Pikmin Returns!

March 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Almost a decade ago, the Nintendo Gamecube played host to a charming little game called New Play Control! Pikmin. Following the misadventures of astronaught Olimar, our hero crash lands on a planet with only a month's life support to keep him going. However, all is not lost as Olimar meets the Pikmin; small, sprout-like, not-so-intelligent creatures which take a shine to Olimar and resolve to help him in any way they can.

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Nintendo Wii are due to port this classic game over to their console, renamed New Play Control:Pikmin, in a bid to bring the Pikmin franchise back into public popularity ahead of any sequel plans. This port is likely to appeal to both fans of the classic, revisiting an old favourite in a new context, and also to the new generation of Wii users who may have missed the game the first time around. The title certainly adheres to the cutesy image of the Nintendo Wii and so would probably be highly popular.

A distinct difference in the Wii version is the time limit set for the game. The original was played in a sort of real time basis; the aforementioned 30 days is all you have to complete your task of collecting the scattered wreckage of your ship. The player really had to make their time count as once a day was over, it was over; no turning back. In the Wii port, an in-game calendar can be accessed at any point to rewind time should you so wish. This addition does make the game more accessible to younger players and those who like to take their time, but also detracts from the urgency of the original, a feature that made the gameplay enjoyably tense and kept the player on edge.

New Play Control: Pikmin is released this month, and we urge all Wii players to check it out. The minor alterations made to the new game fit in with the new market, and the title retains all the cute charm and addictive fun that made the original so popular all those years ago.

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Old School Gaming, Give it a Go!

March 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Games have changed dramatically over the decades that have been around. Older games do not have the advanced gameplay and pleasing graphics of today's games. However, some of them are monumental in the history of video games, like Space Invaders or Pac-Man. They can still provide hours of fun for nostalgia's sake - to relive the glory days of one's youth. Even todays youth can enjoy the older games as a welcome diversion to today's fare.

Here are four options to explore for those wanting to play classic games.

Online Games

Not many people would think to look on the internet for old video games, but with the massive uptake of Flash and Java, old video games have had a rejuvination. There are many sites which offer Flash or Java based games. You can find almost anything you want: Frogger, Donkey Kong, Centipede, and on it goes. There are hundreds of games available online. Many of these sites are advertising supported, that is how they offer these games for free. Just be careful as some sites falsly advertise these games, and instead send viruses or even trojan horses. Therefore, make sure you have good virus protection loaded onto your system and keep it up to date.

Just Google "classic games" or something similar to find these sites.

Console Emulators

Another option is console emulators, which are programs one can run on their computer that mimic video game consoles.

As with the online games, many options are available for emulators and games. In most cases, the games are not exact clones but do fairly closely mimic the gameplay of certain games. The Nintendo Super Mario franchise is one which has many cloned games available. When dealing with emulators, there is a legal issue to be aware of. When downloading the games to play on the emulator you have to actually own the a copy of the game, otherwise you are breaking the copyright laws.

Multi-Game Consoles

There are many variations of this, and the idea is that you can purchase a new console that has one, five, ten or more games preloaded onto it. These units have been available for years and continue to sell well. Check Amazon our your local stores and see what goodies they have.

Buy Older Video Game Machines

This last tip is an activity that could consume a great deal of time if you choose. But ultimately is the best way. Not only does it bring back the full nostalger of playing the consoles again, but you can play the games the way they were meant to be played. You can simply buy used consoles, games, and controllers and hook them up to your television.

Popular choices include the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The first place you should check is eBay, where you can often find an entire package including the console, controllers, and ten or more games for under $50. This would be everything you need until you decide to purchase more games, and hundreds or even thousands are available for sale at any given time.

If you would rather not buy your used video game equipment online, many people have good luck locally. You can try the following:

* Craigslist (if you know how to use RSS feeds, these searches can be automated).
* Nickel-type papers.
* Yard sales (don't be afraid to offer less than the asking price).
* Second hand stores.

Here's a tip about the last item, second hand stores. These types of stores get inventory in all the time, especially non-profit stores where individuals make donations of goods. What you want is someone on the "inside" who will call you when specific items arrive that you might want. If you can get this kind of help, it will save you a lot of time. Otherwise, you will need to check back with the stores on a fairly regular basis. Also, when buying from a second hand store, they only accept consoles or games that work, so when buying from these places your almost certain to have a product that works.

No matter which option you choose, you can find classic games for free or for the fraction of what you pay for games these days, and enjoy them almost as much as today's games!

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Klonoa Returns!

February 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A classic from the sepia hued days of playstation 1, Klanoa: Door to Phantomile is due to receive an ambitious remake at the hands of Nintedo Wii. The original game combined revolutionary 3D graphics with the classic side scrolling platform dynamic seen in Super Mario. Taking control of Klonoa, players utilized the character's magical ring to manipulate objects and blast enemies that barred your path. In addition, Klonoa could grab enemies and throw them downward in a way that gives him a boost when leaping through the air. Our plucky hero was also able to take advantage of wind tunnels and geysers to glide throughout the landscape using his sizeable pair of ears!

Set in the magical world of phantomile, born out of the dreams of its inhabitants, this makes for a diverse and magical adventure as Klonoa travels the land seeking to put an end to the misdeeds of arch nemesis Ghadius. The diverse and interesting visuals and gameplay that Klonoa: Door To Phantomile has to offer are still remembered by much of the gaming community. A sequel was released in 2001 on the PS2, titled Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, also heralded for it's tight controls and varied and engaging gameplay. Seven years later, Namco Bandai is developing a remake of the original classic for the Wii. Aswell as enjoying the obvious graphics and gameplay boost, the Wii remake benefits from the integration of motion control, set to make this cute and popular title even more fun to play. However, those that prefer the classic take on this videogame can still opt for the joypad method.

Many people may be wondering, "Why on earth are they developing a remake instead of a sequel?" Well, are a couple good reasons. Firstly, Door To Phantomile is a rare and revered classic that people are still talking about and is extremely tough and expensive to get ahold of. Namco Bandai wants to provide a loyal and quality remake of a classic game for way less than what people are lately charging for the original. Secondly, it's a good means of checking to see just how interested people still are with the game, as well as generate even more interest and popularity.

Hopefully the interest and success this remake could bring would prompt developers to think about a fully blown sequel to Klonoa 2, but all that remains to be seen when Wii's remake hits the shelves later this year.

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