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by Ethos

Handheld Gaming Part 2 – The Present (Ethos)

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Despite my incredibly fond memories of my big ol’ ugly ol’ beautiful ol’ tank Gameboy, my interest in handhelds wavered for a bit. I was into the announcement of the GBA, but I just kinda stopped caring. I had recently found the world of RPGs that weren’t Pokémon, and consoles that weren’t the N64, so the GBA wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. In fact, I don’t think I even got one until it was semi-late in its lifecycle.

Mine ended up breaking, but not this bad.

Flash ahead to the announcement of the DS and I cared even less. The thing was hideous, it had two screens for some reason, and there was no software I remotely cared about. Mario 64 DS without an analog stick? Definitely not interested. But soon there was more and more software that caught my eye until I started my now long-time practice of buying games before buying the console (Mario and Luigi was the culprit this time).

I knew the DSfat design was just too awful for Nintendo to keep. While redesigns were still in-style for Nintendo, I had a feeling that the first would come sooner rather than later, and I was right. My patience paid off and I got a DSlite on launch day.

But the purchase went from being a pleasant way to have RPGs on the go and turned into a full-fledged revitalization of my love for handhelds.

While I can’t exactly pinpoint it, the changed seemed to start around the time I got both New Super Mario Bros. and Tetris DS. The former was fun, but more importantly convinced Pogo to buy a system. The latter would prove to be the best version of the classic game ever made, and would make for many, many exciting wireless multiplayer matches.

But losing to Pogo in Tetris, and winning half the time in Mario multiplayer wasn’t the end result of my increased playtime. Now I had software all over the place. Mario Kart, The World Ends With You, Etrian Odyssey, Phantom Hourglass, Pokémon Diamond, Dragon Quest remakes, and even half-decent Kingdom Hearts games. The list goes on and on too.

I love my little PSP Fail

The software was only just more impressive than the places I took the thing. It was always stuffed in my inside jacket pocket for a quick whatever of whatever on public transit, or something to distract myself while eating on my lunch break from work. What if I was at my girlfriend-at-the-time’s house and didn’t want to sleep just yet? My DS with headphones was there for me. Long car rides, lazy nights inside, a cure for insomnia. Not having my DS on me made me feel more naked than forgetting my phone.

Sure, the DS has its share of Nintendo-itis. Friend codes, unintuitive online functionality and store interfaces, and a completely pointless microphone. But despite its faults, and despite its barely-worth-mentioning Wii counterpart, the DS is neck-in-neck with the PS2 for best console ever released in my opinion.

And so my excitement for the DS spilled over to my love for franchises that couldn’t exist on it. It was finally time to get a PSP. And in probably my most ridiculed public move of all time: a bought a (reduced price) PSP Go.

Let me get the necessary disclaimer out of the way. The PSP Go is an utter failure. It has sold like trash, and it is not well-supported in the least. There is a lot of software that I am unable to have because of this irrefutably sour venture from Sony.

That being said, I do not regret the purchase. I love the design. I used the PSP3000 design for a number of hours while playing Birth By Sleep, and while it is definitely a good design, I prefer the design of the Go. It fits way better into my gaming pockets, and generally just feels less clunky.

While my love for the PSP hasn’t matched that of the DS, it has helped to solidify my return to handheld gaming. Despite the DS’ decent RPG showing, the PSP has also done a better job of fulfilling my RPG cravings that are so rarely satisfied on the console.

Plus, I can’t take my PS3 to the can with me.

So my present state as a handheld gamer doesn’t hold the same wide-eyed nostalgia as my introduction to gaming, but if nothing else it has helped me realize my lifestyle as a gamer. Games are never too far away, and I like it like that. The future of handhelds currently has me wary (the lack of portability of one and the redundancy of the other), but that’s another article for another day. Semi-specifically, either tomorrow, Sunday, or Monday.

Scatter Storming. Issue #027

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I’m back, bitches! I know Scatter Storming has been a little inconsistent of late, but everybody’s allowed an off month or so, right? At least I’ve kept up my Tingle News on Fridays, although those have been a little short. Whatever! I’m a busy dude! Let’s get started.

Lunar’s fucking great –
Seriously, what a fantastic JRPG. Sure there are clichés all over the map, but like with DQVIII, it’s all done so well that it doesn’t matter. Another point that great story-telling is better than great plot. Hear that, FFXIII? But Lunar is truly great in its hilarious writing. While I typically enjoy talking to NPCs in JRPGs, Lunar makes it extra worth it with a lot of writing, and a lot of funny writing. I find myself laughing way more than I expect. Not only that, but chatting with the locals will often hold some insight as well, which makes the experience that much deeper and involved. Again, you should be taking notes, FFXIII. I was expecting to buy my PSP for Dissidia, and while that’s fun, I’ve been all about the Lunar. What a pleasant surprise! Well, the Lunar and…

Patapon 2 is also fucking great -
I’m glad I chose this for my Backlog Week game, because it turns out the game opens up one mission after I stopped playing. The leveling-up system is a little convoluted concerning a few details, but overall, it’s a bunch of fun. The visual style and sound design is just great, and only 3.5 hours in, I can tell how outrageously addictive it’s going to be (and already is). After ignoring the PSP for so long, I’ve quickly become a big fan, and the Patapon series is so far a huge point in its favour. More to come as Backlog Week continues.

Best Website Ever -
We’ve all been following the Infinity Ward/Respawn madness, and I’ll dive into the actual news on Friday, but until then, check out the website for Respawn Entertainment. Gets the job done!

I WANTZ TEH MARIOZ -
Seriously. After that event, I’m really stoked. I’m trying my hardest to get an early copy for you guys so I can get another day one review. I’m not holding my breath this time though.

Bah-ha ha ha ha! Habs beat Caps! -
Suck it Ovechkin.

That’s it! I’m back to my working-late schedule for a few weeks, but hilariously, I tend to stick to my Riddlethos schedule a bit better when I’m busier. I got a cover to make, so I’ll see you assholes later!

News Roundup #008 – October 5, 2009: “Tit-Fucking Amazing”

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Fun Roundup this week! Riddles and Ethos talk the news and even dive into a bit of Riddles’ work drama!

Soak up what you can because Riddlethos is considering putting the News Roundup feature on hiatus. Let us know what you think. Do you like the Roundup? Would you be glad to see it go? Don’t care either way? Let us know in the comments below or by e-mailing feedback@riddlethos.com.

Click here to undoubtedly enjoy the Roundup!

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Hey! Look! Listen!

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

HLL logo3

Another Thursday, another edition of… ah, actually, it’s not Thursday anymore. Oh well.

Failed introductions aside, I feel I should inform you that as I write this column, the original Jurassic Park is playing on Cinemax. I haven’t seen this movie in years, and I’d honestly forgotten how good it is. I also forgot how annoying that Timmy kid is. Just saw the part where he got shocked. Chuckled a little.

Okay, back on track. Time for some news. Or whatever approximation I can gather.

Young children would easily identify...

Young children would easily identify...

What the… a Spore Movie? Really?
I know you hope I’m joking. Sadly, I am not. EA Games has just struck a deal with 20th Century Fox to make a movie based on, of all properties, Spore. Reportedly, Ice Age director Chris Wedge is attached to the project.

Ice Age was good, so I can kinda see this turning out to be a good animated comedy. Spore’s colorful world and unique characters would certainly translate well into an animated flick, that much is certain. While I tend to frown on game-to-film adaptations on principle, I’m more optimistic for a Spore movie than anything else coming down the pipes. (Variety).

Avoid Wii Update 4.2
Now these are rather… dire tidings. It’s news like this that makes me glad I don’t utilize WiiConnect24. Or whatever the fuck it’s called. Reports have been flying hither and thither about Wii Update 4.2 rendering Wii’s useless. Problems include freezing in the middle of the update, disc read errors after installing the update, and worst of all, error messages claiming that the Wii has been modified, and then failing to start.

Nintendo has already issued a statement on their tech support forums addressing the issue. Or rather, just an apology and an offer to fix bricked consoles for free. As long as it wasn’t previously modded, of course.

You can't deny, it's a very attractive device.

You can't deny, it's a very attractive device.

Sony Adding PSP-Only Digital Copies to Blu-Ray Discs
I seem to recall that this was brought up as a possibility sometime last year; if I had to guess, I’d say it was E3 2008. But I’m too lazy to research it, and it’s just an aside anyway. Starting November 10 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will include digital copies on Blu-Ray discs that can be transfered to PSP systems. Kinda like those digital copies for the PC that get thrown in every so often, except… for the PSP. Not too hard to grasp, eh? The first two Blu-Rays to sport this feature will be 1997’s Godzilla and The Ugly Truth.

Neat little feature, though I doubt I’ll ever use it. (Kotaku).

Oh, The PSP Go Came Out Today
Or yesterday, rather. In any case, it’s out now. I don’t know if you’ve been following the early reviews of the system, but they haven’t been entirely positive. It seems that reviewers just can’t justify the PSP Go’s $250 price tag, especially given its lack of compatibility with UMD libraries. But hey, don’t take MY word for it. Check out Kotaku’s review here.
Or, if you’d like, check out IGN’s verdict here.

That’s all I got. Jurassic Park is over. I have a strange desire to see the second and third films now. They weren’t that great if my memory serves me. BUT THE DESIRE REMAINS.

Okay, for real, that’s all I got. Goodnight everyone.

GamesCom 2009: PSP Minis

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

minis
During their GamesCom 2009 press conference, Sony announced that a new section of the PlayStation Store entitled “Minis” would launch on October 15.

What this is, essentially, is a collection of smallish, more casual games that can be purchased on the cheap. Among the games that have been revealed already are Fieldrunners, Sudoku, and Pacman Championship Edition. While Sony made no mention of a price range, PocketGamer is reporting that they will be priced at 1, 2, and 5 euros – which would more than likely translate to $1, $2, and $5 USD. (Keep in mind that nothing has been confirmed, however.)

The reason why this announcement interested me enough to write about is because it smacks of an attempt to compete with the iPhone. And, honestly, it’s hardly a secret that Sony has been promoting their upcoming PSP Go as a competitor to Apple’s massively popular handheld device. Personally, I think it’s a futile endeavor, but features like this are certainly a step in the right direction.