move all the news over to here so we don't have to deal with my somewhat tedious news update setup. So, keep checking back, and I'll update you all on how we're doing over here. (Yes, Ani-Gamers is now a website, forum, and blog. And soon, we will take over the world internet!) Continue Reading...

New Smash Bros item announced

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Yes, for now I will use this blog for small updates and news like the following:

The Smash Bros. has updated with an item profile. This one profiles a new item called the "Gooey Bomb." It acts much like the familiar plasma grenade in Halo, and I'm sure in no time you'll be hearing Brawl players yelling, "STUCK!" The bomb is encased in a gooey outer covering that sticks to both the ground and whoever it hits. What makes this interesting, though, is that by running into someone else, you can sometimes actually transfer it to them.

Keep checking the blog for updates on the Smash Bros site.
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Review: Ghost in the Shell (Sub)

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Ghost in the Shell Media: Anime Film
Genre(s): Action, Cyberpunk, Science Fiction
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Studio: Production I.G

Ghost in the Shell is one of those rare films that can bring together everything that people love about anime. What begins as a very cool-looking action-oriented anime becomes a story that truly examines the meaning of thought and being human.

In futuristic New Port City, Motoko Kusanagi is a member of the special police force known as Section 9. She is also a robot, with only a small portion of her body being human. In this world of advanced robotics and AI, the body is referred to as the "shell," while the "ghost" is undefinable by any single word. It is at once the mind, soul, and identity of its owner. When a powerful and infamous hacker attacks in Japan, Motoko, her partners Togusa and Batou, and their Chief Aramaki, must find the hacker and stop him from causing chaos and political problems.

Animation is instantly noticeable in Ghost in the Shell. Everything from the characters to the weapons to the machinery to the buildings is crafted with amazing attention to detail. Every piece of machinery and building is so realistic and detailed that one can often forget that they are even watching a "cartoon." One of the most stunning scenes of this type comes in the opening credits, as we watch the creation of Motoko as her metal parts are assembled and activated. It is obvious that Oshii made sure to pay close attention to the accuracy of the creation of a "Shell." Even so, the character designs can sometimes be a little undetailed and awkward, particularly when people's eyes get unnaturally wide.

Even though Ghost in the Shell establishes itself as an action thriller, it still manages to infuse philosophical musings with the explosions. At times, these complicated conversations can really confuse the viewer, especially if they are watching it subbed. However, when you stop and think about what is being said, GitS really has a lot of interesting points to make. This is the film that inspired works like Serial Experiments Lain, The Matrix, and other science fiction plots based on the ambiguity of autonomous thought. Luckily, the philosophy and action are balanced well, so that they very rarely feel contrived or tacked-on.

The English dub is listenable, but still has some problems. Most notable is Motoko's mostly emotionless voice actress, Mimi Woods. While I understand the desire to make Motoko seem like a doll, her lack of emotional acting does not help the film. Togusa as well, played by Christopher Joyce, is not very believable. The music takes the same path as Akira, attempting to combine choral chants and African drums to stress humanity in a sea of inhumanity. In one of the most powerful scenes in the film, we simply watch the city go about its ways, staring at buildings, boats, and people. All the while, drums beat in a background beneath the sound of overlapping tribal singing.

Ghost in the Shell is an anime that can truly be seen as art. From the unusual opening credits to the simple background musical scenes all the way to the film's action-packed and thought-provoking conclusion, Ghost in the Shell is unforgettable. While it may suffer from dub problems, Mamoru Oshii's exquisite attention to detail, both artistically and story-wise, definitely shows. The shell may seem shallow and action-based, but the ghost gives us so many different things to think about.

Animation: 3.5 Average:

(3.5 stars)
Plot: 3.5
Voice Acting: 3.0
Sound: 4.0
Overall: 3.5
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Pit's special moves

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Another update to the SSBB site, this time with more detailed information on Pit's techniques. As mentioned before, you will be able to change the trajectory of Pit's arrows in mid-flight, though they move fast and it is very hard. IN addition, he will have limited flying abilities, in the vein of Kirby from the past Smash Bros. games. As usual, there are some images included, though these seem to be brand new. (and from the looks of them, they might even be gameplay footage!) Continue Reading...

Final Smash Explained (Finally)

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Final Smash - Super Smash Bros. BrawlIt seems that we've been given two nice updates to the SB Dojo site once again. Together, the two explain the "Final Smash" item that we have seen in the trailer. It is an item that, when picked up, will cause your character to glow. While they are in this state, you can press a button to use their final smash, a powerful, often long-range attack. So far, they have only shown us Mario's, which consists of a large blast of fire. Continue Reading...

Super Scope Confirmed - New shooting mechanics too.

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The newest Smash Bros. Dojo update tells us about the new free-shooting abilities of the super scope. It can now be fired while running and while jumping. This announcement also officially confirms that the super scope will be included in the game. The screens shown are of Wario using it, and they seem, more than any others we've seen so far, to be real screens from the game. Continue Reading...

Okay, this is just tiring

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Cracker Launcher - Super Smash Bros. Brawl I've decided on a new way to report Super Smash Bros. Dojo news, since it's too much for one person to handle like this. I will post an overview every few days going over what Sakurai has announced and my opinions and hopes for the game. Let's call it "Dojo Day" for now.

As for today's update, it consists of a new item called the Cracker Launcher. This weapon does not shoot either crispy baked snacks or white people, as you may be lead to believe, but fireworks. They will launch out in whatever direction you press with your analog stick. The Cracker Launcher (how can one not laugh?) looks very cool, almost like...a rocket launcher! *cough* Solid Snake *cough* Continue Reading...

Dojo Day: Quadruple Take

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Control TypesWelcome to the first ever Dojo Day! Without further ado, here are the Super Smash Bros. Dojo updates of the week.

Delfino Plaza: The main island in Super Mario Sunshine has been confirmed as our first completely new stage. It looks really nice, and the dynamics sound even nicer. A platform will fly around, giving the fighters a good view of the stage, and then land in any of a few different locations in the city.

Yoshi's Story Ending: Just some remixed Yoshi's Story music for the background.

Groudon/Pokeballs: Groudon has been confirmed as a new Pokemon. (not playable, but one that releases from a Pokeball) He is massive, and burns anyone who he touches. Sakurai also explains the Pokeballs.

You must recover!: A simple explanation of what to do when you fall off the edge of a stage.

Pikachu/Kirby: The two simplest confirmed characters come packaged together in this update, as we get a basic explanation of them and relatively unchanged character models.

Four Kinds of Control: In the juiciest bit of news in a long while, Sakurai has taken back many statements by Nintendo and told us that Super Smash Bros. will indeed use the Wiimote. Not just that, but functionality has been confirmed for Wiimote, Wiimote/Nunchuck, Classic Controller, and Gamecube controller. There's no info on how each will be used, but waggle is more than assumed.

This is positively awesome! Using only the Wiimote or Wiimote/Nunchuck, Nintendo could have caused a great game to be completely scrapped. Now, though, they can combine classic gameplay and new, Wii-friendly controls. My only big concern here is that development will definitely have to be taken out of other areas to create these new controls, meaning that we will either get a game of less quality, or a later release date. Another interesting possibility is the ability to play with more than 4 players. As those who have bought VC games like Bomberman '93 on the TurboGrafX, Wii in fact supports up to eight players (though TG-16 games only use 5). This is done through use of 4 Wiimotes and 4 Gamecube controllers. It would be a very interesting move for Nintendo to add this functionality, and would undoubtedly cause far too many spills on my living room rug during a party.

[via Smash Bros. Dojo]
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A little bit about me

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PSPNow that I'm finally an official poster, I'd like to take some time to introduce myself and explain what I'm going to do here. Since this is mostly about Anime and Video games, I will probably post alot of stuff on gaming technology and games in general. Occasionaly, i will probably post some Anime-related stuff here, but it wont be too common, I'll just leave that to VamptVo or other contributers. I hope the future is going to be a bright one as we start to gain members and publicity. Rock on
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Crappy games going big

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50 Cent: BulletproofAs many of you already know, many good games do not become popular while many crappy games become a whole lot more popular. This site simply explains how and why and lists the top 10 crappy games that sold well. Some of the games featured include the absolutely terrible amazing game: Spider-Man 3 and other classics such as Wii Play and DRIV3R. Check it out, its interesting.
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Bad Movie Games? I think not

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Granted, most movie games are really badly made *cough* Spider-Man *cough*, but a few are actually good. This site explains which ones and why they are good. Some favorites include GoldenEye and the Chronicles of Riddick. [via AMN]
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Happy (belated) Birthday Ani-Gamers!

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Wow. With all the crap going on in my life, I kind of forgot about the anniversary of the creation of Ani-Gamers. Happy Birthday! This makes it three years, and its been a fun ride so far. I hope to have many more to come. Oh, and I just realized that LELOLA has the same birthday as us. Weird, huh? Since we usually have some sort of "birthday present" in the form of a new feature for you guys, I guess I'll have to consider this blog to be that present. (Last year's was the new layout and change to Ani-Gamers) Enjoy!
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It's About Time!

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After all this time and countless hours of work, StrmnNrmn has finally come up with a working (not too much lag) N64 emulator. Although this has been out for awhile (about 2 years), just recently, a new version includes a fix to play Super Smash Bros. at full speed! If you have a PSP, I highly recommend downloading this legendary PSP release.
[via PSPHacks] Continue Reading...