Gaming Zen 12-19-05

Well I’m Tom Pandich. Remember me? I used to write a column here about two months ago. It was called Gaming Zen. See, that’s what you’re reading right now. Well yeah, you know that. Where have I been and why hasn’t this column been around for two months? The short of it is I’ve been having some pretty serious shit that you usually read about on some Livejournal. I’ll spare you the details because you don’t care to read about it, and I don’t feel like whining about it much more again. So let’s get to it. There’s really not much news this time of the year. Toys R Us is having a great little clearance sale this Thursday. The big games are Golden Sun: Lost Age and Advanced Wars 2 for the GBA, Resident Evil 4 and Pikmin 2 for the GC, DOA Ultimate and Halo 2 CE for the Xbox, Psychonauts and Digital Devil Saga for the PS2, and hundreds more. Is one of these games the Game of the Year from Inside Pulse? Maybe… maybe. Check Cheap Ass Gamer for a full list.

Games I’ve Been Revisiting

Well since nothing new has really come out the past few weeks and nothing worth mentioning is out this week, I figure I’ll do a longer version of what I’ve been playing. So here goes.

Yu Gi Oh: The Sacred Cards- What the f*ck was I thinking when I bought this piece of shit? Not only is there no two player system link, but you can’t save after you’ve beaten the game. Only two of the three Egyptian God Cards can be used in the game. It’s a shitty game. Super shitty. That’s what I get for having a sudden desire to learn how to play the card game. God, I feel dirty.

Feel The Magic: XX/XY- I’m so lonely… This game is a lot of fun though. It can be found pretty much everywhere now for 10 bucks and is well worth it. The mini games are a bit harder then pretty much every other mini game based game out there. I’m slowly accumulating all of the parts from Maniac mode. My fake girlfriend has a Nights hat on right now. Joy.

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks- Well who’da thunk it that there’d be a fun Mortal Kombat spin off game. Mortal Kombat has never been the deepest game obviously, but Shaolin Monks really plays to the strengths of the series. It is hilariously violent, controls in a simple way, and is just flat out fun to play. It’s worth a rent especially if you’ve got a friend or family member to share the bloodlust.

The Punisher- Remember way back when this game was released right at the beginning of the year how it was the first darling game of the critics. I would be super surprised if this game makes any best of list at the end of the year. It’s not better then Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. It’s not better then X-Men Legends 2. It’s slightly better then Ultimate Spider Man though and it was pretty innovative with most of the deaths. A rhino gore is pretty awesome no matter what way you cut it. Plus the game has a great soundtrack. Always a plus for setting the mood for killing and brain splattering. Anywho, this game can be found for 20 bucks pretty much everywhere right now.

Ultimate Spider Man- Speaking of Ultimate Spider Man, I’ve put some time in with it. It’s pretty much the epitome of a mediocre game. The great look of the game is off set by the exceptionally annoying voice of Peter Parker. Yes, we know in the Ultimate universe he’s still a geek in high school. That doesn’t forgive his particularly annoying voice. Spider Man controls like a bouncy ball which is fun for a while but ends up being a pain in the ass especially for the racing parts of the game. Besides all of this, could Ultimate Shocker look any lamer? I mean, how the f*ck do you make the Shocker look like even more of a tool? It’s still got a great story and there’s a lot of fun to be had if you can play through the game’s many flaws.

Mario Golf: Advanced Tour- Putting is a bitch in this game because it’s tough to read a 3D green rendered in 2D. Besides that, this game is a blast. The RPG elements are a tad weak, but its probably the best sports game on the GBA right now. This game is a bit harder then its Gamecube counterpart as far as the controls go, even though the Cube game had much harder courses. Chipping and approach shots are a lot more difficult. I’ve still been having fun with it since I picked it up a few days ago.

The List

I’m a list whore. Every column from now on I’ll include some sort of list. The rules for the list are as follows. They will always consist of ten elements and be in a completely random order unless noted otherwise. These lists will be my personal opinion and therefore if you don’t agree with me and feel the need to vehemently disagree with me, I’ll ignore you. I’m not writing these lists to argue with you. I’ll also give a brief preamble every week. I’m just writing these to amuse myself.

For this week’s list, I’m writing about ten peripherals I hope get made in 2006. I’m pissed as hell that my GBA and DS can’t make sweet connection love so that really is the impetus for this list. So there you go. That’s the reason why I thought of making this list. Without further adieu, here’s the list.

1. A DS/GBA Link Cable: The GBA will probably be dead for all intents and purposes in 2006. That doesn’t mean that we won’t stop playing the games. The GBA wireless adapter was a nice idea, but it’s pretty worthless right now. It seems like a pretty sensible addition to the Nintendo DS, right? Yes, that is right.

2. An Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Boot Disc: As of right now, I have yet to see one Xbox 360 hard drive. I know this will all change after January, but let’s be serious for a second. Not every gamer will pick up the 360 hard drive. They’ll say that 100 dollars is too much to save their games. A cheap boot disc would be a nice alternative to those gamers without a hard drive. As an added bonus, you could probably get some people to buy the expansion discs that would come out as more games become emulated.

3. A PSP phone program: Ok, this isn’t really a peripheral, but the PSP needs to be able to be used as a free cell phone. Skype or some comparable program will make it to the PSP and it’ll make the PSP into a shitty cell phone. Why doesn’t Sony take the initiative and cut out the mod community before someone else does it for free? Out of all the things that could happen with this list, this is one that most certainly won’t.

4. A Xbox 360/Xbox adapter: I, for one, am not looking forward to having yet another dance pad for DDR. Can a third party please come out with this so we can keep playing Steel Battalion and House of the Dead III?

5. A PS3 Target: I like the idea of being able to use my PS3 controller to hunt small animals out on the outback. Sadly, I’m not very talented with a boomerang as are most gamers. Put out an official target and range Sony and help gamers use the PS3 controller to its fullest.

6. DS Online Pictochat: Again, not really a peripheral but something that’d be nice. Pictochat is a pretty useless program right now. Nintendo needs to use the DS better. The WI-FI was a great addition in 2005. An expanded chat program is something that would be very appreciated by us, gamers.

7. A Genesis/Saturn style Revolution control: We know that Nintendo will probably release a bunch of Nintendo controllers for the Revolution. Playing an N64 game with any other controller is a pain in the ass. That’s why when we start to get games from the 16 bit era, it’d be great for Nintendo to acknowledge Sega in a cute way to slightly reignite the long dead console war. I always preferred the SNES controller over the Genesis controller, but I’m sure someone out there would try to deball me for saying that.

8. A Red Octane Pump It Up controller: I’m so happy that Pump It Up has made it to the US. Sadly, the pad bundled with it is f*cking awful. We need a high end PIU controller. Please, please, please give us a metal PIU controller or even better, a nine button all purpose metal dance pad.

9. A Moogle Controller: Sure, we’ve got a slime controller for the PS2 so let’s get a moogle controller along the same lines. I’m all for it and you should be too. Don’t let the cheap ass franchise peripherals stop with Dragon Warrior. Keep it going.

10. A Lithium Battery Wavebird/Revolution Controller: We all know that the Revolution is going to be able to use the Gamecube controllers. Why not put out a combination Gamecube/Revolution controller that uses a rechargeable lithium battery, can act as a dock, and get a jump on the peripherals for the system. It’ll free up some cash for the launch for all of us if we can buy our controllers and use them in June rather then in November.

Well that’s it for this week’s column. I’ll get a list of games you might have missed this year, underrated games of the year, and some great Lucard/furry lemon fanfiction. It’ll be a yifftastic column next week. Catch you all later.