Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kuribo's Shoes and Pointless Side Quest, crammed into uncomfortable proximity at last!

Just a quick announcement: In addition to stuff written specifically for this site, I'll soon start cross-posting some of my articles from Kuribo's Shoes here at Pointless Side Quest as well. They're somewhat different from what I write here, since at Pointless Side Quest I at least try to discuss actual video game news and mostly limit the parts where I I just make shit up outright to throwaway jokes, while at Kuribo's Shoes blatant lies* are the very clay from which everything is built, but if you enjoy what I've posted here in the past you'll probably like these too, and Kuribo's Shoes in general. (See my previous posts here and here.)

*(Except the one about Mega Man becoming an embittered twice-divorced cocaine fiend. That one's completely true, sadly.)

Speaking of Kuribo's Shoes, the site is currently running a small online fundraising drive to raise funds for better web hosting, which will make it possible to create a bigger, better site with the sort of exciting new features that you only get on a website that isn't hosted on a server in rural Belarus that goes offline every time fluctuations in the price of kerosine force them to shut down the generator that keeps it running. I I have been assured by sources in whom I have a reasonable degree of confidence that the bulk of money donated will not be going up Matt's nose.

But, in all seriousness, if you like the sort of stuff I do here and the sort of material at Kuribo's Shoes, please consider chipping in. Supporters also receive some snazzy benefits including the ability to plug whatever link you want in a special post we'll have on the site and getting to appear side-by-side with our own golden tones on an episode of the future Kuribo's Shoes podcast.
Or don't. Go ahead and break my heart. See if I care.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Decline and Fall of Fox McCloud: New releases for the week of 9-4-11

Disgaea 4

(PlayStation 3) It's a testament to how busy I've been lately that I'd actually forgotten that this was coming out this month. Disgaea is one of my favorite series and one of the reasons I bought a PlayStation 3 rather than an Xbox 360 in the first place, so for me this is like forgetting your anniversary, your wife's birthday, and your child's birth by planned cesarean section simultaneously. Possibly as the prelude to some horrible family film where I'm a workaholic husband and father who learns a valuable lesson about what's really important in life during some sort of madcap Christmas-themed adventure.

Resistance 3
(PlayStation 3) This series has always inspired a vehement “Meh” from me. I have the first one, and it's not terrible, but it's just sort of... there. It always felt like the video game equivalent of chewing on toothpicks: doesn't really taste like anything in particular, either good or bad, feels sort of dry and stale, useful if you need something to chew on to discharge tension or satisfy some sort of oral fixation but not something you'd put in your mouth for its gustatory merits. Presumably the series possesses qualities that aren't apparent to me if it's popular enough to warrant multiple sequels, but if so they're lost one me.

Star Fox 64 3D

(Nintendo 3DS) Nice to actually see some sort of confirmation that Nintendo remembers that the Starfox franchise is something that, you know, exists, even if it is a remake.

You have to remember that the original Starfox was a huge deal at the time it came out. The game charged into the American gaming market on the crest of an unstoppable tsunami of  marketing, propelled inexorably forward by the force of a world-shaking undersea earthquake of Nintendo promotional muscle while perched atop an indestructible surfboard of hype wrought from organic urethane poylmers of magazine coverage and breakfast cereal tie-ins.

It was ubiquitous. The gaming press couldn't stop talking about all the pretty 3D polygons. There was a monthly Star Fox comic strip in Nintendo of America's in-house monthly gaming magazine Nintendo Power that ran for ten issues, which was twice what poor Samus Aran got. Star Fox appeared on boxes of Corn Flakes. - though sadly, Star Fox never received its own crappy cereal the way Mario and Zelda did. If you owned a Super Nintendo in the early 90s, you could barely stop to breathe without filling your lungs with clouds of particulate Star Fox hype.

What the hell happened? Counting the original, there have only been four proper Star Fox games since 1993. (I'm defining “proper Star Fox game” somewhat strictly to mean “game that is about flying and is not a completely unrelated game in a completely different genre that had Star Fox characters shoehorned into it as an afterthought”.) It's not as if Star Fox games haven't sold. Did Slippy get drunk and make a pass at Shigeru Miyamoto's wife at the Nintendo office Christmas party, or something?

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