Oprah kinects the dots

Oprah’s super saiyan power was collected and unleashed upon her studio audience, as well as the entire viewing audience, when she praised the new Microsoft Kinect. Despite her inability to pronounce it right (what the hell’s a Keee-nect?) she still gave it a glowing review and gave awkward aunts a reason to run to the store next month.

After a shout-out to her homies at Microsoft, she did the Oprah thing and gave everyone in her audience a Kinect and a 360. Officially, the audience was given permission to lose their shit at that point. Check the vid here:

Wow. You’d think Hugh Jackman was offering these butter trolls a backrub with that Kinect. They’re a tad excited don’t you think?

So this means two things. One, that Microsoft has began the mega-million marketing blitz that they promised a few days ago. Two, Kinect is gonna blow up like the Godfather. I’m gonna call it here. Once kids see Skittles the Cat on TV parents will be having a Death Race (2000) to get to their nearest Best Buy. Sorry Sony Move, I think you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 – I want to go there.

I’m still a Naruto fan, despite the filler episodes and the 5 hour fights with 3 hours of back story. Then again I used to watch Dragon Ball Z on Toonami back in the day so I guess I’m just a patient man. Along with Naruto, the series, comes several Naruto games. They have ALMOST been beat to death, but somehow they have managed to stay fresh or at least relevant to the show.

I played all the way through the 2 Namco Bandai titles for Xbox 360 (Naruto: Rise of a Ninja and Naruto: The Broken Bond) and found them to be fun. They followed the series while adding a ton of side quests. The thing I liked the most is that they did more than just fighting. There was a good amount of searching for coins, trying to race other characters, and trying to complete side missions. The fighting itself was good, not amazing, and honestly I get tired of “fighting only” games.

With Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, Xbox 360 also gets the sequel to the original UNS that was a PS3 exclusive. The original was hailed for its amazing graphics that rivaled the drawing and animation of the show. However, it was bogged down with an overly simple fighting layout and a lack of characters (compared to titles on the Wii and Xbox). The details and announcements surrounding UNS2 make it seem that this one is gonna be a winner. Early reviews (e.g. IGN) are looking good, and it sounds like the story mode is more fleshed out. The number of characters have been boosted up to 40+, including one from Tekken exclusively designed for this title. They added online play if you care. Most of all, it still looks gorgeous like the last Ninja Storm.

So, this one comes out Tuesday, October 19th. I’ll be picking it up and hopefully will not be disappointed. Final note: if you want to try before you buy there’s a demo on Xbox Live and PSN right now. It gives you a battle against Kakashi (you play the team of Naruto and Sakura).

Can’t wait for the Kinect rhythm game, Dance… Masters?

I’m excited about Microsoft Kinect for the Xbox 360. I’ve got the pre-order, and I’m ready to either be sucked in or just a sucker. One reason I (and more so my girlfried) am excited is due to the hype surrounding “Dance Central“. It’s quickly turning into the must-have title for the new peripheral and has a ton of positive buzz surrounding it. I have also pre-ordered this fine title. Harmonix has a pretty good record for quality games. We’ll see, huh?

So to my surprise and confusion I get an e-mail from Amazon suggesting I pre-order “Dance Masters” with the Kinect and get a $20 bonus. Err…Dance Masters? Did I order the wrong game?

It turns out this is the “other” dance game made by Konami, featuring hit dance songs that you move to while the Kinect reads and scans away. Remember Konami? They made Dance Dance Revolution (another old favorite of mine) and of course infamously helped to create the music game craze and fail to make any American money off it. Konami has been an innovator in the music game biz, but has recently seemed to miss out. Well, since I’ve never heard of this game and Kinect comes out in just a few weeks, I have a bad feeling that history is about to repeat itself. Even the description from Amazon tells a tale:

Being the pioneer of the franchise that started the dance game craze Konami introduces a brand new way to experience music and rhythm. The next generation in full body dancing is finally here! DanceMasters utilizes Microsoft Natal to give gamers the ultimate dance club right in their living rooms, with no peripherals required!

“Hey remember us? Don’t let those fuckers at Harmonix fool you into getting the game that everyone is talking about! Try our game with an eerily similar name! Also, we’re still calling the new device the Natal, not the Kinect. But don’t let that worry you! Remember ‘Boom Boom Dollar’? We’ll still got it…let’s do the funky grampa!”

Poor, poor, Konami… I’ll be enjoying my Dance Central over here you guys…

1 Vs. 100 Now None Vs. No One

Sadness, as the official nail in the coffin has been hammered for Xbox Live’s “1 Vs. 100”. A quiz game show you play with 1,000’s of other XBL members, 1 Vs. 100 was an interesting experiment that proved to be quite popular. Signed into your Xbox Live dashboard, you jumped into an arena with up to 100 other players and answer multiple choice questions on everything from films and entertainment to sports.

I was in on the beta of this, and from the first time I played it I thought that Microsoft had finally designed original content that didn’t make the user roll their eyes. This really felt like having one of those bar quiz games at home, except I could get hammered at home and not smell like Marlboro’s and desperation the next morning. Besides the constant annoying Sprint logo (though not nearly as annoying as Hulu ads), there was little that I didn’t like about it. Celebrity guests (Felicia Day is pretty much as cool on XBL as she is in person)? Prizes? (RELEVANT prizes too like Xbox Live Points) No additional fee? Yes please…

So either nothing awesome lasts forever, or maybe they no makey no money. Maybe Microsoft did their typical mismanagement of everything ever. But I’ll miss it. Supposedly the tech they developed here will move on to later greater things. We’ll see…
Check out their final blog here.

Battlefield 1943, 2, 1…

I think it’s been discussed many times about how little time you have to make the sale when it comes to new game releases.  This week’s unfortunate case is the release of Battlefield 1943 on Xbox live.

1943You know what sucks?  I really want to jump in (Microsoft marketing hello) and try this.  Check out the screenshots, read the description, realize that it’s Battlefield multiplayer for only 15 bux lol.  It sounds like a winning formula because it has won before on the PC.

So the obvious thing I do is download the demo (along with the Ghostbusters demo that came out this week) and boot it up.  My girlfriend of course asks “What the hell is this supposed to be?” because she has a built-in hatred for any game featuring any battles that start with “WW”.  She only likes space marines or ninjas, so I blame the Japanese for not sending out ninjas to take out American troops at Iwo Jima or whatever… I’m afraid I don’t know shit about WW2 either.

Anyway, I reassure her that this game will indeed rock and she will soon be ripping the controller out of my hand like a Tennessean at a country ham festival.  Click “Quick Start”.  See the “EA network loading blah blah” screen.

Connection failed.

Try again.  Fail again.

This goes on for a few minutes.  Meanwhile my girlfriend looks at me like I just failed in bed instead of on the Xbox (more like Sexbox am I rite?)  Game over man.  Back to the dashboard!

So will I go back to the demo?  Eh, maybe.  But I was successfully able to play the Ghostbusters demo, which my girlfriend enjoyed watching because it had meters to find ghosts and, of course, the theme song.  By the way, I think Ghostbusters was made to be watched by 80’s fanboys/fangirls while you play.  Hearing Harold Ramis’ distinct voice on anything always takes me back…

But back to Battlefield.  I’m sure the game will do fine once it finds it’s wings (and stable servers).  But I probably won’t make it back until I read it’s what everybody’s playing.  This is the problem with the new car smell of video games.  A lot like movies, there’s the weekly new release that has to knock it out of the park or potentially be doomed to fail.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I jump all over the discounted games a few months later.  But I wonder if I’m in the minority.

Street Fighter 4 sold an asston out of the gate but seemed to fall off the map the next month.  I know it did great, but what about the game that debuts nowhere in the top 20?  I hate to see the great game with shitty sales not make it…

I guess I’m all over the place with this.  Bottom line, EA, fix the fucking game.  There, should’ve just said that all along.