Monday, July 27, 2009

Game Journalism and Audience Expansion


If you took the time to watch the video above, I'm sure that Seth Schiesel (the last guy to talk) said something that perked your ears up. If that wasn't the case then let me tell you, that's exactly what he did to me. The overall conversation was about game journalism and its importance. The part that really got me was when Seth was talking about the Wii and audience expansion.

I have been a gamer most of my life and I worked in the retail part of the industry for a few years. School wise I earned my degree in multimedia and I spent most of my time in a very technical environment. Recently I started writing reviews and even closer I finally broke down and decided to do what I can to get into game journalism. You're probably thinking; "Lighty what are you getting at here?" What I'm getting at is the fact that, I'm not speaking out of my hind side when I'm talking about a serious topic concerning the industry. More importantly I have a lot of experience observing elements of the industry.

For years, the industry has catered to one demographic, 18-24 year old Caucasian males. As much as many of you would like to debate that; that fact for many years was true. I can truly say that it has only been as recent as the last generation of game consoles that a lot of game developers and publishers have decided to take different ethnic backgrounds seriously. There was still a problem. While the racial barrier was partially broken the gender barrier was still pretty strong. The industry moved from 18-24 year old Caucasian males to 18-24 year old African American males for games that portrayed the traditional stereotypes and 18-24 year old Caucasian males for everything else. It was obvious that games like the EA Sports titles, Grand Theft Auto, 50 Cent Bulletproof and the Def Jam series were huge money makers from the "urban" gamer. While that may be the case, I as well as many other non stereotypical African American gamers saw a growing problem. Where were the positive, African American game characters? I'm not talking about the Token black guy you get, to keep our mouths shut. Where was my black male or female who was kicking butt and saving the day? The person of color who could proudly be displayed on the front of the box with the game's logo or title.

As much as many of you might want to deny it, the fact remains that positive characters of color are few and far in between, in the game industry. Its not just Black America, I can say the same about Latin America as well. Lets be honest, as cool and as funny as the game "Total Overdose" (PS2 & X-Box) was; the main character was in no way the best representation of Latin America. Asian Americans might have it a bit easier, considering that, a good majority of game companies are located in Japan. Back to the video. Audience expansion is important but it needs to be done in a proper way. Many "hardcore" gamers are complaining that Nintendo is bringing too many casuals to gaming. In no way is this a bad thing. Who are these "casual" gamers? First off a good majority are serious gamers who probably didn't know how serious they were. One demographic that developers constantly forgot about, was that of female gamers. At one time I read that female gamers make up almost half of the gaming population, yet they were constantly under-represented. While male gamers like to lump most female gamers into the casual audience, there are plenty of females who take their gaming serious.

The most important thing that Nintendo did right, was market the Wii and DS brands as something for everyone. They clearly showed features that applied to some facet of every person's life. It did not matter if you were the elderly couple using the Forecast Channel to check the weather; the young mother buying tickets with the Opera web browser; the little girl trading messages to her friends with the Message Board or the boy blasting away baddies in The Conduit; there was something for everyone. If we as members of the gaming industry, expect to be taken seriously, we need to get our heads out our rear ends and realize that there is a whole world of new users. Gaming is something that needs to be shared with everyone.

Its not all gloom and doom. some developers are coming around. As much as Ubisoft gets slack for "games that end with a 'Z'" or the "Imagine" games, I am proud of them for taking such a leap to appease female gamers. EA is very close behind with their new games marketed to the same demographic and THQ even has a few titles. The expanded audience is here to stay and whether the "hardcore" likes it or not, that audience is the savior of our industry. Right now the industry needs to do any and everything it can to keep from being looked at as a huge joke. There are still people who don't give gaming a second look because they feel excluded. Developers need to take the time to start making games that cater to people of all kinds, creating positive characters that relate to everyone. Nintendo has been leading the charge for years and now other companies are following. This belief in audience expansion does not only apply to developers and publishers. The same can be said to journalist.

As journalist it is our responsibility to tell the truth. Granted, that in a industry like gaming we will all have our favorites. While that may be true it is up to us to set aside what bias we might have and give every game fair publicity. We warn our readers of quick cash-ins and products that are not worthy to be played. That does not mean that every game that falls into a certain category, casual or hardcore will not be worth playing. We all need to re-evaluate the way we go about reviewing games. our reviews need to reflect that there is a new type of audience and they might not always care about what's flashy or what type of television the game looks good on. Our planet is changing and so will our industry. For all of you who are stuck in your ways, get over it! Things will never be the same again. For those of you who welcome this new era with open arms, get ready for a wild and amazing ride!

Sexy Fairy Tale Characters and Video Games


Don't you just love when someone takes a favorite childhood memory and turns it into a sexy fantasy? No need to shy away, you know I'm telling the truth. Two games, one for the DS/DSi and one on the Wii's "WiiWare" service are doing just that. Let me introduce to you "Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ" for the Nintendo DS/DSi and "Zombie Panic in Wonderland" for WiiWare.

Little Red's adventure takes place in "Storyland" where the sultry miss and her partner Momotarō (a guy who was born in a giant peach), must save their home land from a zombie invasion. The game is a top-down view, rail shooter. Depending on which character you chose to play as, you will either use Red's assortment of firearms or a giant collection of ninja stars, owned by Momotarō, to blast your way through zombies and demons of all kinds. This game was released fall of last year so finding a copy here in the states shouldn't be that hard.


"Zombie Panic in Wonderland" is due out this year. "Zombie Panic" is a third person shooter that features two player co-op play. While made by a different studio then the "Little Red" game, the basic premise seems to be very close. You have a well known fairy tale character (in this case, a very sexy version of Snow White), joined by a ninja (a girl in this game) as they go and fight zombies. I first saw this game a bit after E3 but at the time only a few screen shots were released. We now have a bit more shots but sadly, no shots of Snow White in action. Feel free to check out the new screen shots below.



Here's some "off screen" footage of the game in action...

The following is a list of things that are in the game or things the developer is working on...

- kill all the zombies you can in a minute thirty
- smash up the environment for a higher score
- Japanese setting
- enemies: zombies, ninjas, mummies, an oni (japannese demon), sumo wrestlers, monster trees, skeletons and more
- headshots hurt more
- Zombies bite or throw green glowing stones, ninja throws shurikens, oni has a big stake
- SMG, flamethrower + rocket launcher.
- joystick to move left/right, Z to dodge, d-pad to change gun, B to fire regular guns, A for rocket launcher
- environmental damage to enemies may happen

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Wii Sports Resort" IGN Review


The game isn't due out until tomorrow but for now, enjoy this video review from IGN. Hopefully I will have time to give you all my take on this game. I should be able to start playing with my copy with the next 2 or 3 hours. Until then, have fun!

A Very Exciting Weekend!


This Sunday is looking to be a very awesome day! Not only do we have the release of "Wii Sports Resort" but, you can relax from all your sports playing, that evening, with "WWE: Night of Champions". What more could someone ask for on a Sunday?! No matter how you send your weekend, I hope all of you are having fun!

Check out the official web site here!!

- Wii Sports Resort Commercial -


Check out "WWE: Night of Champions HERE!!"

- WWE Night of Cnampions Match Card -


Also, If you're not too busy; be sure to check out my friend's (Lemon-Chan) blog. He's just starting out and its always nice to give a fellow blogger some support!

Check out Lemon-Chan's "KoolAid Splash" blog by clicking here!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

(DS/DSi) Looks like Namco Bandai is Joining the "Monster Hunting" Frenzy


To all DS and DSi owners! Sad that there's no Monster Hunter on your portable? Not to worry, it looks like Namco Bandai is working to fill your void. "Kaiju Busters" is a new game that is focused on team based monster bashing. Below is a small list of game features. Also, feel free to check out the trailer (also below). I have a feeling that you are going to like what you see!

- third person 3D action
- fight giant monsters
- team up in groups of three
- 500 weapons, 9 categories, 500 defensive items
- 7 planets, 40 beasts

(Wii/DS/DSi) Capcom Blowout!!

RP to M Logo

Capcom has just released a nice bit of videos and screen shots for some of their upcoming Nintendo related games. I have to say that I am VERY impressed with the way "Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles" and "Spyborgs" are looking. I already have the Japanese version of "Tatsunoko vs. Capcom". I might get the stateside version if the online mode stays in tact. Other then that I could care less about the character changes.

- Spyborgs -


- Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars -


- Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles -


- Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles -

Florida Championship Wrestling 07/15/2009

I'm sorry it has taken so long for this episode to appear but once again, I'm at the mercy of the Youtube uploader for these FCW episodes!

FCW 7/15/09 - 1/5(HQ)

FCW 7/15/09 - 2/5(HQ)

FCW 7/15/09 - 3/5(HQ)

FCW 7/15/09 - 4/5(HQ)

FCW 7/15/09 - 5/5(HQ)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Monster Hunter 3 Trailer


The Japanese version of the Wii's "Nintendo Channel" now has two new Monster Hunter 3 trailers. I cant wait to see a stateside release of this game! Without further ado, please enjoy!

[Minna no NC] Monster Hunter 3 (-Tri) - Creature Recording

[Minna no NC] Monster Hunter 3 (-Tri) - Orchestra Trailer

More Nintendo Power Prewiews

RP to M Logo

WOW, these Nintendo Power previews are on a roll. If things keeps going, we might not even need a reason to buy the magazine.

- Professor Layaton and the Diabolical Box -

- Super Monkey Ball: Step and Roll -

- The Beatles: Rock Band (Wii Screens) -

- Dead Space Extraction -

(Wii) "Dead Space: Extraction" Controller Setup Revealed!


The controller setup for the Wii entry of Dead Space has been released. Feel free to look below.

Happy 101 Post!!


YAY! I cant believe that I have made it to 101 blog post. It's been a roller coaster of three months but a worthwhile one. Here's to 100 more post!

(Wii) "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers" Makes the Front Covver of Nintendo Power Magazine

Game featured in this article has not been rated by the ESRB.

Nintendo Power has just released a seek peek of their next issue. You can find the "Final Fantasy" goodness below!

Note: The pictures are links to larger, much enjoyable versions.

(DS/DSi) "Infinite Space" Anime Shorts

Game featured in this article has not been rated by the ESRB.

Sega is gearing for their release of "Infinite space" for the Nintendo DS. In the same vain as Disney and their "Spectrobes" IP; Sega is also releasing a group of anime shorts. Check out shorts 1 and 2 below.

Infinite Space Short #1

Infinite Space Short #2

Need For Speed Nitro Wii Screenshots

Game featured in this article has not been rated by the ESRB.

Check out these beautiful shots from the Wii version of "Need For Speed: Nitro"

EA Has also released a press release. Feel free to check it out...


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – July 22, 2009 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), announced today that Need for Speed™ NITRO, the first ever Need for Speed title made exclusively for the Wii™ and Nintendo DS™ will ship to retailers worldwide on November 17th. This holiday, gamers must battle through the mayhem of relentless cops, master the art of drifting to gain boost at 200 mph, and prove themselves across five exotic cities at blistering speeds.

"Need for Speed NITRO offers fun and intense competition for every type of gamer, “said Joe Booth, Senior Producer, EA Montreal. "The varied track designs, deep controls, and intuitive drift and nitro mechanics give players something to come back to for months on end. We wanted to fuse together attitude with car culture and the best of arcade racing, to create a new and unique racing experience for the Wii and NDS this November.”

Boasting support for the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, racing wheel, classic controller, GameCube controller and DS stylus, Need for Speed NITRO lets players decide exactly how they want to dominate the competition. For the ultimate bragging rights, gamers can’t just win the race, they must own it. With a nearly limitless visual customization system, gamers can design a unique art style to attach to their ride. As they edge out competitors in driving finesse, their art will overtake the world, vibrantly painting the story of racing supremacy. All this combined with fresh modes, tracks and exotic real world locations make Need for Speed NITRO one of the most exciting, heart-pounding arcade racers for the Wii and Nintendo DS.

Need for Speed NITRO recently received IGN’s “Best Racing Game” award for the Wii and Nintendo DS. Need for Speed NITRO is developed by EA Montreal in Montreal and is not yet rated by the ESRB and PEGI.