In short: Wii get.
In long: After waiting something like 14 hours at Walmart, I obtained myself a brand new, beatiful Nintendo Wii. The night ended in a mess of disgusting panic and terror, and I'd mostly rather not talk about it, so I'll save that knowledge for those that already know the tale.
Luckily, everything solved itself, I got my Wii, and I've been playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, well, since the hooking up. However, I did take some time off to explore the channels, at least those available to me, considering the Nintendo LAN Adapter won't be available until January '07. Naturally, I gravitated immediately toward the Mii Channel. Wow ... maybe a little less on the adverbs, eh?
Please ignore the shat quality, as I've yet to discover the proper way of photographing a television screen ... is there one? Here are the interesting results of my deviations from Hyrule:
If the pictures aren't clarifying enough:
1. Zen: Umm ... Mii, or me, or whatever ...
2. Jules: As in, Samuel L. Jackson's Pulp Fiction character Jules.
3. Jesus: An OK guy by me, but no savior. This is obviously the "Buddy Christ" version.
4. Rock Lee: The definition of hardcore.
5. Creep: The creepiest I could do using the Mii editor.
I've also got a very accurate portrayal of Scarlett Johansen, but that's for me ... and me alone. *DROOL*
My comics kick is still holding strong, and as such, I've taken it upon myself to follow-up my reading of Wolverine: Origin with Wolverine: End, detailing the latter moments of the Canuck's lengthy (200 years plus) journey, and ultimately with the entire Civil War storyline.
Civil War is basically one of the events responsible for sparking my renewed interest in comics, and while I might be late to the party, I think I'm making up for lost time with the swiftness. The event is amazing, and it's still current, so while I hardly know the ramifications that are going to effect the entire Marvel Universe, I do know that the arc of the regular Wolverine storyline occuring throughout Civil War, is fantastic. Plain and simple.
The single, most contributing factor to this excellence is the art of Humberto Ramos. His characters are so stylized, that I'm basically mesmerized by how awesome they look. I haven't been this much of a fan of Wolverine's style since the feral days of bone claw lore. That being somewhere right around Onslaught-era, was easily one of my favorite moments in Marvel History.
I couldn't exactly mention how outrageously awesome this all was without some proof. So, without further ado:
Some things of note:
The end of Wolverine was not nearly as worthwhile as Origin, and I'm not even particularly sure if it's canonical.
Within the Wolverine issues contained in the Civil War side-story, the extent of his healing factor is made painfully clear:
- An explosion by Nitro reduces him to literally nothing more than a skeleton.
- He leaps from a plane with no parachute.
- His head is practically cut off by a buzzsaw leaving nothing more than a strand of flesh.
Obviously, he recovers from all of this. So hard.
There is something like a two issue span where after being reduced to a pile of bones by Nitro, Wolverine resurrects and continues the fight entirely naked. He doesn't seem to mind.
Wolverine: Origin details the birth of what may be the toughest, most hard-to the-core comic character ever. Unraveling the mystery of Wolverine is one of the biggest events in the Marvel universe in my mind, and it probably only compares to the unmasking of Spiderman, which surprisingly also happened somewhat recently in Marvel's Civil War Storyline. I'm going to have to read that ... very, very soon.
Regardless, Origin is a glorious tribute to the birth of a bad-ass, and it's filled to the brim with drama, subtle references to Wolverine's future, and some really beautiful artwork. I mean, I've always loved comic art, but these guys are just getting so good that I can't imagine how they churn out these books on a monthly basis.
Some worthwhile things to note from the Origins experience:
The birth of Wolverine's redhead fetish. Why does he love Jean? Origin.
How did Wolverine learn of Japan, and the ensuing samurai awesomeness? Origin.
Wolverine vs. Sabretooth? Origin, or at least an allusion to it.
How old is this guy anyways? Origin.
Now that I've read this book, I've promised myself I'm going to go ahead and dig up the Frank Miller Wolverine book, because I hear it's supposed to be damned amazing. Well, we'll see how long this "comic kick" maintains, as games are sure to bleed back in soon enough. I can't hold them off for much longer. A gift for the leaving:
Instead of actually doing anything I should absolutely be working on right now, I'm spending my time doing basically nothing of any real value or worth. I can't even be bothered enough to make a worthwhile Blog post, so instead I'll just post this picture depicting one of the various outlets my time is being wasted upon.
I'm not even spending my time with Gears of War (my mistress), or Final Fantasy XII (my wife). I should probably try to get in as much of both as I can before, you know, THAT DAY. The day my mistress and wife are quickly replaced with my unwavering crack cocaine addiction (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess).
Yes, I sum my life's passions with video game launches. I'm sorry.
I don't know if this will read well, at the moment I'm feeling slightly violated.
Violated, because Nintendo just saw fit to rape my ass hard. It's not even like they particularly sought out my ass because it was supple and pleasant, but they just decided to simultaneously lay waste to the asses of millions of their fans. It shouldn't hurt so much, mostly because I hear they're not that "big" over there, but trust me, the pain lingers.
Nintendo's raping tool of choice? The Virtual Console. Easily one of the most pleasing aspects of the entire Wii phenomenon, the VC carried the hefty promise of fulfilling on delivering backwards compatibility with Nintendo's mighty lineage. It's a feature of the Wii that has been touted basically since the announcement of the console, and yet, Nintendo seems destined to fuck things up. Completely. I'll break down their incompetence:
1. The Pricing Scheme - I'm not exactly comfortable with paying $5 for NES games, $8 for SNES games, and $10 for N64 games, but I would have taken the hit, if only to experience some of the great games one more time. Unfortunately, prices that high would have quickly alienated me from a large chunk of games that I had never experienced before, but even that isn't the worst bit of it.
US NES: $5.00
US SNES: $8.00
US N64: $10.00
Japan NES: 500 yen or $4.27
Japan SNES: 800 yen or $6.84
Japan N64: 1000 yen or $ 8.55
Now, it might seem base to be that upset over $1.50 at the most, but 10 games and that becomes $15.00. It chalks the entire experience up as feeling like I'm getting the short end of the stick no matter what, while our Japanese counterparts, even though the price is still too high everywhere, are relaxing much more comfortably.
2. The Genesis - Titles being released for the Genesis are being offered for 600 yen, or $5.13 in Japan, while in America they're going to cost $8.00. That's the most significant price fucking of the entire scheme, and it hurts that much more, because the majority of worthwhile titles in the launch batch are from the Sega camp.
3. The Launch Selection - This is where it all exploded into a nasty mess of ethnocentrism for me. In what world, Jesus or Buddha above, can Japan receive a lineup like the one they're receiving, and our list of releases be limited to 31 until the end of December. I won't post the list, Chris Kohler already did that work for me, but ... ... I can't even seem to find the words that cover how shitty this makes me feel. It's like I'm being punished for being an American. "Hey, Nintendo, I've got a secret. I don't even like these guys that much. I'll help you take over the damn country if you give me Super Metroid at launch."
Play this in America? Not FUCKING likely.
4. The Promise - Here's the real kicker. I've seen some comments about how Nintendo is spacing out the big titles from their history, but that's just, the most outrageous thing ever. Nintendo promised a console that was backwards compatible with their entire lineage of games, but the Wii isn't that console, and it basically never will be. The Wii is backwards compatible with a select few games from Nintendo's previous systems, and it goes something like this:
The average lifespan of a video game console: 5 years
Nintendo's commitment to release VC titles: 10 per month
10 VC Titles x 12 Months = 120 x 5 years = 600 Virtual Console games
600 seems like a pretty stellar amount of games, and while most would be hard pressed to come up with 600 games that they'd like to see on the VC, it doesn't look so impressive when you compare it to the potential (estimated) total:
NES - 1000?
Super NES - 800?
Nintendo 64 - 400?
Sega Master System - 500?
Turbografx-16 - 200?
MSX Home Computer - 200?
So, while I'm horribly estimating those numbers there, the total amount of games that Nintendo has to select from is dwarfing not only what they're releasing now, but what they actually plan to release throughout the lifeline of the entire console. So, NO, I don't want to see them holding back on the "big guns." There are enough great games that I can think of, that I want to see some of them now. I shouldn't have to feel like I'm waiting for a game to drop, when it actually dropped 15 years ago. That's just outrageous, and I'm not necessarily even claiming Zelda, Mario, and Sonic, but more like Earthbound, Clay Fighter, Mischief Makers, Blast Corps, fucking anything from Square, and about 50 other more creative titles I can pull from thin air. Come on N, stop treading water in the shallow, and prove to us that you actually have the guts to reach out to the more obscure titles from the past.
5. The Innovation - Consider this more of a personal gripe than an actual issue I have, but goddamn it Nintendo, stop preaching innovation if you're not going to deliver it all around. The virtual console has the potential to carry so much weight, and deliver so many great things, so stop squashing all the possibility. Online multiplayer for classic games would have set the bar, region free could have toppled the industry, and (this is just my personal desire manifesting) there is no reason the VC couldn't have finally been the place to release the Mother titles to America. No reason at all.
Ness says, "Hey N, get the fuck on the ball eh?"
I hope this isn't reading like a giant rant, but I wanted to first note that I feel entirely raped by Nintendo's proverbial manrod, but I also wanted to highlight some of the facts, and the breakdown of the finances surrounding the VC, because essentially, we should all be feeling it. Hopefully, and while I'm grasping at straws here, someone at Nintendo would read this, and either A. Get the gears in motion as to fixing some of these issues or B. Hire me as the VC manager, and let me handle it.
I'd do you guys right, this I promise.