Friday, October 24, 2014

The Two Faces of Super Smash Bros.

When Nintendo announced that the new installment of the hit franchise Super Smash Bros. was going to be released on both the 3DS and the Wii U, it seemed like a risky move. By releasing two versions of the game, Nintendo could split the market, some people buying only the 3DS version, others only buying the game for the Wii U. The 3DS version of the game has been out a month or so and has sold very well. The Wii U Smash Bros. is due out on the 21st of November. During the whole hype cycle of the game, Nintendo assured fans that the two versions of the game were going to be unique enough to validate buying a copy for both systems. In a recent Nintendo Direct, the company explained just how different the 3DS and Wii U version are going to be.

For those of you who don’t know, Super Smash Bros. is a frantic fighting game featuring characters from popular Nintendo series. The first installment debuted on the Nintendo 64 and each subsequent console generation has seen a new addition to the franchise.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Amazing Mario Kimono

Kimonos are a type of traditional Japanese clothing dating back to before the Heian Period, (around the 8th century or so). Mario is a traditional Japanese/Italian videogame character dating back to the Reagan Period, (around the 1980s). When you mention one of these things, the other doesn’t exactly spring to mind. Or at least, to most minds. But, if you happen to be a Nintendo geek and seamstress, Kimonos and Mario can go hand in hand.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Third and Confused: I Swear, My Team is Full of Scrappy Underdogs

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And sometimes you don’t even realize you lost until someone informs you of that fact. Like I predicted in my last Third and Confused, I lost this past week’s fantasy football match. I’m not sure exactly how many points I lost by, but I have decided that I only lost because the other team used dirty and underhanded tactics. My team is that scrappy underdog so often found in 90s sports movies, and the other team is comprised of a bunch of jerks that cheat. My team is a group of rag-tag kids, putting aside their differences for the love of the game. My team is coached by a down on his luck Emilio Estevez and they have to beat Iceland in the kid Olympics.

Oh, wait. That’s the Mighty Ducks. I’m sorry. I was thinking of the Mighty Ducks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

We Need Samurai in FIFA, Mostly Because of this Awesome Noodle Ad

Every year EA Sports releases a new version of their incredibly popular soccer game FIFA. This year was no different. FIFA 15 is a damn fine game and is a measured improvement over last year’s version. Goalkeeping has been improved, as well as player animations and the pitch actually deteriorates as players run and kick and dive all over it. There are issues of course, but they’re easily overshadowed by the improvements. Or so I thought.

I've been playing it for awhile now but I didn’t realize that there was something truly vital that the game was missing, and it didn’t come to my attention until today.

The game doesn’t have soccer playing samurai and ninjas. And it needs them. Desperately. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Third and Confused: Game Day Decision

The good old days, when injuries were cured by cigarettes and scotch
We’re in week four of the footballing season, or whatever, and my fantasy team has yet to taste the bitter sting on defeat. This last weekend I came close however, mostly because I forgot to actually check in with the football world and didn’t realize that two of my players were injured and wouldn’t play. Luckily for me, the team I was playing is terrible (and with a name like ‘Show Me Your TDs,’ of course they are).

While last week my team performed a miraculous comeback and won the day, I’m concerned that this winning streak will come to end this weekend as I’m facing the current number one team in my league. I was lucky this past week, but my luck is running out. My starting quarterback was almost taken out by the city of Detroit this Friday. Matt Stafford of the Lions was on his way to practice when he came across a very recently collapsed bridge. He had to leave his car on the highway to make it to practice on time. Now, I’m not sure how close he was to being actually hurt by this horrible accident, but reports say he was one of the first people on the scene, so it was just good timing that spared him. And me. And my team. I might be a very selfish person.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Third and Confused: How to Cope With Your Star Player Being a Horrible Person

In most games, especially in most videogames, the real world and its sordid affairs don’t really matter. Awful things happen every day but Mario doesn’t really give a fuck, nothing’s going to get the way of him trampling winged turtles. I have to admit, it’s a little weird for me to be playing a game that is so reliant on reality.

'Ha, ha, I'm a terrible person.'
Fantasy football wouldn’t exist without the NFL and of course I knew that what happened every Sunday would dictate how well my team would do. But I’m not sure I fully internalized all that could keep a player from playing. I mean, yeah, injuries I anticipated; that’s the whole reason you have players on the bench. A drop in form was also something I expected. I did not expect, however, to lose players due to the fact that they are criminals. I should have known better. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Third and Confused: The First Game

Now this is something I would watch.
Last weekend was my first fantasy football match up, and let me tell you, it was RIVETING. There were comebacks, and tackles and things. There was some other stuff people find exciting but most importantly, there were numbers that slowly ticked up over two days.

Ok, so it wasn’t exactly riveting. It was actually really, really boring. And I have to admit, I’m a little sick of football and I haven’t even watched a full game yet. I live in a very football-centric city and everything sort of shuts down when the season starts. The sport is just unavoidable, especially if you like going out to eat anywhere. That said, by playing fantasy football, I do feel a little more a part of the madness that overcomes the city every Sunday. I've actually been paying attention to football news and stats.