Latest posts with tag: "amber ahlborn"

  • My Wii U launch window wishlist

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    Time sure flies when you're working overtime. It's nearly November 18th already. How did that happen? The launch of the Wii U is just a day away, and by early Sunday morning (or late Saturday night), Nintendo's next console will have landed on store shelves—and for everyone lucky enough to have snagged one—living rooms across the continent.

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    But not mine. For the first time in three generations of Nintendo consoles (and unlike Cory and Brandon), I won't be picking up a Wii U at launch. Why, you ask? It's not that I don't want one, it's just because of money—as in I have none not already spoken for by groceries and bills. Eventually the system will be mine though, so I've put a list of launch-window games that I'll definitely be considering (and you should too!) when that day comes.
  • Let's all go to the video store.

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    Technology and the ways it flows through our culture are constantly changing and, for the most part, we who live embedded in that change don't notice it much. But there are always particular things that impact us on a personal level. Things that make us "miss the good old days" or wonder if we might actually be aging. One of those things for me has been the decline of the rental store. As I wait here for Amazon to ship my brand new copy of The Last Story, it's hard to stop my mind from wandering back to the time when all I'd have to do was stroll in and rent one out. Sure, rental places haven't been completely wiped out by the likes of Netflix, Gamefly, and YouTube, but they've certainly become rarefied. My local Blockbuster video store finally closed a few years ago, an event about which I have mixed feelings.

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    I lived through the VHS and Betamax VCR format wars, the transition to disc-based media, and the birth of cell phones (my dad owned one of the old "bricks"), but I'd say the end of the age of the rental store causes me to pause and reminisce because it used to be something of a family business. My parents ran a mom-and-pop shop when I was a kid, so I grew up watching tons of movies and playing loads of video games. When the NES came out, I got all I could play—all for free—for as long as I wanted to keep them. Those were the days.
  • I confess, I can't play Kid Icarus Uprising

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    Kid Icarus Uprising is a game I was looking forward to. While it was in development, I read every scrap of info dribbled to the press. I watched the silly promo cartoons downloadable on the 3DS. It is a game that I pre-ordered and awaited the delivery of with impatience. It is a game, I'm frustrated to admit, that I tried and failed to play.

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    You see, I just so happen to be left-handed...
  • Bombs away!

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    Monster Hunter Tri turned me into an instant fan of the series, a series I hadn't even heard of prior to its Wii iteration. Since its release, I've played quite a bit of Monster Hunter. It's one of three games I play online (the other two being Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7), and I still hop on like clockwork every Friday to shoot the breeze with friends and battle a few mega beasties. Still, this is a game I've been playing for around two years. It's only natural that I'd eventually come up with something wacky to keep things interesting.

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  • I got your Samus Aran right here

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    As if the Rule 34 crowd needed ammo, Nintendo saw fit to sully the dignity of Samus Aran by afflicting her with the cat suit Zero Suit in Metroid: Zero Mission. Then our own Brandon has to go and show off his very own just-released fetish idol from Other M. To try and counter the wretched atrocity that is the Zero Suit, I offer up my own Samus figurine for viewing. Think of it as a way to cleanse the palate.

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  • We've come a long way, baby

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    The JRPG, formerly known more broadly as the console RPG, is a genre suffering from stagnation—or so I've been told. It's a statement often bandied about, but how true is it, really? I recently started what promises to be a bit of an RPG binge with Xenoblade Chronicles, and now find myself deep into a replay of Breath of Fire III. When it comes to game mechanics, these two RPGs could not play more differently.

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    When thinking back to what else I've played recently, at one extreme you have the very conservative Tales series, and on the other you have the likes of Final Fantasy XIII, which tossed out numerous genre conventions in favor of a streamlined experience. Striking out on their own directions, you have the aforementioned Xenoblade and The Last Story, another RPG I'm hotly anticipating, which releases in August. There are a lot of differences in the details, but the big three that most impact my own experiences, and likely the experiences of many players, are how these games each handle monster encounters, character growth, and death.
  • A terrifying tribute to Evil Jho

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    I am no fan of horror or thrillers. It was years before I could sit through Jaws and I've never watched more than an isolated chunk of any of the Alien movies. And yet, I do love the adrenaline rush brought on by the imminent peril I feel in certain video games, knowing that something unstoppable is on my tail. My favorite part of Metroid Fusion was the SA-X, its relentless search for Samus, and how much tension would build up when it entered the room I was desperately hiding in. In the series misstep that was Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the Dahaka was a winning addition. The thrill I'd get tearing through the crumbling edifice of a mysterious ruin while using every acrobatic trick at my disposal to stay one step ahead of this hulking creature of doom was great. Being chased, facing off against an enemy of obviously superior power—these things can be fearful good fun. So let me offer a tribute to the baddest beast in a game full of beasts. Hats off to the Deviljho.

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