Date archives for March, 2009

March 31st, 2009

One final tweet before I head off to the States. Bit nervous but should be fine. See you in a week!

March 25th, 2009

Nintendo confirms “play from SD” feature

Run your Virtual Console games from an SD card!

It's the news all Virtual Console fans have been waiting for - you can now run all your downloaded VC games directly from an SD card instead of clogging up your Wii's limited internal memory!

As the library of downloadable WiiWare and Virtual Console™ games continues to grow, Wii owners have asked Nintendo to provide easy, expanded storage space. Starting today, Wii owners will be able to save downloaded WiiWare, Virtual Console video games, and Channels directly to High Capacity SD cards, in addition to SD memory cards. To play games that have been saved to SD cards, consumers will be able to select and launch them from an SD Menu icon on the Wii Menu. (Note that when launching games or channels from an SD card, an equivalent amount of internal Wii memory is required. To clear space from the internal memory, users can transfer games or channels from the Wii Menu to the SD card). This feature is included in the latest version of the Wii System Menu Update, which owners will receive immediately after performing a system update today.

If you switch your Wii on and check out the new system update, you should find a rather intriguing new button available on the Channels screen. Clicking it takes you to the SD card menu, which is laid out just like your regular Channels menu except it lists everything you can play directly from your SD card.


Feature: Sonic: The Nintendo Years – Part One

Sonic’s career is as chequered as those famous green hills; since his runaway success in the first half of the 1990s he’s struggled to reclaim those glory days. Luckily if you’re a Nintendo console owner you can play all the best Sonic games extremely easily, thanks to Virtual Console and the Wii and DS’s backwards compatibility services. With that in mind, join us as we take a leisurely stroll down memory lane with video gaming's favourite marsupial...


March 24th, 2009

Eyes on DSi – hands-on report

Earlier today I was fortunate enough to have a little face time with the new DSi, and I came away pretty impressed by Nintendo’s new baby.

The first thing you notice compared to the DS Lite is the DSi’s matte finish, which makes it easier to hide those troublesome fingerprints. Although you could say it looks a little dull compared to the shiny glory of the DS Lite, the upside is that it felt much more comfortable and will no doubt be less slippery in those sweaty-palmed gaming moments we all face.


March 23rd, 2009
Blog Entry

Carnival of Video Game Bloggers, March 2009

With Spring now definitely in the air in the Northern Hemisphere, the Carnival has brought many beautiful flowers into bloom for you to sample, so pick an appealing petal and sniff in some scentsational writing! (Plenty more where that came from…)

Getting in nice and early is Tony Huynh from Limitless Units, with a beautiful array of What’s Bad About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Mode? I have to say, I’ve never heard of it, but apparently it’s a popular bloom all year around. The card reads “Despite the fact that Call of Duty 4 has been out for well over a year and has a clear sequel in Call of Duty: World at War, over one hundred thousand players continue to log in every evening on Xbox Live. If you think Infinity Ward must be doing something right, you would be correct. However this article is not about what Call of Duty 4 has done right, it is about what Call of Duty 4 does wrong.”

I think these would look beautiful arranged in a bouquet with these other flowers, sent by a new admirer, Mr Halo 3. Hardy perennials Halo 3 Skulls and Halo 3 Weapons Cheat were both grown from the seeds of All About Halo 3. Having spent many hours tending to my Halo garden, these blooms should look great alongside my Ascetic helmet. Cheers!

Don Salva’s Blog had a bumper crop this year, with two particularly beautiful fruits having just matured. First up is his rare Status Quo!, which I hope is not named after the ageing British rockers. A second Fallout 3-related post, Must-Have High-Res Texture Packs for Fallout 3 does exactly what it says on the packet. It’s amazing to think what grows in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

The green-fingered Eclipse is next with two offerings: the first is This Game Doesn’t Have Enough Characters, a sentiment which, as a Sonic fan, I’ve never shared. However, Video Games vs. “Traditional Entertainment” is something I’ve tried to cultivate in my own patch with little success, so it’s great to see Eclipse growing such a strong plant at Gaming My Way.

Next we’ve got Shadowolf from Playstation ThEvolution with a strange hybrid he’s designed himself, called GEARS OF WAR 1 & 2 on Blu-ray? It’s great to see such imagination, though it remains to be seen whether such a flower will ever exist.

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you enjoyed a post!

Beast has just knocked on my door with a huge basket covered by a checked cloth. It looks rather lumpy, and there’s an odd smell. Pulling back the cloth he reveals WoW Head Enchantments, which he says “was submitted back in January of this year, but it wasn’t quite finished at that time. Now it’s done and has had a complete coding overhaul so subsequent enchants will be much easier to post in the future.” How he grew those I will never know.

But wait! There’s more. He’s also brought along Titan Quest Skins – The Musings, which has the rather long Latin name “relevant information for those people still playing this game.” Not only that, he’s got a NES Mega Man 2 Tool-Assisted Speedrun, all of which have come from his (presumably very odd-looking) garden over at Thanks, Beast!

Keeping with the old-school tone, The Reviewist has just brought me a very pixellated rose he calls Virt – Once Upon a Time in Transylvania, from The Reviewist. He’s gone for the slogan “Come hear perfect remakes of old 8-bit Nintendo music!” which is just the way I like my slogans – to the point.

Apocalypso has a very serious entry next, called Games and Violence from his patch at Apocalypso’s Atomic Arcade. It’s a theme we see time and again here on the Carnival as well as the press and other media, and Apocalypso has this to say: Another month, and another article on games and violence, this time inspired by the latest school shooting in Winnenden, Germany.

Next is Benjamin Manoochehri‘s never-before-seen exotic vine called Eating Your Own Butt Means A Brighter Future. Apparently it’s tastier than it sounds. He says “Hello, my name is Benjamin Manoochehri! I am just starting to blog about video games but my post on Noby Noby Boy seemed to fit with this shindig!” Thanks very much indeed Benjamin! There’s many more interestingly named posts over at Benjamin Entertainment System.

Want to be part of the next Carnival? Use the Blog Carnival Submissions form!

Another bewildering species of flora is up next, this time the Autumnal OzSoapbox shrub Why owning a Wii in Australia is rubbish from Shard. The reason I say it’s bewildering is best summed up by the writer: “thought it might be an interesting read for overseas owners of the Wii given how popular the console is worldwide.”

Davott‘s up now with a plant that took a while to bloom but was worth it: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 » FPS News from the FPS News Garden Centre. With the original still a popular choice for many gardeners, I’m sure this news will be greeted with some excitement.

Now we have a plant with a name so long its seeds come in bin bags: The Final Verdict: Chrono Trigger vs. Final Fantasy III posted at Steve McCutchen’s Cavalcade of Awesomeness. There’s nothing else I can say.

Kendall Sports Productions has a very muscular kind of plant next: he calls it J.M. Marquez: Baddest Man on Earth, or “Why these fighters should be in Fight Night Round 4.” The stems on this plant are bigger than my arms. A new low.

Without Carnival stalwart Jigsaw HC here to tell us how to grow our own on game rental services, ishanbansal is filling in the gap with Free Trial of Video Game Rentals – Save Few Bucks. Why buy from the supermarket when you can take a cheap trial?

Tom Tessin next with a plant that needs very little soil: Best Flying Games for the PC posted at FAC Travel Blog, saying, “Looking for the best flying game for the PC? See what I think are the top 5 games.” Plants that grow at such high altitude are fascinating, and Tom Tessin really knows his onions.

Here’s a group who should know all about this month’s theme – ThumbGods brought me a Game Review: Funky Farm 2 posted at Thumb Gods. They taught me everything I know.

A rich and wonderful bounty, now – Nick Bounty, to be precise! Ho ho. This one comes from Meg over at Simpson’s Paradox. Cheers, Meg!

Why haven’t I submitted? I mainly write for Nintendo Life now – check out my reviews, news and podcasts there!

Josh Moles practises keeping his plants protected with the simulator Kill Monsters in the City by the Bay posted at InvertedStick, saying, “A game review about a web based indie game.” It’s a good job we’ve got people like Josh Moles around, even though his name would seem to imply he’s happier digging plants up than protecting them.

Sometimes as I potter from my garden into my kitchen I find myself thinking about which things I like best in the world. You see, I like games consoles, but I also like cooking appliances. But which is better? There’s only one way to find out – Kevin Fleming‘s Microwave vs PS3 posted at Satellite TV Guru. FIGHT!

Finally we have a great post from the host of next month’s Carnival, Kai Skye. Consciously Improve Your Gaming Skills gives you some great ideas for how to get to that next level of play, and the rest of the site offers tips on improving your aiming and overall ability.

The Carnival is taking a break from for a few months, so Kai Skye is hosting the next Carnival and it’ll be the first issue to have a specific theme, which is….

Skills only gamers possess

Submit your article in exactly the same way as usual – that would be the Blog Carnival Submissions form! – and head over to Crescive Gamer on April 20th to check out what skills you and your fellow gamers have over so-called “normal” folk.

Thanks for coming and make sure to check out the posts and maybe even leave a friendly comment; making contacts through the Carnival is a great way to boost traffic and get ideas going!

March 20th, 2009

Review: Sonic and the Black Knight

Hardly the stuff of legend.

Describing Sonic’s early career to young gamers is like discussing dinosaurs, it’s been so long since he was the golden boy of video games whose cheeky blue mug was a bringer of joy in the early Nineties. Since then each new game is touted as a “return to form”, with the Wii’s Sonic and the Secret Rings being one of his better outings in recent years, and that game forms the basis of Sonic and the Black Knight. It’s just a shame that the game itself is a huge letdown.


Review: Populous DS

Handheld heaven or a portable pariah?

A few years ago, EA tapped a rich vein of old-school strategy games by revamping Theme Park and Sim City for the DS's touch screens. A few years later, Bullfrog's famed God game has received similar treatment, but is it the second coming or just a slap-headed Samson?


Review: Picross Hits the Third Dimension

For those who are about to block... we salute you.

As if the original grid-colouring puzzler Picross weren't tricky enough, Nintendo have just released the sequel Rittai Picross ("Solid Body Picross" - similar to what they call me at the gym) in Japan and it's taken the series firmly into 3D territory for the first time in its near-fifteen year heritage.


March 19th, 2009

Review: Nintendo to force games on DS buyers?

In future, DS Lite consoles will only be available packaged with first-party Nintendo titles, limiting choice for customers

Following on from previous special occasion bundles, Nintendo are now increasing their distribution of DS Lite consoles pre-packaged with software titles, and completely ceasing production of the white and silver models. A Nintendo spokesperson gave this statement:

We will be increasing the availability of DS Lite bundles with software in the UK, however solus will still continue to be listed. We have chosen to do this as we have found many consumers like the convenience of buying software and hardware together and also enjoy buying them as gifts.

Completely ignoring the fact that most games retailers already offer consumers the convenience of buying software and hardware together - what, have Nintendo representatives never been to a game retailer?! - it's hard to believe many consumers find being forced to buy certain games with certain colours particularly enjoyable.


March 17th, 2009

Have finished wrestling with the printer. Invitations look good, just a few small jobs left! How will I pass the time from now on?

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