games / Columns

The Walls of Jericho Games News Report 6.12.12

June 12, 2012 | Posted by Jericho Ricardi

BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!

Welcome to the seventh installment of The Walls of Jericho, 411′s premier Tuesday column. I was missing in action due to finals and various life issues (read: penis injuries), but I’m back with the week’s news. If you missed the sixth column (and you probably did, as it was posted in the middle of the night on a Wednesday) check it out HERE.

WHO AM I?

I’m Jericho. Like the wrestler. Yes, that’s my real name. I’m in my fourth year of college in Boston. I’ve been playing video games for most of my life, and writing about them is a hobby of mine. While this is my 411Mania.com debut, I’ve been writing about games on the internet for a while. I keep up a website – Coronajumper.com – which I update with game (and sometimes movie) related posts on a pretty regular basis.

RIGHT NOW

In the PS3: N/A, it’s out of commission for the time being
In the Wii: Nada. Something lurks on the horizon, though…
In the GBA: Metroid Fusion
In the DVD Player: We Bought A Zoo
Drinking: Water

THE NEWS

E3 2012: E3 is in the books and while neither Sony nor Microsoft unveiled a new console, there were quite a few major game announcements. Speaking of new consoles… what’s the rush? I’m happy that the current console generation is lasting as long as it is, because I am in no hurry to buy any more consoles. The extended console lifespan this generation harkens back to the days of the NES.

New Final Fantasy announced: Final Fantasy Dimensions, a graphically old-school game that bears a strong resemblance to Final Fantasy V, has been announced by Square Enix. It will likely see a release sooner than later, with SE looking to have it available by this Summer. It is an entirely new Final Fantasy built from the ground-up; while it isn’t a numbered entry it looks promising. The catch? It’s a cell phone game, more or less. Developed for iOS and Android, the lack of controller support or playability on a “real” system may hurt the sales of this game. That said, Final Fantasy fans who have an iPad or other tablet may be in for a treat.

What do you think? Are you interested in this game?

Star Wars 1313: LucasArts’ gritty new Star Wars game looks like something we haven’t seen before. Rather than focus on Jedi, Sith, and The Force like most Star Wars games, this game will put players into the role of a bounty hunter in the dark streets of Coruscant. The premise is intriguing, and while the graphics impressed at E3 it remains to be seen if the game measures up. Either way, it won’t be seeing release any time soon, and further details are tightly under wraps.

What do you think? Is a Star Wars game without a Jedi/Sith as the main character something that you’re interested in?

Final Fantasy VII and other PS1 classics making their way to PS Vita: I’m not sure why this is news, but it is and it’s making the rounds in a big way. Unfortunately, Final Fantasy VII isn’t getting a remake; it’s merely getting a port via the PlayStation Network. In other words, it’s going to be the same thing you can already get on the PSP, only with a more vibrant Vita screen. If anything, all this news does is make me wonder why Sony is only getting around to doing this now when it honestly should have been available at the Vita’s release.

Assassin’s Creed 3 wows the crowd: AC3 was a hit at E3, and looks like the shot in the arm the series needs. At least now we know that Revelations wasn’t actually Assassin’s Creed 4, but rather Assassin’s Creed 2.75. For a little while there, AC was having as much trouble counting to three as Street Fighter did back in the day.

Aliens: Colonial Marines demoed at E3: That’s right… ACM still exists. It’s aimed for an early 2013 release date, and as one of many Alien fans, here’s hoping it’s worth the wait. From the looks of things, it will be. It’d be great if a playable demo pops up on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live before long so we can see for ourselves. It’s the only way to be sure.

New controllers on the horizon: Microsoft has announced a SmartGlass app designed to turn your phone or tablet into a “touch-screen controller” for the Xbox 360. This seems designed to compete with Nintendo’s touch-screen controller for the Wii U. Funnily enough, Nintendo is developing a special Wii U controller themselves, one that is more traditional and patterned after the current controller for the Xbox 360. It seems like the two companies are playing a game of “tit for tat” with their controllers. And where is Sony during all of this? Chances are, they will continue to stick to their successful Dual Shock model of controller even with a new system. At this point Sony has been so consistent with their controllers that a Sony system with a different kind of controller may well not even seem like a Sony system.

Wii U’s hardware said to be “underwhelming”: This is nothing new; Nintendo has a tendency to underestimate their foes at the outset of every new console generation. The NES and Super NES won their generations hands down, but the cartridge-based N64 was quickly outpaced by the developer-friendly, disc-format PlayStation. The Game Cube didn’t do much to upstage its console competitors, while the Wii ended up being a Game Cube with a fancy new controller. No HD, no high-capacity disc format, no markedly new graphical improvements. All indications are that the Wii U will continue the trend of Nintendo’s systems being inferior in power to the competition. Will this matter, though? It seems like what Nintendo is shooting for is innovation over power, and the new innovations the Wii U is bringing to the table are sure to keep it strong even if Sony rolls out a graphically far superior PlayStation 4.

Bioshock Infinite delayed: The newest installment in the Bioshock series has been bumped back to 2013. While this is a bummer for Bioshock aficionados like myself, we can only presume that this will lead to a better, more polished game in the end. Personally I’d be fine with the game dropping in 2014 if it meant we got something that approached the greatness of the original game in the series.

Mass Effect 3 gets new multiplayer DLC: The latest free DLC for the game is dropping today, May 29th. This DLC will include new weapons, characters, and maps for the multiplayer portion of the game. It’s pretty sweet that Bioware is releasing all this DLC for free to try and rebuild goodwill with the fans, but I wish they’d release some single player DLC. Thus far the single player game has seemed largely ignored post-release. The new ending DLC that we’ll be getting later in the Summer will hopefully be worth the wait, but it’d be nice to get some mission-related single player content.

The Tale of Kane’s Three Foot Long Penis: A little wrestling news makes it into the column this week. It turns out that during the filming of Kane’s movie See No Evil, executive producer Vince McMahon lobbied to include a scene where Kane’s penis gets exposed… and is three feet long. That’s right. Luckily, cooler heads (hyuck) prevailed and this scene didn’t make it into the final movie. This proves that when he isn’t jobbing out his champions and devaluing titles (hope you get to main event a PPV soon, CM Punk!), Vince is sitting around in some dark lair giggling like a schoolboy as he comes up with bad, bad ideas.

What do you think? Which newly-announced games are you most looking forward to? Do people still care about Mass Effect 3? Will Bioshock Infinite be a return to the greatness of the original? Is my criticism of Vince McMahon too harsh?

AS MANDATED BY 411 LAW: A LADY


Aw yeah… Princess Toadstool has got that bangin’ bod goin’ on.

SEX RELATED INJURIES, CHAPTER ONE

Hey fellas, ever had this happen to you? You have a woman on top and have one ball somehow defy gravity and move upward. It then gets trapped between her lower abs and your hip bone. She doesn’t notice and you’re too into it to say anything, so you stay quiet, hoping the ball will work itself out and pop back down to where it should be. Unfortunately, right then she starts ferociously grinding on you, absolutely CRUSHING that testicle. You STILL don’t say anything because, Jesus, it’s going to fall back down in a second right? How did it even get up there? Then you start thinking about how you got to this point in time and all the mistakes you’ve made. Finally, you start to almost literally tap out from the pain as you attempt to get the girl to stop her ecstatic mountery long enough for you to dislodge your stray ball from the vicegrip of your interlocked pelvises.

Well, let me know if it has.

GAME SONG OF THE WEEK


An amazing remix of one of the myriad great tracks from Seiken Densetsu 3.

Those of you who haven’t played the likes of Secret of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 2) and Seiken Densetsu 3 are missing out on two of the greatest games of all time, and a big part of what makes them great is their soundtracks.


Thanks to Nick (@NicholasVogt) for the highly professional banner!

THE JERICHO CORNER: Thoughts on games and things

Is Prometheus an Alien prequel?: It’s no secret that I am gung-ho for Prometheus. I’ve drawn comparisons before between it and Xenogears/Xenosaga, as well as wondered aloud if it’s a prequel to Alien or not. Having finally seen it (twice) I can say that it is a weird hybrid of a prequel and a standalone movie. While it could easily be a lead-in to Alien, there are enough discrepancies to call this into question. The planet that Prometheus takes place on is LV-233 (or close to that), while the planet they find the hell-beast-filled crashed spaceship on in Alien is LV-426. I believe Aliens is also LV-426. Correct me if I’m wrong about any of this.

The slight difference in planet names reminds me of how Xenogears’ “Episode 1 Era” takes place in the year 4467 and Xenosaga takes place in the year 4468, or something along those lines… thus preventing Xenosaga from being a direct prequel.

In other words…it looks like Prometheus is going the Xenosaga route of having this be a similar story in the same general universe. I.e., not having it blatantly connect to the thing it may or may not be prequelling.

Interesting of them to be so vague about this, helps keep the nerds on board I guess. One thing is for sure: the Xenomorphs as we know them aren’t the focus of Prometheus. I hope people get that this movie has never been about the Xenomorphs (which have, honestly, been hugely damaged by all the crappy non-Ridley and non-Cameron movies after Aliens) but about the Creators.

I beat Aliens: Infestation: Almost no one played this game, and that’s a bit of a crime. It’s a pretty rad little Metroidvania style game. If you’re a fan of that game type or a fan of the movie Aliens and wanting a decent game loosely based on it, this may be something worth looking into. The only problems with this game are the short length (I finished it in a matter of hours) which is a problem in this day and age.

My thoughts on Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: I also beat this game in May. It is technically Fire Emblem 10. I’ve played and beaten 6, 7, 8, 9, and now this. It seems like the series has slowly gone downhill ever since Fire Emblem 6, which was amazing. FE7 was also a high-level game, but each successor since then has had an increasing amount of issues with the gameplay. This reaches a head in Fire Emblem 10. Not only does the game have few (if any) real graphical improvements over FE9 on the Game Cube, it has an abundance of gameplay annoyances and a general overarching slowness about it.

My biggest problem with the game: Other Forces. Rather than just have player vs. enemy battles, with the occasional third faction involved here and there (like the other FE games), this game throws a massive third faction into nearly every battle in the game. Other Forces are always (to my knowledge) on your side (otherwise they’d just be enemies). They’re simply non-playable reinforcements. For about 25 of the game’s 35 or so battles, there is a substantial Other Force involved and fighting on your behalf. What’s the problem? That’s easy enough to explain. There are almost always more of them than there are of your characters. Yes, unplayable allies usually outnumber your force, as does the enemy. Know what this means? It means VAST MAJORITY OF TIME SPENT WATCHING UNITS MOVE THAT ARE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL. It’s a great game to play while working on the computer or eating dinner, but woe to you if you’re sitting there paying attention. Is there any reason why they couldn’t have made these Other Forces controllable by the player? Or better yet balanced out the battles more evenly so that they didn’t need to throw in huge computer-controlled forces to keep you from getting obliterated by the vastly-outnumbery enemies?

Yep. That’s the biggest problem with the game. There are other problems, but none of them are really anything out of the ordinary for Fire Emblem. This particular mechanic is very out of the ordinary, though, and worse than ever. It just reeks of dumbing the game down for people to the extent of almost playing the game for them. I know we’re the WoW generation that supposedly needs “Megaman Megaman!” tutorials on how to move left and right, but come on.

I think FE10 will be the last new Fire Emblem I ever play… but I fully intend to play the first five games eventually. I hear that FE3 and FE4 in particular are the best games in the series.

Anyone out there played the early Fire Emblems? How do you think the later games stacked up, if you played those?

Super Mario Bros Crossover is ridiculously cool, Part II: I talked about this in the late night column that no one read. It’s an amazing little flash game, and best of all controllers work with it! Check this game out at Super Mario Bros Crossover. I fully intend to play through this game eventually, probably as either Samus or Mega Man. It’ll be awesome. If Nintendo had created something like this in 1990 it would have been a dream game for millions of kids.

HOW MUCH DOES JERICHO CARE ABOUT GAMES THESE DAYS?

Today I was walking around Barnes & Noble, trying not to take it personally when people’s eyes would invariably be drawn towards the ridiculous bite mark on my neck (kittens…they attack), when I spotted a shelf full of AWESOME looking Mega Man X manga that I didn’t know existed… and I kept walking. Yep, I didn’t even stop to check out something about one of my favorite game series. What happened to me? WHAT HAPPENED TO ME??

In other news, translated Mega Man X manga exists! It’s probably awesome. Check that shit out!

CLASSIC GAME OF THE WEEK: SKYBLAZER

Skyblazer is a largely-forgotten SNES classic made by Sony Imagesoft. Back when Sony and Nintendo weren’t adversaries, Sony actually produced several Super NES games… and they were good, if this one is any indication. Skyblazer is a short (1-2 hours) action game with a very distinct Far Eastern feeling to it; the stage designs have a mythological quality about them and the music is flat-out amazing (even if the tracks are kinda short). Check out my extensive blog post about this forgotten gem at: CoronaJumper

Skyblazer is short enough that it’s worth a play for pretty much anyone. If you ever see it in an old game bin (or, y’know, are up for emulating it), give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed in the least.

Has anyone reading this played this game? Let me know.

411 ON TWITTER
Me – @411Mania
The Wrestling Zone – Coronajumper.com. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment below!

I’ll leave you with this: I recently called Chrono Trigger the greatest video game of all time. It got far more disagreement than agreement. If you had to pick one “greatest game of all time” of your own, what would it be?

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Jericho Ricardi

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