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Month: July 2008

Episode 2 On Its Way

Hey, everyone. Just a little status update for ya’…

We recorded episode two of the show over the weekend, and it is indeed in the editing stages. It should clock in at just under two hours. Personally, I think we had a pretty amazing discussion regarding backwards compatibility, and I even came around to a new quasi-understanding where one viewpoint may actually come from. That’s saying a lot coming from me, since I tend to be rather stubborn when it comes to my own opinions and viewpoints.

While I can’t guarantee it’ll be out this coming weekend, I’m really hoping that you’ll see it extremely soon! Would be good to get it out before Otakon… I’ve got enough other shows to record and edit before then… 😛

No more convenience store arcade machines

“Where’d you learn to shoot like that…?”

“7-11.”

It recently occurred to me how the above joke would make little-to-no-sense to the vast majority of today’s younger gamers. Sure, it’s halfway explained to the viewer in the previous movie, but even still… I guess they could process the statement as meaning that there are lots of robberies at 7-11 and one would obviously need a good handle on their handgun to get out of said sticky situation(s).

When I was a kid, I could remember heading down to the local convenience store and be guaranteed that at least some variation on Street Fighter II was there. This was in addition to playing Fatal Fury Special at Ames, and World Heroes 2 Jet (and later Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3) at Wal-Mart. It was just an expected thing… arcade machines were everywhere. It was a carry-over from the Pac-Man days, when every store had some arcade machine to keep you around spending those quarters. Convenience stores, laundromats, grocery stores… all of them. These days, I pretty much only see the standard Cruisin’ U.S.A. at rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike, or the broken-ass light gun game at the pizzeria up on Staten Island that the woman’s family has made a beloved destination.

Why is this? Aren’t classic arcade games cheap enough to grab one or two and throw them in somewhere for some guaranteed quarters? Obviously the newer machines are far too expensive, but there’s no excuse that I shouldn’t be able to play some Komani brawler from the early 90’s no matter which establishment I set foot into.

Besides, let’s not further date the Back to the Future movies. They’re too awesome to deserve that.

E3 Press Conferences: 5 Questions

So yesterday and today were the press conferences / media summits / whatever they are for Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony (in that order). As to be expected, I followed along with all the live-blogging, checked out the audio/video feeds later on, and read as much as I could possibly read.

After having a little bit of time to reflect on everything that’s been said and shown, I came up with five major questions I wanted to put out there… more so as rhetorical questions than anything else.

Question #5: What’s with Nintendo and all the mini-accessories?
Seriously, what’s going on? First we had Wii Play and the extra remote… that made perfect sense. Mario Kart Wii came with the little plastic wheel that really doesn’t do anything beyond hold it upright for you and I can’t figure out how on Earth Jeff is able to play that way and win. Then came WiI Fit and the balance board. Next comes Animal Crossing with the WiiSpeak and Wii Sports Resort with the Wii MotionPlus. Is this all calculated on Nintendo’s part, combined with how well the Wii version of Guitar Hero III (with, obviously, its own required peripheral) has done? Is it how they’re able to complement their enthusiast+mainstream media attention? What’s so special about this generation? While it’s true that they’ve done similar things in the past (look at the NES era with things like the U-Force, NES Advantage, etc.)… something seems different about today, and it’s irritating me that I can’t see through them.

Question #4: How well-integrated will this 360/Netflix setup be?
The main gamertag on our 360 is my own, which is set up for Gold. The Netflix account is under the woman’s name, whose 360 gamertag is only Silver. How tightly integrated is this going to be? Will I be able to tie our household’s existing Gold gamertag to our household’s existing Netflix account? So long as there’s not someone sitting there literally checking each name against each name against each gamertag and so on and so forth… it should be OK. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be…

Question #3: How did FUNimation get to be so big with the gaming companies?
If you know anything about my main gig, you’ll know why I’m asking this. How weird was it to see FUNimation’s name right up there with all the big movie companies for Sony’s video service rollout? We’ve discussed FUNimation’s rise in the domestic anime industry in great detail over on Daizenshuu EX (both in the general website updates and our podcast), so I’ll leave the rest of the discussion for over there.

Question #2: How will “Animal Crossing” evolve and innovate?
The biggest complaint we had about the “first” and “second” games (yes, I understand there was an N64 game in Japan) was that once you paid off your mortgage to Mr. Sleezebag Nook… there simply wasn’t much else to do. Sure, you could make sure you got all of the fruit trees, you could talk to your neighbors, and you could catch all the fish… but there was hardly enough “end-game” content (can you even call it that with this series?) to keep us around for a ridiculous amount of time. So Nintendo, are you going to just re-release the same game yet again? We already know we’ll be able to talk to each other with the new WiiSpeak, and it sounds like there will be a good amount of group-based communication available to us… but what are we actually going to be able to / have to DO? We’ll just have to wait for more information on the game…!

Question #1: Is backwards compatibility dead?
Sony had announced that come September, the current 40 GB will be discontinued in favor of a reversioned 80 GB, which itself will take on the same feature-set as the current 40 GB… which, if you’re playing along at home, means you lose your PS2 backwards compatibility for good. Nintendo did not mention Virtual Console at all (OK, fine… that’s paid emulation), Microsoft did not mention Xbox Originals at all (OK, fine… that’s also paid emulation, but at least you can still pop those discs in if you have them), and Sony is pulling PS2 backwards compatibility entirely.

What do you think about this? Is backwards compatibility still relevant? Does anyone really care? As you may have heard at the end of our first podcast episode, our topic for episode numero dos is going to be just that… backwards compatibility. We definitely have a lot to say on the matter, but we’re eager to get your thoughts in ahead of time so we can share them on the show.

Random DBZ Image: #001

I’ll probably do this from time to time… mostly because it amuses me. And that’s really all that matters in this world.

Freeza Pointing (DBZ episode 054)

Caption, anyone?

When a man can’t even spend his Virtual Space Money, all he can do is blog.

Wow! Thanks for the overwhelmingly positive response to the first episode of our podcast, everyone! That really makes me look even more forward to recording and releasing the second episode. Until then, look forward to some regular blog postings (kinda like this one), and maybe even a couple other special things here and there.

Speaking of podcasts, our addition to the iTunes Store was certainly quick. It should be searchable in the iTunes Store within a day or so, but until then, you can access us directly where you can do the one-click subscription. We have all sorts of subscription information over on our “Podcasts” page. Remember that you don’t need to have an iPod (or any portable music device) to check out our show. You can download the episodes and listen in anything like WinAmp or even Windows Media Player; they’re just straight-up MP3 files!

So today I finally became one of the fabeled “geeks and otaku”. That’s right, I ran out of storage space on my Wii. Thanks to some birthday VIrtual Space Money from a certain Mr. Deluxe, I decided to go on a mini-spending-spree in the Wii Shop Channel. Much to my dismay, I could not so much as download an SNES game without making room. The “Mario Kart Channel” was the first to go, followed by the “Internet Channel” (seriously, is anyone using either of those?). I wanted to delete the “Photo Channel”, but I have a sneaking suspision that I have to download the updated version from the store before I can see it for deletion in the memory management. Once space was made, in came some Devil’s Crush, Metroid, and Super Metroid… the middle-which of said games being the only one I’ve ever owned and/or played. I know, I’m terrible. Never played Super Metroid. I’ll get right on that. Eventually.

How many of you are running into this problem, though? Or is it not even a problem for you? I really want to check out Lost Winds, as well… but that’s not happening any time soon unless Nintendo has some sort of announcement around the corner. We’re all on pins-and-needles since Activision formally announced full downoadable content for the Wii version of Guitar Hero: World Tour, supposedly making use of the SD Card slot. For goodness sake, can I please toss some of these useless channels over there so I can spend my money with you? Seriously. I have Wii points to spend. They’re sitting right there. I’ll even spend more to add more points if you just let me keep everything I download all in once place. That’s the whole beauty and convenience of it.

I know, that’s a pretty broken-record tirade, so I’ll leave you with the following:

Mike Consoles - July 2008

Yep, the PlayStation 3 has joined the family. Had to get a component-input-switcher to have everything play nice and be hooked up at once. Big special thanks to an awesome buddy out in California. You rock, man. Was doing some Remote Play with DragonBall: Final Bout, and reminded myself how terrible it is :P.

Conversation 001: Introductions & Our Mutual Top 10 Games

We have finally done it! The first episode of our podcast is available for download!

While we apologize in advance for some of the IE-only display problems, we simply could not wait on debuting the show any longer. Some random pages may also be found in a state of near-completion. Myself, Jeff, and Andrew have been really excited about doing this for so many months. We have these types of conversations all of the time, and it made such perfect sense to turn it into a new podcast series.

Oh, right… hello, there!

My name is Mike.  I typcially go by “VegettoEX” on these here intartubez.  My main podcasting gig is actually over at a DragonBall website that I have been running for over a decade.  Jeff comes to us from around the corner from me, but also from guest appearances on my show, as well as his own indie-music podcast.  Andrew comes to us from many years of chillaxing with video games throughout high school, college, and our post-educational adult lives.

With this first episode, we do some additional introductions (covering all sorts of aspects such as current gaming, consoles owned over the years, and gaming habits and their evolutions), as well as go over our “Mutual Top 10 Games”. What does this mean, you ask? The three of us came up with our own, individual lists of our favorite games. We came together not knowing what the others listed, and fought long and hard until we were both (a) exhausted, and (b) satisfied with the result. You can read all of our individual lists (as well as the mutual list) right here on the site, an added bonus for checking us out.

Until the podcast shows up in the iTunes store, you can see other subscription methods on the “Podcasts” page, and can also just subscribe to the general feed of the site:

http://www.vegettoex.com/blog/feed/

We thank you for waiting so patiently for this episode to come out. We are psyched to have you with us, and we will work hard on making future episodes as engaging as they can be. Drop us a line; we can’t wait to hear from you.

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