The 1UP Community’s Thanksgiving Gaming Memories

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Music, NDS

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The 1UP Community’s Thanksgiving Gaming Memories

Our readers share their most treasured stories of Turkey Day gaming.

By: 1UP Staff
November 23, 2011

Everyone’s family and friends do something a little different for Thanksgiving. In celebration of the upcoming Turkey Day we asked our 1up readers to share with us their favorite Thanksgiving gaming memories and traditions. Our entries included epic tournaments, unexpected revelations, cherished childhood memories, and of course family bonding. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  • ThePhr3ak

    ThePhr3ak

    Every Thanksgiving, my brother and I would get our whole family together; aunts, uncles, in-laws, stepfamily, and have a bracketed tournament playing a random game. We would draw out on a sheet of butcher paper the individual competitions, all leading to the quarter-final, semi-final, and the notorious final round. We didn’t just play for fun either, cash monies was at stake. To enter each individual was a twenty dollar fee, whether it be a toddler or an octogenarian, with the winner taking home the grand prize of several hundred dollars. I recall in 2006, around forty-plus people gathered around the flatscreen to have an ultimate showdown in Mario Party…

  • daBAMF619

Japan Review Check: Mario Kart 7, Sonic Generations

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Music, Nintendo

A quick look at the highlights among the games coming out in Japan this coming week, courtesy the review pages of Famitsu magazine:

- Mario Kart 7 (10/9/9/9, 37 points): The point winner in this week’s issue was a pretty predictable one. “The game’s made so you’re always able to stage a comeback, making it approachable and enjoyable for anyone,” Famitsu wrote. “Competing for time is also exciting, and there’s more than enough room for hardcore play here. The Community feature makes netplay a lot more accessible than before, and finding opponents via Street Pass is also impressive. It’s really exciting to think how the community’s going to unfold.”

Review: Real Honest Fighting Never Looked so Good as it Does in The King of Fighters XIII

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, Games and Music, NDS, Xbox

In a day where matches can’t seem to be won without the use of some crazy comeback mechanic, one has to wonder what happened to all the real honest fighting games. I miss the days when you’re down to your last sliver of life, and nothing was going to save you except flawless execution and the will to win. While we’ve seen some old classics come back on XBLA/PSN, for the most part I had given up hope on ever seeing a game that didn’t have some gameplay mechanic that resulted in easy-mode comebacks.

That is, until I laid my hands on King of Fighters XIII.

Black Friday Videogame Deals – 2011 Edition

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Music, Games and Players, Xbox

Black Friday

Black Friday is just a few days away, and for many shoppers in the United States it’s even an more exciting day than Thanksgiving. This year features no shortage of deals on videogames and videogame systems; the struggling economy has resulted in retailers going all-out to get people into their stores (or onto their websites), as evidenced by a number of stores opening on Thursday as opposed to waiting for midnight or early Friday morning.

Below you’ll find the highlights of this year’s videogame sales from many of the nation’s top outlets like Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart — even the Xbox Live Marketplace is having a big sale. Amazon is currently in the middle of a Black Friday week special, but its deals set to launch on Friday are currently unknown.

Xbox Dashboard Update Adds Cloud Storage, Kinect Control, and More in December

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Music, Microsoft, Xbox

Xbox fall dashboard update

After months of waiting, Microsoft has finally provided a release date for the upcoming Xbox 360 fall dashboard update: it’ll be out on December 6.

The free download adds a wide variety of features, including those we first heard about during E3 in June. The redesigned look of the dashboard allows Kinect owners to navigate it with either gestures or voice — the latter is also one way of using the new search functionality that will allow you to find content on the Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Marketplace, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. As this is a Microsoft product, search is powered by Bing.

Skyward Sword: The Director/Producer Postmortem

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Music, Nintendo, Wii

It seems fair to say that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a success for Nintendo, what with the largely positive reviews it’s been getting (including the requisite 40/40 from Famitsu). Following up on last week’s interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, the Japanese magazine sat down with Skyward Sword producer Eiji Aonuma and director Hidemaro Fujibayashi to discuss the game in further detail — here are some of the highlights:

- Plotwise, Skyward Sword is a prequel to Ocarina of Time, telling the story of the origin of the Master Sword. This came about despite the fact that the game’s Wii MotionPlus support came along long after plot details were finalized. “It’s funny,” Aonuma said, “but Fi, the sword-spirit who appears in this game, was something we finished up before we decided this would be a Zelda that used Wii MotionPlus. We already had her as a sword spirit beforehand, and during our announcement at the 2009 E3 show, her design was modeled after the Master Sword. At the time, though, you used her in a completely different way gamewise than you do now. The MotionPlus swordplay was something that was completed later on, and as a result the game’s story and action gameplay came to both focus more on the Master Sword. It wound up coming together pretty well.”

What Metal Gear Solid 5 Could (and Should) Be

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, Games and Music, PS2, PS3, PSP

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What Metal Gear Solid 5 Could (and Should) Be

1UP editors ponder the future of Hideo Kojima’s mega-series.

By: 1UP Staff
November 21, 2011

  • Jeremy Parish, Editor-in Chief

    Jeremy Parish, Editor-in Chief

    You know what I’d like to see for Metal Gear Solid 5? Nothing. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been following — and a fan of — the Metal Gear games since before the original game came out for NES. I love me some Metal Gear. But at this point, and MGS4 will back me up on this, the series just has too much baggage. Why not just start over with a clean slate and a new series and let Kojima and his folks work their magic without having to worry about an insanely convoluted backstory that was never meant to be concluded? Oh, right… money.

    Fine. If Kojima has to go ahead with a fifth chapter, I only see two ways for it to work. One, jump way far into the future and leave behind the legacy cast. Maybe make the game about Olga’s kid Sunny, all grown up into an idiot savant secret agent who sings about eggs while she snaps necks, but leave everyone else behind. Alternately, let’s take the series way into the past and focus on The Boss (aka The Joy) and her work with Cobra Unit in World War II. Or, hell, stop the flirting and cockteasing and just let Metal Gear make out with Assassin’s Creed already. Find some way to combine the two series’ ridiculous story lines into one. (Suggestion: The Apple is nanomachines!)

    Whatever the case, Metal Gear Solid 5 shouldn’t be about the Snakes. Not Solid Snake, not Liquid Snake, not Naked Snake, and definitely not Solidus. Their story is done. The Patriots’ story is done. Here’s an idea, though: Why not get back to basics and make a Metal Gear that’s about, you know, Metal Gear? The series’ big deal used to be the mad threat represented by a compact, self-contained nuclear delivery system. Before the AIs named after dead presidents and social manipulation and impossible continuity, Metal Gear was about a simple deadly threat. I’d love to see that kind of clarity of purpose in the series again.

  • Bob Mackey, Features Admiral

    Bob Mackey, Features Admiral

    If you’d like to see the direction the Metal Gear Solid series should go, look no further than Peace Walker; though the game’s admittedly built with on-the-go play in mind, it managed to shake off most of the baggage that clung to the series for so long. Simplified controls, a dialed-back story, a nearly bottomless toy box full of weapons and gadgets, and several multi-layered RPG systems built for endless tinkering — all of these elements brought Metal Gear far above the fan-pandering torture that nearly sunk Solid 4. Given that MGS4 tied up every loose end (and turned Solid Snake into a human Hot Pocket), the series has an unprecedented amount of breathing room; and since the Metal Gear timeline stretches across 50 years, Kojima and his team now have the ability to dip in and out of this history at their leisure. So why shouldn’t they?

    So, where could Metal Gear Solid go with its fifth official installment? Honestly, it’d be fantastic to see remakes of the original two Metal Gears, even if Kojima repurposed a great deal of these games’ content for the original Solid. But instead of putting the spotlight on Snake, why can’t the Metal Gear team instead show us the story of Outer Heaven through the eyes of Big Boss himself? It’d be the perfect send-off to a character they’ve been progressively developing since Metal Gear Solid 3, not to mention a fine opportunity for Metal Gear fans to experience a plotline currently trapped behind a thick mesh of outdated mechanics and primitive storytelling.

  • Ryan Winterhalter, Associate Games Editor

Fortune Street is Truly a Game for Our Troubled Times

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, Games and Music, NDS, Nintendo, Wii

I was pleasantly surprised when I sampled Nintendo’s upcoming Wii party game Fortune Street last month at New York Comic-Con. Despite being a multiplayer title starring Mario and other game mascots in a virtual board game setting, Fortune Street is the furthest thing from Mario Party you could imagine. The few minigames it contains are generally automated affairs that play themselves in a few short seconds: no button-mashing or stick-twirling required. Rather, Fortune Street has far more in common with Hasbro’s Monopoly than with the usual minigame collections that have shown up as multiplayer releases over the past decade.

What I didn’t realize based on my NYCC hands-on is that it’s even deeper than that. Fortune Street is playable in both standard and simplified modes, and at public events Nintendo has been demoing it in the latter mode. With the training wheels taken off, Fortune Street is kind of ridiculous. Like a real “grown-ups” board game such as Risk or Monopoly, a single match can take hours. I recently played a demo with other members of the gaming press — including IGN’s Audrey Drake — and two hours wasn’t enough for us to complete a game. And that wasn’t even on one of the more complex boards!

Review: Minecraft Officially Releases, Apparently — And is a Great Game After All

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Music

Minecraft, one might have noticed, is kind of a big deal. If you’re the sort of person who reads about videogames on the Internet, which seems like a safe assumption, it would have taken a directed force of will to avoid hearing about it by now. So you probably already know that it’s a sandbox style game that takes place in a procedurally generated world made up of one-meter blocks that can be mined and crafted to create everything from a simple sod house to a scale replica of the starship Enterprise. Or an automated pooping butt. Or a gigantic mechanical player piano. Or a scale recreation of most of Middle Earth. Or… yeah, the sense of awe at the outrageous feats of engineering players have cobbled together is only eclipsed by the sales of the game itself and the subculture that has sprouted up around it.

Almost two years ago Minecraft went from a weird indie project with a cult following to a million-seller that’s still earning nearly $200,000 a day in sales, and that was before the game was officially released. This game that one guy slapped together has now become the nucleus of a massive fandom — one that just enjoyed its first major convention in Vegas over this past weekend. Hell, some guy made an entire concept album about the game’s iconic suicide-bombing creepers. This last Halloween you may have even encountered your first Minecraft costumes in the wild, and when you open your door to see a kid wearing a hand-painted cardboard box creeper mask making that blood curdling “SSSSSsss” sound, there’s really nothing to do other than dump the entire candy bowl into their bag while kicking yourself for not being Notch — who is one can only assume is spending his days swimming like a tophat-wearing duck in an Olympic sized swimming pool filled with Euros.

Bayonetta Designer Providing Soul Calibur V Costumes

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Music, Xbox

Soul Calibur V

Just before this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Namco announced that in addition to their internal Project Soul development team, three external developers were helping create Soul Calibur V — CyberConnect2 on the story, and Creative Intelligence Arts/Forcewick Sound Design on the audio. And now they’re adding one more to that list, with Bayonetta character designer Mari Shimazaki contributing costumes. Namco calls her a “guest costume designer,” keeping the terminology they use for “guest characters” like Ezio in SCV.

Shimazaki told me via email she originally met SCV’s art director at a party, mentioned she was looking forward to the game, and then when she became a freelancer, found herself called in for a meeting. She has three designs in the game — the primary costume for new character Leixia, and the alternate costumes for Tira and Ivy.