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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

That New System Smell

About a month ago I bought something that had been on my wish list for years: a Wii. Some folks may think "You got a Wii? But it doesn't have the biggest selection of games! You should have gotten a PS3/360!" As great as those systems are, I honestly wanted a Wii more than either of those. At $200, the Wii is more in my price range, I can get a lot of the systems best games at bargain prices and the Virtual Console (I've got a whole second blog entry for that) is an old-school gamer's best friend. Really, even if some of my best friends were present when I went shopping for a Wii, they would not have been able to talk me out of it. My mind was made up.

Thus far, I have six Wii games for the system. The bundled Wii Sports, Super Smash Bros. Brawl (which was actually my very first stand alone purchase), Super Mario Galaxy, House of the Dead: OVERKILL, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, and MadWorld. The only game I picked up new was Brawl, the rest were used and dirt cheap. I pretty much like all that I've played. The only games I haven't gotten around to yet are NiGHTS and MadWorld. If I can stop playing Virtual Console games, I should be able to start those up.

Having spent more time with the Wii Remote than I ever have before, I can say without hesitation that it's one of the most comfortable game controllers ever created. Stood upright, it looks liked a stripped down TV remote. Turned horizontal, it resembles the classic NES controller. Even when using the Wii Remote with the Nunchuk, things still feel very natural. When I read that I'd have to play Super Mario Galaxy using the two components, I was a bit put off. Not even 3 minutes into starting up the game were my worries put to rest. The thing is also great with WiiWare and Virtual Console games (Though I did have to pick up a Classic Controller for some VC games, more on that later.)

It feels great to finally be a part of the seventh generation of video games. I haven't been blogging as much because the sleek white box is hard to pull myself away from but I'll try to remedy that.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mega Man & Mega Man X Art Books

In 2008 in Japan, R20: Rockman & Rockman X Official Complete Works was released. This 330 + page book contained 20 years worth of art work from the classic Rockman and Rockman X series. Fast forward to 2009 and the book sees a translated release in America by Udon, split into two books, Mega Man Official Complete Works and Mega Man X Official Complete Works. While other Mega Man fans coped these as soon as they came out, I had to wait until I got some extra cash to nab them. Well my wait has ended and I'm pleased to say that I bought the last two copies of each book that my Borders had.

As stated above, each book contains decades of art work from each respective series. This includes, character art, enemy designs, robot master/maverick art, manga art, box art, concept art, the whole nine yards. I've always loved the art from the Mega Man/Mega Man X games and I never realized just how much art went into each one until I looked through these. As both a Mega Man fan and an art lover, this is truly amazing stuff.
The books also contain commentary by series lead producer Keiji Inafune and the various artists that have worked on the series through the years. It's fun to read their thoughts on things they liked and didn't like. For instance, did you know that if he had the chance, Inafune would love to redo all the Mega Man games he's worked on? Or that Mega Man 2 was done in three months time? Lots of interesting tidbits to go along with the glossy art.

I really can't say enough good things about these art books. At $39.99 each, they set me back nearly $100, but they were worth every penny. My only nitpick would be that despite each booked being hailed as "Complete Works," it isn't quite complete. There's some missing pieces of American box art and commentary tells that some other pieces of art were omitted as well. Still, it really is hard to find fault here. If you're a Mega Man nut, your collection is incomplete without these books.