And I'm tired, but I must say this: the Wii is awesome. I was able to play a few games of bowling and tennis with my daughter last night and we had a lot of fun. I can't wait to see what else this system holds for us.
This is a picture of our daughter Camryn from our last ultrasound. I was pretty amazed when I saw this on the monitor and even more amazed the tech captured it for us. You can see pretty much her entire face, including those chubby cheeks and little nose! She was taking a nap and looked so peaceful. I can't wait to see her again in March!
Last night brought us the Spike Video Game awards. This year's event was hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, and was held in Las Vegas. Yes, there truly is an award show for everything!
Now, when I think about video games, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike TV are the first things that come to mind, right? Of course, it makes perfect sense! And while we're at it, we'll have a performance from Kid Rock and appearances from Tila Tequila, Steve-O, UFC fighters and Ralphie the comedian. Don't forget the body painted babes that also served to reveal the winners of each category with the name of the game painted across their bodies. All of this just screams hardcore gaming doesn't it?
I consider myself a gamer, even though I don't get as many hours in as I used to and don't get to play every new system the day it comes out. But as a self-respecting gamer I really can't see how these "awards" are good for the gaming industry, except to give the Grand Theft Auto crowd more brainless drivel to soak up. The whole thing gives the impression that all gamers are horny 15-22 year old males that play Tony Hawk 4 while chugging a Bud Lite. After all of the years that video-gaming languished with the status of something only geeks and nerds enjoyed, I had hoped any mainstream attention it received would be more positive than the tripe Spike is producing. Maybe I'm over-reacting but I feel crap like these Spike awards do more harm than good for the video game industry and just serve to fuel the far right critics who are already convinced that your Xbox and Playstation are gateways to Hell.
I suppose the real absurdity is having an award show for video games in the first place. I don't think you can neatly categorize and judge the truly great games out there and then say "yep, this one is the best!". How do you judge, let's say, first-person shooters? Just based on the genre you'd have to include Half-Life 2, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4 and Bioshock. Sure, they're all first-person, but the gameplay and style of each is completely different. And how will you judge them? Base it on graphics? Controls? Story? Difficulty? Personally I see video games the same as I see artwork, and they really can't be judged as the "best" when the content is so subjective.
I guess the ironic thing about these awards is they actually chose some pretty good games. BioShock won game of the year (wouldn't have been my choice), and other gems like Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Super Mario Galaxy, CoD4 and The Orange Box all won awards. I'm sure they were excited to receive their awards from such gaming notables as Tia Carrere, Criss Angel and Don King.
Today the first glimpse of in-games images from Street Fighter IV were made available. I had been following the hi-res makeovers that Udon Crew had been doing for Street Fighter II HD Remix over at Deviant Art. The majority of their redesigns were amazingly faithful to the original game graphics and added a great amount of detail to each character. Having seen how much life they breathed into my beloved Street Fighter characters made me very hopeful for a true sequel to Street Fighter III, which was released almost 10 years ago.
Well today we get the following screenshot from SFIV:
Although the graphics are clearly "next-gen" (and I truly hate that word) this just doesn't scream Street Fighter to me. I has none of the character of SFII and it's siblings and there isn't any of the 2D pixel magic in the background either. Capcom claims that although the game is rendered with polygons the gameplay is 2D. So in essence they are doing something similar to Street Fighter EX, which I thought was a spectacularly crappy game.
Granted, this is the first shot of the game to be released and I haven't seen any of the other stages or characters yet. But based on this I don't get any impression of the 2D gaming goodness that I grew up with. This looks more like Virtua Fighter or Tekken to me and I could never stand those games. Hopefully some gameplay videos will surface soon, but until then color me unimpressed.