Morning Glory Issue 001

In this first ever issue of Morning Glory, we see the typical setting of two gamers talking. One day we might see three gamers talking, or even four. This morning only required two though, so only two there are. Bring forth gamers one and two.
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It’s the typical setting of a conversation. There are two people. One fellow clearly favours the food, whilst the other obviously doesn’t favour it as much.

Porky decides it’s his turn to start off a deep and meaningful conversation. His expression suddenly turns sullen, and he takes in a deep breath.

“Hey man.”

“Hey.”

Porky fucks up starting a deep and meaningful conversation. Nevertheless, he ploughs on with vigour. He takes another deep breath, as if launching into a long speech.

“Have you heard about Manhunt 2 being banned in Europe? →  I regret learning to read.

Nintendo confirms WiiWare: Indie Gaming on Wii

This week Nintendo sent the word out that they are indeed working on a Wii channel where users can download original games, titled WiiWare. This is basically Nintendo’s version of Xbox Live Arcade.

Nintendo is working on getting indie devs to take advantage of the WiiWare channel, but it’s still unknown how developers can actually make a game on the system without open source API’s for the Wii’s architecture. It seems that indie devs may need to pony up the cash for a real dev kit. Thankfully, Wii dev kits are pretty damn cheap right now, estimated at a paltry $2000.

Now I’m sure most of you are thinking, “Yeah, Nintendo said this when they first announced the Wii and it’s online services.” You’d be right, but you must remember Nintendo rarely comes through with some of their really inventive ideas. →  Read it your way.

Lumines sells like hotcakes. No, the original one. Yeah.

See, I told you guys the PSP wasn’t dead. This week, Lumines, the damn-near-perfect musical puzzler for the PSP, saw a 5900% rise in sales on Amazon. And all because of a bug. Yes, Lumines is probably the first game in history to become more sought-after because of a minor bug that not even QA’ers can find. Yes, you’ve entered Bizarro World. Welcome.

Over the weekend, PSP homebrew programmers/hackers found an exploit in Q! Entertainment’s puzzler in the form of a buffer overflow. Basically, this allows anyone to run unsigned code on the PSP, which Sony’s been desperately trying to stop. Ya know, so they can actually make money on the thing.

And of course, the underground homebrew scene has already released a downgrader app to bring the PSP’s firmware version back to the coveted 1.50 release. →  Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Authors, Nine Articles

Which controller has/had the best D-Pad?

I would try to answer this question, but there’s no way in Hell I’d do it justice. I’ve used a lot of different controllers in my life, but as I’ve learned in the past, there are still a lot of them, on home consoles and handheld, that I’ve never even heard of, hiding in the shadows of gaming history. I mean, wtf is a Nuon?

So if I tried to answer the question of “Which controller has/had the best D-Pad?” I’m sure I’d skip over one of them that may deserve the coveted award more.

So I leave this up to you, my fellow readers. In your gaming trails, which console was/is home to the greatest D-Pad ever?

For me, and I know I’m gonna get burned for this one, I gotta give it up for the PSP’s d-pad. →  Professor Layton and the Diabolical Post

The wonderful centigame: Blizzard custom maps

Every once in a while, I fall into a gaming slump. During these periods, nothing seems to keep me interested in most games I play. They’re either too long or too complex, and I yearn for something a bit simpler to pass the time.

And so, at some point I found custom or “use-map-settings” maps when playing Starcraft. I call them “centigames” – in honor of Wario Ware’s microgames – because they tend to last between a half hour and an hour but still invoke that ADD part of the brain. Through the wonders of Blizzard’s map editor and the “Trigger” system, which allows for unique maps to be programmed, there is a huge amount of games to play – still – for a game more than nine years old.

The campaign itself is simple and entertaining enough, but normal online play can be cut-throat, intimidating, and sometimes repetitive. →  [post launches in virtual reality]

Playing catch up: Chrono Trigger

I finally finished Chrono Trigger, and only 12 years late. Not too bad. Much like Super Mario World, this is another classic that deserves the accolades it has received. I only hope Link to the Past and Final Fantasy 4 are Chrono Trigger good. Though because of the game’s quality characterization, I am now slightly depressed.

It has been pretty uncommon in my life, but now and then a game comes along that affects me like a great movie or novel does. Now that there is no more to see, what happens to the characters? Crono, whose name is a typo because of the apparent five character limit in the game, was the standard silent protagonist and I don’t give a damn about him. But Frog, Magus, Lucca and Robo I do care about. →  I'd rather die than not read this article!

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition – Mini-Review

ZOMG, I love Resident Evil 4. It’s damn-near my most favirotest game evar. If I could, I would cuddle with it:) And after putting in over 10 hours of delicious zombie(?)-filled action with the Wii Edition last weekend, I decided to write a review for it, to show you guys how much I like you.

But then I realized that the only thing Capcom really changed with the Wii version is the controls, so there would be no point in writing a full review for a two year-old game that’s only marginally different.

If you know nothing about RE4, first, shoot yourself in the foot with a rubber bullet, and then go read the GC or PS2 reviews. You really should be ashamed of yourself.

But anyway, how does the Wii version control, you ask? →  50 Cent: Readproof

What happened to competition? From arcades to gamerscores

Remember high scores. You don’t see them around very much, though they still pop up in some of my favorite new games. But why exactly did they begin to disappear? We generally hear explanations involving the rise of story based games and other such nonsense, but when three of the most popular games of the decade are Halo, Madden and World of Warcraft, it is tough to accept this as an era of Single Player. There must be another reason.

Before we look for that reason, we should start from the beginning and look at the nature of the high score. There were surely hacks and exploits available in some classic games (as any Street Fighter fan will know), but I would like to think they weren’t commonplace, and that more often than not the list of high scores in an arcade cabinet was the honest work of skilled players. →  WELCOMETOTHENEXTARTICLE

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 6.18.07

Sony announces 9,648,319 games by March 08
Unfortunately, they counted each individual household a game would end up in as a unique game. If you don’t count your copy of God of War 3 as a different game from my copy, then 145 or more PS3 titles are coming.

Sonic RPG on DS being developed by Bioware
Funny, whimsical RPGs can be cool. Mario’s Super Star Saga and the whole Paper Mario series attest to this. Cute, colorful cartoon characters in RPGs can hold their own, too. Kefka may look silly this day in age, but he is still insanely evil. So what is so horrendous about a Sonic RPG? I’m glad you asked.

Sonic is uninteresting in every possible way. Running fast makes for a subpar to decent action game (or awesome 2D platformer) but is not solid foundation to build a character on. →  These are the games I know, I know. These are the games I know.

UK Says HELL No to Manhunt 2

Just as we start to think that everything has settled down in England with all that rubbish about games causing deaths (even though we all know that it’s over-sized hot dogs that kill the majority of the human population), ELSPA decide it’s time to find a new scandal — Manhunt 2.

It was obviously going to kick up a fuss. The first game did. But it does carry (or it would have done) an adult rating and only adults are allowed to play it, so what’s the problem? Worst part about it is that ELSPA forgot to tell Rockstar first, preferring to let them read it in the British press first.

Conveniently, MCV posed an interesting question this week regarding this very issue. What if Rockstar would have made Silent Hill? →  [link only works on even seconds]

Sony decides PS3 is making a comeback

Offering no sales figures or other sales facts, Sony CEO declared, “All the production problems have been solved. We are making a comeback already.” It seems Sony has figured out how important image is and so they’ve decided to take it upon themselves to tell the media what their image is. It would not be at all shocking if the PS3 begins to make a comeback only because an article has printed that it is making a comeback. Microsoft should try this tactic with the Zune.

In other breaking news, videolamer’s popularity is growing beyond all expectations.

Behind the names of our favorite companies and consoles

Gamers speak the names of companies and systems on a daily basis, but many of us don’t know what these words actually mean nor their origin. And so here is a list of many of the biggest companies and consoles and what information is openly known about their names. I speak absolutely no Japanese and have no new information to add to this planet, but I have not seen all this info neatly compiled in one spot before. Thanks to Japanmanship and others who had already done much research on the topic.

Companies


Microsoft – Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems created the microcomputer Altair 8800 and Bill Gates offered to implement BASIC on their system. Micro is either from the Micro in the MITS company name or the micro in microcomputer, or both. →  Ring of Read

Gamefly says NO to Adult Only games

Gamefly refuses to carry Manhunt 2 if its Adults Only rating sticks. Anyone who is a Gamefly member must be at least 18 years of age and have a credit card. This means Gamefly is telling its adult customers that they should not be playing adult games. Fuck Gamefly, I’m glad I don’t use their service.

Though not an exact fit, this letter I wrote to Wal-Mart regarding the Hot Coffee scandal is still apropos:

“Thank you for being a family friendly store. Capitalism will never work if we just allow people to buy whatever they want. We need more huge corporations to stand up to products Jesus wouldn’t like and say, ‘No. Our customers do not want this.’ Freedom of choice is just a euphemism for evil and I applaud you in your efforts to cut down on evil. →  We have the best words.

Breaking News: Big Japanese publisher to release crappy games on Wii

According to Screen Digest, one major Japanese third party publisher said, “We’re running a business, not to win awards but to make money — if we make breakeven plus on Wii then we are happy.” This translates to “We will port a lot of PS2 games to the Wii and develop real games for other consoles. The neutrality of Screen Digest has been disputed on some popular gaming forums, but assuming this quote is accurate, it still boggles my mind.

I was an economics minor and want to pretend my parents 120k were well spent, so please roll with this haphazard attempt at a proof:

First, we must necessarily assume that profit comes first because the quote indicates this is true. This rules out the idea that 3rd party publishers are saving their big games for HD and fancy processors simply because the developers want to work on them. →  These are the games I know, I know. These are the games I know.

Geometry Wars (PC) Thoughts

Earlier this week, the premier downloadable-content service, Steam, released Bizarre Creations’ Xbox Live Arcade darling, Geometry Wars for all of its PC users. If you’ve never had the chance to play this old-school romp, then I suggest you go now and click the Buy button. For $2.50 (until Friday), you can’t afford NOT to buy it.

Being a fan of the Xbox 360 original, I wanted to give my short impressions. Basically, you get what’s already on the 360 platform. An extremely hard old-school shooter that has an amazing style. Just make sure to bring your extra large balls to this affair, my dear readers. Geo Wars is not for the faint of heart.

But I wanted to focus on something else for this post. In the PC version, the online Leaderboards are not included. →  I regret learning to read.

What Call of Duty has taught me about the Wii

I’m just about willing to say that Call of Duty 3 is the most important game on the Wii right now. I couldn’t even finish it, yet it showed me a lot about the console that I never thought about before (or simply disregarded as false).

For instance, we’ve all heard the complaints from lazy gamers who are afraid of being active when playing the Wii, thinking they will get tired after only a few short minutes. Even before launch this was often mocked, and once people started playing, it seemed even sillier. But it isn’t silly at all. True, most games will not tire you out – even Wii Sports won’t unless you play it like a workout. In fact I’d say the Wii makes things much less tiring by allowing you to hold the controller in a variety of positions. →  Four out of five dentists recommend reading more.

Der Langrisser: Finally translated

Lester shows Cherie what’s for.

When you hear “Langrisser”, you probably think of nothing at all unless you pay attention to Japanese-language games. Thanks to a small, talented, and dedicated group of translators, that is about to change. A group led by Derrick Sobodash has completely translated the Super Famicom game “Der Langrisser” into English.

First off: Der Langrisser is actually a remake of Langrisser 2. Why should we care? If you ever tried a little-known Strategy RPG for Genesis by the name of Warsong, you have played the first game in the Langrisser series.

Warsong is a tour de force of strategy, and could have been the start of a trend toward larger-scale SRPG battles. Unfortunately, Career Soft was the only company who maintained the trend with their Langrisser games, ending with the fifth entry (for Saturn and PSX). →  Ratchet & Read

Rwise fwum my gwave!

Hi folks, its me again. I know I’ve been absent for a little while (a week’s time on the ‘net is an eternity), but I’m posting to let you know I haven’t left. Last week I started an adventure that had me going to Maryland and looking for work.

Suffice to say it worked, and come 2-3 weeks from now I’ll have a place to stay and a full time job (the latter of which is already taken care of). Once that’s over, expect me to return with plenty of articles harassing the industry, myself, and you.

PS – I beat Gears of War. It got better as it went along!

Fillet Mignon with a side of Pork Rinds: Awesome games and their stupid minigames

The average gamer supposedly plays 7.8 hours a week. That’s an ESA study so I think they rounded down to make gamers seem less crazy. Other studies show more like 20-30 hours a week, which makes more sense to me. For us hardcore gamers, I’m sure the number would be even higher.

So while we waste our life away playing video games, it has become painfully apparent to me that, like most products in our corner cutting capitalist society, video games have a lot of filler. A video game, especially an RPG or MMO, is graded on how much of your time it takes to beat. In most cases, a game with short playtime is over quickly and generally unsatisfying (much like sex with me). Longer games are considered better. One of the first questions people ask about a new RPG is “how long is it?” →  They’re reading her… and then they’re going to read me!

Playing catch up: Super Mario World

I was a Sega kid. This means different things to different people — I was deluded, I had bad taste, or maybe I loved action games? Yes, somewhat and no. Sega’s consoles gave me plenty of great games to play growing up, and I don’t regret knowing the Phantasy Star and Shining Force series as well as other gamers know the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series.

What I do regret is how little I know about the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series. Everything in life costs something, even if only time, and playing so many Sega games necessarily meant I had little opportunity for Nintendo games.

Here is a partial, embarrassing list of titles I missed that I still hope to play:

Any Final Fantasy before 6
Any Dragon Quest before 7 and after 1
Link to the Past
Chrono Trigger
Metroid
Super Metroid
Ocarina of Time
Super Mario World

Before yesterday, I had never played Super Mario World. →  Ask not what this post can do for you - ask what you can do for this post.