Categories
C64 Games

8-bit Trip

Neat video showing off characters from the 8-bit era. C64 and Nintendo fans will recognise some favourites!

1500 hours of moving legobricks and take photos of them.

(via Justin and Retro Thing)

Categories
Games Wii

Metal Slug Anthology

Metal SlugThe Metal Slug series of games is over 10 years old now but I only came across them for the first time last year through MAME, the arcade emulator. The games are run and gun shoot em ups with great hand drawn graphics, and frenetic gameplay. You can read about the first game on Wikipedia.

Metal Slug is a series of run and gun video games first released on Neo-Geo arcade machines and game consoles created by SNK. It was also ported to other consoles, such as the Sega Saturn, the PlayStation, the Neo-Geo Pocket Color and more recently, the Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS. There is also an anthology of the first 7 games in the main series (including Metal Slug X) available for the Wii, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2.

They’re great fun to play, and with an Xbox 360 controller hooked up to my computer the experience in SDLMame was as close to perfect as it could be. When I saw Metal Slug Anthology for the Wii in Gamestop and for only 25 Euro last weekend I had to buy it! All those games in one package, on one CD? How could I resist? Unfortunately I should have checked the reviews first. Metacritic gave it 73%, but the first user review points out the huge flaw that makes all the games totally unplayable.
Metal Slug

Once you’re in a game, the default control has grenades set to motion control. If you’ve ever played a metal slug, you’d know that these games are hard, and require split second reactions. There isn’t time to shake the controller up and down. Fortunately there’s 1 control setup that uses the gamecube controller. But with just 3 buttons, it’s baffling why they couldn’t have used 3 buttons on the wiimote.

There are a number of different control configurations, but all are just as hopelessly bad as each other and I don’t have a Gamecube controller. A shame really because they’re arcade perfect conversions. As they should be. Credits for the game include M68k emulation so I presume the exact same code is running on the Wii. Why oh why did they screw it up with a crap control system?

If you really must play Metal Slug, the first game in the series was also released on the Wii virtual console and supports the classic controller. There’s also SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 but besides Metal Slug it doesn’t seem to be a good value compilation.

Even though the control system is all messed up in the Wii version of Metal Slug Anthology, I’m glad I could support SNK in some small way. Back to SDLMame for me though.

Update! This morning I played Metal Slug on the Wii using a knock off Gamecube controller and it rocks. Sure, you still have the lengthy loading times at the start but otherwise the controllers are fine. Here’s the controller screen and a shot of my “Gameexpert” Gamecube controller. Bought that in Zavvi at a knock down price!

metal-slug-wii-controls

gamecube-controller

Categories
Wii

How to watch DVDs on your Wii

Speculation on fan blogs about an upgrade to play DVDs on the Wii Console has been persistent for as long as I’ve been reading them, but it seems doubtful Nintendo will ever add this ability.

What are we to do? If you can’t get official support for something that the hardware can probably do, why not code it yourself? The Wii is a closed platform, but that hasn’t stopped enterprising developers taking a peek under the covers. That’s exactly what Erant did with his libdl and DVDX installer!

He created a dvd access library for the Wii Console, added the Mplayer media player and hey presto! DVD playback on the Wii. Mplayer also plays practically any video format under the sun so it’s even better than a DVD player.

Our DVD player is stuck in a cupboard under the television where the baby can’t get it (and requires untying of handles for an adult to get to) while the Wii is on a shelf in easy reach. I think this may be the project that gets me to try out Wii Homebrew using the new Twilight hack.

Once you’ve done that, you can enjoy the splendor of mplayer. That what started out as a simple proof of concept has rapidly turned into a full-featured media player, under the nourishing hands of dhewg. The main aim of the mplayer project was to get DVDVideo going, but it also supports reading video files off the SD card. (Experimental).

Nintendo Wii fanboy has a simple guide to getting everything running, from installing the Homebrew channel to running Mplayer. Nice.

Mplayer playing DVD on Wii Console
Categories
Games Wii

Sweet Galaxy bites Super Mario Galaxy

I love to play Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii. The cartoon graphics, unusual planet based locations and gameplay make it really fun to play. It’s also relatively easy but I’m really stumped by Sweet Galaxy. Unlike every other galaxy in the game it’s a merciless obstacle course where Mario has to jump over gaping holes that move. Mistakes are cruelly punished and it is the most frustrating level I’ve played on any platform in a long time.

I even left the Wii switched on all day yesterday because I made it halfway through, but the final third of the level defeated me each time. Grrr.

Anyway, if like me you’re ready to give up on Super Mario Galaxy because of this level, here’s proof that it can be completed. I’ll try it again, once my left hand thumb recovers from twisting the nunchuk around.

(via)

In related gaming news. Boom Blox was fun for a while, but boy does it get boring quickly. Worse thing is, I paid the 20 Euro surcharge Irish shops charge for supporting local business. I could have bought it on play.com for 41 Euro, but Gamestop and Xtravision were both charging 59 Euro. Damn my need for instant gratification!

Back to Mario Kart Wii methinks.

Categories
Games Wii

You're looking so silly Wii Fit!

Judging by the reaction on Twitter, Wii Fit hasn’t been a big hit with my friends there. When Mario Kart Wii came out there was much excitement. I happily twittered when I bought my copy, others replied asking what the game was like, or that they were going to buy it the next day “for their family”. Lots of fans there.

So, you’ve bought Wii Fit. Have you filmed yourself and put it on Youtube yet? Are you brave enough to? 🙂

Of course, Wii Fit has sold over a million units. There must be a Wii Fit user reading this. Is it really fun? Will it last?

Categories
Games

Geometry Wars Galaxies

Geometry Wars Galaxies review
First impressions of this much anticipated 2D shooter for the Nintendo Wii are not good. I played with the Wii remote and the nunchuck and from what I’ve just read on an Amazon review it’s much better with the classic controller.

With the Wiimote and Nunchuck it sucks, you have a cursor on the screen and you aim that where you want to shoot and fly with the Nunchuck joystick. With the Wii Classic Controller it Rocks, you fly in any direction with the right joystick and simultaneously you shoot in any direction with the left joystick. Which as you can imagine makes for some teh sweet maneuvering as you pwn alien space noobs.

Then again, another reviewer says the remote+nunchuck are better. Anyone care to share their experiences?

You can use the classic controller if you’re that inept, but the controls with the remote are one of the best things about this game.

Maybe it reflects the old school shooter idea behind the game, but I found the main menu and name entry systems unnecessarily difficult to use. Instead of pointing and clicking with the Wii remote like you’d expect, you use the Wii remote control pad to move through options. Scrolling through the alphabet to spell “Donncha” is no fun.

How does it play? in a word, hectic. You control a small ship and a drone that fires at wave upon wave of incoming baddies, all set on a flat 2D grid. The Wii remote controls where you shoot, while the nunchuck joystick moves your ship around. When enemies die they leave behind geoms which you collect for power ups and for unlocking extra bits and pieces. As expected it starts off slowly but even the trainer planet quickly becomes cluttered with pixels and flying debris as you shoot every enemy bearing down on you. Power ups increase the firing width of your main gun and upgrade your drone. There is a certain satisfaction to be got when you’re doing well, when your weapons are upgraded and you’re laying into the swarms of approaching shapes. Unfortunately it’s short lived and I quickly succumb to the deluge as I try to figure out where to look next.

Recommended? I’m not going to give it the thumbs up just yet. Every single review I’ve read of this game has been positive and I did enjoy the intense gameplay so check the comments on this post in a few days time when I’ve played it a little more! Play.com have this game for 20.99 Euro so it won’t break the bank to buy it either if you’re a shoot’em up fan!

I had hoped for a shooter I could pick up and play for 5 minute stints and it’s proved to be such a game. I rarely lasted longer than that amount of time on any level. Yeah, I suck don’t I? 🙂

Categories
Games

Mario Kart Wii

I blame Matt. If he hadn’t taken his Nintendo Wii to Stinson Beach last year I might never have known the delight of waving a remote control at random angles through the air. I jest of course. The Wii has had so much press that even I couldn’t not have become aware of it. Add to that my brother and sister bought machines for their homes and it was only a matter of time before I bought one.

I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Well, there is one thing. If it was somehow able to freeze time, or add an extra 4 hours on to a day then I’d be over the moon, but let’s not quibble with fantasies of free time. I bought Super Mario Galaxy with the machine and I’ve been bowled over. Graphics, gameplay, sound are amazing. I love how Mario zooms from one moon or planet to another. So far it’s been fairly easy but then I’ve only had an hour or two of play at it and it’s early days yet.

Today, with much excitement on Twitter and elsewhere, Mario Kart Wii was released in Europe. I bought my copy after the Cork OpenCoffee (must post pics!) this morning and managed a quick play of it. I see from the Wikipedia page on the game that it will be released later this month in Australia and North America. When it does, run to the shop and buy it.
The Wii remote fits into the plastic wheel that comes with the game and works pretty well. It’s not required though as you can just as easily hold the Wii remote without the wheel. Extra steering wheels are reasonably priced at around €10, even if it probably cost Nintendo a fraction of that to make ’em…

I’m still getting the hang of it though and did atrociously badly at the 100cc races. Please note: if you try playing the game without glancing at the instructions and turning the wheel makes your character go the opposite way, you’re holding the wheel back to front. Not that that happened to me, no, I’m just saying, like. My brother Donal and his fiancee are calling over tomorrow with their Wii remotes so we’ll have some fun in the afternoon!

Now, where did I leave the free time. I just can’t find it anywhere.

PS. Here’s a Mario Kart Wii review video, haven’t watched it all yet but it’ll give you a feel for the game:

Categories
Movies

Mario Unleashed – live!

I still prefer Gianna Sisters but this video of the Super Mario music and icons played live made me smile 🙂