Ghostbusting on the Wii never looked so awesome

Everyone likes mods.  From consoles, PC gaming rigs, specialized chairs, and even reconfiguring button placment on controllers. 

However the Proton-pack mod shown here for the Nintendo Wii version of teh recent Ghostbuster game is just pure fanboy bliss.  I came across this picture on the web, and I couldn’t find the name of the creator to give him/her the proper kudos, but a lot of time, creativity, and thought went into this.  Truly a one-of-a-kind.

The Blue Power Cell actually reflects how much power you have left, and the Thrower integrated both the Wiimote and Nunchuk almost seemlessly.  Also, the Wiimote’s internal speaker enables the pack to make true-to-film sound effects.

Fricken AWESOME.

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E3 2009: Ubisoft Impressions

I’m a little late in making any E3 posts as I have to tape the live shows and watch them later in evening when I get home from my regular day, so while today is Wednesday, the Ubisoft press conference took place on Monday this week.

Instead of tackling games per platform, I’ll just offer up some highlights and general notes on games and developments (in no particular order) showed during Ubisoft’s presentation:

  • Commented that ‘tween’ demographic is one of the largest growing segments in gaming right now, mostly appealing to young girls and that many companies follow their lead.  They place a heavy emphasis on their ‘imagine’ line of games for DSi, Wii, and PC.  Of course you can expect to see more ‘Petz’ titles this year as well as some new fashion orientated games that allow players to mock up pictures they may take with their DSi camera’s.  Players can also trade pets and/or data using the DSi’s built in WiFi.  Ubisoft calls this ‘inter-connectivity’, and finally metioned the ability to create items such as jewelry, and then pruchase your creation online, and then have an actual physcial item shipped to your.  The example they used was a necklace in which a young girl designed it via her stylus and DSi, and then finished product was shipped to her home.
  • U-Play: Ubisoft seems to want to make a more interactive web/forum experience for those that purcahse their products.  U-Play looks somewhat similar to the new X-Box experience, by having 4 ‘blades’, each having a specific purpose such as  walkthrough/hints, store, etc.
  • Assassins Creed 2: I never played the first one, but I understand it was one of the best new and fasted selling IP’s of 2007.  Expect them to expand on all the previous features including swimming, new stealth based kills, larger areas, and new characters.  They seem to be taking this one pretty seriously, and the trailer they showed was stunning.  Now that the original has dropped in price as a platimun hit at $19.99, I may go back and pick it up in preparation for the sequel.  Ubisoft claimed thay have over 400 people working on this title!
  • Raving Rabbid’s Go Home (Wii): Looks like this franchise is departing from it ‘party-game’ format into something a bit more structured and customizable.  There is now a plot in which the rabbid’s want to get off the earth and make their new home on the moon….but how do they get there?  Well, they feel the need to take ‘stuff’ and build a tower of random junk that will lead to the moon.  There are some open sand-box play fields and some mini-games as well.  You can also customize the individual looks of your rabbids and unlock additional items as you progress.  Of course a lot of silly humor goes into this over the top cartoon stylized game and it appear there may even be some co-op gameplay.  This is worth a closer look as more details will come and looks like a cute, smash, fun time-sink game.  Probably good for kids and non hard-core gamers.  Because of the open play field, story-mode, and campaign, this may breathe new life into this IP.
  • RUSE: They showed a pretty intense trailer that led one to believe it would be a real time and epic military strategy game that looks akin to something in the Tom Clancy universe, but instead of controlling individual people, it looked more like broad units, platoons, brigades, etc.  Kind of like a very detailed game of Risk they uses ground, air, & sea elements.  Not much was said, just the trailer.
  • No More Heroes 2Desperate Struggle (Wii): Long awaited sequel in the works from the surprise adult-orientated wacky Wii title.  Will help fill the serious gaping gap that hardcore Wii users are so frustrated about.
  • RedSteel2_BoxartRed Steel 2 (Wii): Utilizes Nintendo’s new Motion Plus controller and another adult themed title that again addresses Wii’s lack of hardcore software for the more serious player.  The showed what looked liek a very nice opening cinematic trailer and then about 10 minutes or so of actual gameplay.  Looks very nice, both in graphic style and art direction.  I was amazed how well the sword handled with the Motion Plus and nun-chuck controller tethered on.  While the first Red Steel never lived up to its once-hyped potential, I have a feeling this one will deliver.  RS2 and NMH 2 may give me a compelling reason to but a Motion Plus accessory.  Will be out in December of this year and no multiplayer mode.
  • Splinter Cell – Conviction:  Oh my!  Looks just as awesome as some of the others AAA titles coming out and a welcome return for Sam Fisher.  Ubisoft looks to be on a roll this year at E3 and Conviction should be out Q4.  The gameplay demo’d look fantastic.  The art direction and lighting has come so far in this franchise.  The devs emphasized that while stealth is still very important to Sam Fisher, this will be slightly faster paced, and Sam will be relying much more on both the actual environment and low-tech objects he finds.  The devs also are introducing some great story-telling methods in the game with the use of real-time flashbacks….hard to explain, but you have to see it in action and it will maek sense.  Objectives also are displayed during game within the game in a new twist, ala, Fringe (FOX TV series).  Lastly, Sam uses a new combat mechanic that allows him to ‘mark’ shots in a queuing sequence before he takes action.  Again, you have to see it to undertsand, but it’s really slick, looks easy to use, and really pumps up the adrenaline factor in this stealth based game.  Most likely a ‘must-buy’ for me.

News from Leipzig Gaming Conference

So, it may be a week late in reporting but there are some interesting stories that are developing over at Leipzig and firming up back stateside.  Only time will tell, but there are a few interesting things to report:

Sony: They promise (unlike all the other promises before it) that the PS3 often delayed ‘Home’ will finally be ready and deployed before the end of the year.  Too bad no official word from Microsoft yet when there new front end will deploy.  Last we really heard was back at E3 and they said ‘later this year’.

Konami’s Rock Revolution: Sources indicate that the initial song set will include 41 songs.  Hmmm….seems a little sparse when compared to Guitar Hero and Rock Band initial offerings.  Could this be too little, too late to compete with Rock Band 2 and GH: World Tour?

Nintendo: Sadly, yet again, there doesn’t appear to have been any big news again from Japan.  There was some mention of third party developers ramping up titles, but nothing major was seen from the house of Mario.

Microsoft: There is a very heavily rumored XBox 360 price drop coming again, possibly as early as Labor Day weekend.

Gearbox Software: Gearbox supposedly debuted some very impressive ingame footage of their upcoming title Borderlands.  Think Mad Max meets Diablo.  What seems to be a very impressive feat is teh fact that an in-game random weapon generator will allow players access of upwards of over 500,000 (!!) variations of guns, promising to be different each time.  Players will have some classic RPG elements that will allow them to level up skills amongst the three available classes of characters.  Also Borderlands seems to have an open sand-box element to it.

Alison Carrollwas on hand as the newest Lara Croft model for the continuing Tomb Raider series.  You know, she’s a Brit to begin with and has been a professional gymnast for 12 years, not to mention a stellar looking model.  Bonus points earned, Achievement unlocked!

Won’t you join my Mii parade?

Herro?  Any brody out there?

Herro? Any brody out there?

Well, it took a little doing last night, but I finally connected my Wii Fit.  The first complaint I have is the raiser pads for thick carpet.  They DO NOT clip on easily, or stay in place once on.  That is a huge and silly design flaw.  The second issue I have is where the synch button is located (it’s uncer the battery cover underneath the unit).  I think it should have been located at least on one of the sides for easier access.

I’ll comment on the BMI, initial testing, and Wii age later.  It’s not pretty.

But this process gave me a chance to copy down my Wii console number to share with friends.  I’d like YOU to join my Mii parade.  Please register my number: 7295-9370-9434-0255 as a friend, if you feel so inclined, in your Wii Message Board and let’s get our Mii Parade’s going.

I’m also adding my number to the left column here under my XBOX 360 gamer tag.

Wii’re here.

Finally, it’s here.  Persistence paid off.

Today at about 10:07am PST, I was able to secure myself a Wii Fit for the non-blackmarketed, eBay speculatative price of $89.95. 

I was able to leave work for 10 minutes as the store is just down the street and they open at 10:00am.  They receive shipments on Mondays and Thursdays and so after the last six weeks or checking, they had three of them and I got my grubby little hands on one of them.

It’s actually kind of heavy in the box.  Anyway, it’ll be a surprise to my wife that I got a hold of one today out of the blue, and hopefully by the weekend I can begin to devote 15-20 minutes a few times a week for some in-home exercise that will help compliment the Lindora diet I’m currently on (BTW: I’ve lost 4 lbs in the first two weeks), though I cheated today with a chicken burrito, chips & salsa and a single fish taco for lunch….too many carbs.

Wii Fit to be tied….

As elusive as Elvis

As elusive as Elvis

Dangit, I was this close.

I’ve been calling my secret store the last few days to see if they received a Wii Fit yet, and every day its been a no go so far. 

Today, I just so happen to go to the store on my break because it is so close to my work and I didn’t call yesterday.  I walk up to the department head behind teh counter and ask if he has any Wii Fit’s, and he tells me, “Not today.  Sold out yesterday.”

“WHAT?  You had them yesterday?”

“Yup.  Got ’em in at 10am, sold out within the hour.  Try back next week.”

Of course.  The one day I didn’t check is the day they received them.  Doh!

Personal gaming journal #1

Wow, I’ve had such a busy week this week with work, friends, and chores it almost seems impossible to get some free time to play any of my favorite games.

When I was able to sneak a little time here and there, I look back and am surprised that I broke out some of my older games that I never finished.  Sometimes it’s true that “everything old is new again”, and it was refreshing not to be tempted so bad to purchase yet another game when I have plenty of solid hitters that had been collecting dust.

First up, Metal Gear Acid 2, for my PSP.  It really was shocking that when I booted it up, I noticed my last save game file was just over a year old.  Wow.  A whole year since I played it last, but after a few practice rounds, I jumped right back in and on my way to moving the story along.  Complete turn based, strategy card game I forgot how much I enjoyed.

Over at XBox Live Arcade I downloaded two demo’s: Too Human (see earlier post this week on my thoughts) and Go Go Break Steady (music rythym game set in a break dance world).  It’s animations were cute and its beats kinda cool, but after playing the demo for a while I won’t be unlocking the full game.  I also noticed there has been an expansion released for Puzzle Quest.  I’ll end up getting that later as I still have a way to go on the original, not to mention my wife is already addicted to the core game without getting the expansion.

Back over at my Nintendo Wii, I’ve been unlucky in getting my hands on a Wii Fit.  I have a good line on where to get one….a store of the beaten path that a coworker told me about where he walked in earlier this week and got their last one without even trying.  Anyway they told me to call back Monday, so perhaps if I am extremely lucky I’ll have one soon and hopefully trim my figure a bit. (Note to self: I should play both boxing and tennis this weekend as my cardio exercise).

I also broke out Battalion Wars 2 and I really like that game.  I finished about 30% of the game so far, and even on the easy levels, I can’t seem to get past a ‘C’ grade right on the missions right now.  My technique is always great, usually 100% or just under….it’s the speed that hampers me.  I can clear a level in five minutes, but apprantley, they would like to see me do it under four which can be a little tough for me.  It reminds me of a real time and vamped up version of Advance Wars.  It’s been quite a while since I played this last as well, clearly more than six months, and again I’m really looking forward to playing it this weekend.

Same for WoW.  My alliance Pally is now lvl 66, and I’d like to play a good dungeon this weekend and maybe level up to 67 in preparation for Lich King expansion.  I also played about an hour last Sunday my lvl 46 undead Warlock in Hinterlands.  I like that zone.  One zone I am bored to tears with though is Astranaar.  I have my lvl 30 Shaman and lvl 29 Priest stuck there now, grinding away for money to buy some better item so I can move beyond this infernal place.

Lastly my best news of the week is bittersweet.  I finally completed my first pass through of Mass Effect yesterday which is pretty monumental for me….to complete a single play through…and I loved every minute of the game.  The last boss battle was much easier than I thought it was going to be, but the ending left me a little jaded.  What?  I can’t go back and tie up the few loose ends?  Ahh man….  Plus I was so close to lvl 50 and the associated achievement unlock.  I was literally under 200 XP away from lvl 50 and I also never got the ‘Paramour’ achievement either in which I feel a little cheated on.  Overall a great game, though I’m a little dissapointed with the lack of DLC support that was promised for it.  One ‘episode’ is a far cry on what was promised.  Now, I may have to replay again on the next diffiuclty level and work on my sniper and shotgun achievements as well since I got assault rifle and pistol completed.