Video games: one’s escape from reality to become a hero and save the land from a dark malevolence, or weaving among banana peels, and green shells. The video game sector is a tens of billions of dollars industry spanning the globe and everything from portable consoles to powerful PCs.

Microsoft bans modded consoles from Xbox Live

Xbox 360 Elite

Don't tinker with this toy!

Xbox gamers, be warned! Microsoft is out blocking modified consoles from accessing their Xbox Live online service. Gamers who’ve had their Xbox 360 altered to run pirated games or to use additional hardware will find themselves locked out.

Microsoft’s reasoning behind this crack down is to stem the flow of piracy in preventing downloaded or copied games from going online. With Infinity Ward’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” launched this past Tuesday, a surge in illegally obtained copies of the game was expected.

Gamers who’ve found their consoles banned will find it pretty much impossible to circumvent, aside from purchasing a new Xbox unit and setting up a new Live account. Microsoft blacklists the console and accounts on it, and if a Gold subscription was purchased, it will not be refunded.

An estimated 1 million accounts are expected to be affected by this. Xbox Live hosts over 20 million accounts from gamers around the world.

Source: MSNBC

Wii Price Drop


Nintendo has announced that on Sunday, September 27th, 2009, the price of the popular Wii will drop to $199 USD. Following the move of Sony and Microsoft who have also tried make their consoles more affordable, Nintendo has shaved $50 off the suggested retail price of $249 USD.

Mario fans can look also look forward to “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” which is scheduled to hit shelves in North America on November 15th, 2009.

Xbox 360 Price Drop

Xbox 360 EliteMicrosoft announced on Thursday that it will be dropping the price of the Xbox 360 Elite console to $299 USD from $399 USD. Since production has stopped on the Xbox 360 Pro model, Microsoft is cutting the price to $249 USD to clear out remaining units. The price for the Xbox 360 Arcade model, which does not include a hard drive, is still set at $199 USD.

The Xbox 360 Elite comes with a 160GB hard drive, wireless controller and headset along with a one month trial of Xbox Live Gold.

Portable Xbox 360

Portable Xbox 360

Portable Xbox 360

Benjamin Heckendorn has been working on a little project of his own, modifying Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console to be a little more portable. From the results of his fifth revision, I’d say he’s done a pretty damn good job.

The modified console features a built in LCD monitor, ethernet jack, wireless connectivity, infrared and two USB ports, and a stylish white and blue case while keeping it functional and appealing. There are multiple vents to allow sufficient air flow to keep it cool while you chill out playing Street Fighter 4.

As far as I know, these units are not up for sale.

A Link to the Past

A Link to the Past

A Link to the Past

It is quite literally a link to the past. Kotaku came across an auction for six, unopened, PAL copies of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super NES.

Of course, a treasure like this isn’t exactly going to be cheap, but I believe that the buyer does not take rupees.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past first came out in 1991, but has since been reincarnated on the Game Boy Advance back in 2002 and then on the Virtual Console in 2007.

Source: Kotaku

New Zelda

Zelda Promo

Zelda Promo

Nintendo’s revered game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, unveiled a concept drawing of the next Legend of Zelda game in the works for Wii. The image is that of Link standing with his back against an unknown character. No name has been mentioned for this game and neither has a release date.

Project Natal

E3 is a gamers heaven: for three days each year, the video game industry comes together to show off what they’ve been working on. This year, Microsoft unveiled “Project Natal” — a camera that detects motion, facial expression, voices and more, for the Xbox 360. Instead of the traditional hand-held controller, Project Natal is meant fully immerse the player into the game using a camera, depth sensor and microphone.

On stage, Microsoft’s Senior Vice President, Don Mattrick, joined acclaimed film director, Steven Spielberg, in showcasing the new device along with three games to demonstrate how the interaction works.

Ever since Nintendo changed direction with Wii, Sony and Microsoft have been looking at ways to improve the console gaming experience and lure in potential gamers. When Wii was launched, everyone in the family joined in from little Johnny to grandma since it was easy to pick up and offered a variety of easy to play games. Microsoft is looking to break down the walls that keep players sitting on the floor holding an Xbox 360 controller in their hand and get them up and moving, dodging bullets and reacting to a punch in the gut.

Interested developers will be receiving Project Natal development kits shortly, but no information on a release date or any major titles taking advantage of the technology were made available.

. . . .

Golgo 13

Golgo 13

There are some pretty bad games out there, and Japan’s professional assassin, Golgo 13, is not immune to this. In 1988, Vic Tokai published a game based on the series called Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode for the NES, and it turned out to be a pretty big mindfuck.
Let’s Play, a site that does commentary on video games — both new and retro, did a run through of Golgo 13 and it’s pretty damn hilarious. The commentators rip into the game scene by scene with complete screenshots and character dialogue excerpts. Golgo 13 is so bad, but the scuba gear, and the comments make it up and justify your time spent reading.
If you’re looking for a good laugh, an uproariously bad game and an epic pause screen, Let’s Play Golgo 13 will deliver.

Editorial: Wii is no longer family friendly

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the National Institute on Media and the Family is claiming that Nintendo has abandoned its family friendly focus on Wii.

The fuss is over Sega’s latest creation, MadWorld, which is gory game where players fight like gladiators using vicious and improvised weapons. Obviously, the game is rated M, but there’s still the problem that video games are still played by young children and that Nintendo’s kiddy image is being tarnished.

Unfortunately, these watch dog groups think that the family is always the happy mother, hardworking father, and young impressionable son and innocent daughter. As time progresses, the son and daughter grow up and move on to different things (like the son will go out and skateboard and the daughter will hang at the mall and discuss the latest purse fads or whatever). The groups want to keep the family together and as young and innocent as possible from all the evils and trends in today’s society. And outside of the family are violent movies, vulgar music, bloody games, and so on which have become main stream in Western culture.

Many parents are uninformed over video games and what they should let their kids play (comes back to my experience where I saw a mom buy a copy of Conkers Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64 because it had a cuddly squirrel on the box). But what gets me is that families and watchdog groups start going ballistic when an M rated game is released for a Nintendo system because of the company’s perception of being more family oriented. Well, a DVD player is family oriented as well isn’t it? I don’t see why people are freaking out over this because the son could pop in his father’s copy of 300 into the DVD player and spend all afternoon screaming “Tonight we dine in hell!” instead of watching his educational Barney episodes.

Here’s something: if it doesn’t suit your family values: don’t buy it, don’t play it, and don’t whine about it. There are thousands of other games available if you’re not comfortable with one. Responsible gaming is in the hand of the parent. Read the box first before opening your wallet.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times


If you know me, you most likely know about Roy. But just who exactly is he and what’s his story? Roy is the main character in the famed strategic role-playing series, Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi, who also takes a playable role in the free-for-all game, Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi

Roy (Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi)

The opening story gives introduces us to Roy and his home.

In Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi (in English as The Sealed Sword), Roy is the son of the ruling lord in the principality of Pherae. When the kingdom of Bern invaded Lycia, his father fell ill so it was up to Roy to take command of his army. As his journey progresses, more soldiers join the young prince until he is able to seize the capital of Bern. Roy, like his father, is peaceful and just, although his course of action against the invasion shows he is courageous and can be rebellious at times. Roy can only brandish rapiers and the titular Sword of Seals, the ultimate weapon in the game. As characters in the Fire Emblem series are class based, Roy falls under the Lord class.

Eliwood, Roy’s father, is the star of Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (Fire Emblem for those who have the North American version). Although Roy himself does not make an appearance in the game, he is hinted at briefly in the story.

Roy only appears in Fuuin no Tsurugi, which was a Japan-exclusive release. Roy’s name is spelled as ロイ in katakana which translates roughly into Roi.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Roy (Super Smash Bros. Melee)

Roy wearing his alternate colours in the Hyrule Temple stage.

Roy is an unlockable character in Nintendo’s all star game, Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube. Performance wise, Roy is the clone of Marth; although a little slower and isn’t that great when it comes to mid-air combat. However, for what Roy lacks in speed, he makes it up with power.

The Fire Emblem hero’s attacks are fire-based which pack more of a punch especially with the Blazer (Up + B) combo. Flare Blade is something to be in awe of, so press and hold the B button to watch the fireworks fly. However, Roy’s greatest ability is his counter-attack which, if timed correctly, will negate any damage and cause injury to the opposing character. Only he and Marth possess this skill.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Unfortunately, Roy is not a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii. His only appearance is that of a collectible sticker.

Are Marth and Roy related?

Roy's character design

Roy’s character design in Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi

No, not in any way, shape or form. While both are from Fire Emblem games, they never make any appearances together. It’s like saying Cloud is Zidane’s or Tidus’ (of Final Fantasy fame) cousin or whatever. There’s no relationship and because they’re in different games, they live in different lands and face different challenges. Marth appears only in Fire Emblem: Dragon of Darkness and Fire Emblem: Sword of Light (NES, Japan only) and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (SNES, Japan only) while Roy makes a heroic appearance in Fire Emblem: The Sealed Sword (GBA, Japan only). Marth also starred in the Fire Emblem anime.

Just because they appear together in Super Smash Bros. Melee does not mean they’re blood relatives or are related in anyway.

Does he speak?

Jun Fukuyama performs as the voice talent for Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee… and he does a damn good job!

Mamoru dekimono-no tame-ni, makerarenai! – For those who I protect, I mustn’t lose!
Kurushii tatakai datta. – It was a tough battle.
Shin-no tatakai-wa… korekare da! – The true battle starts here!
Boku wa makenai. – I won’t lose.

What is Fire Emblem anyways?

Fire Emblem is a series of tactical role-playing games developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. The games revolve around robust characters in a medieval setting and entrenching story lines. The first games in the series were only released in Japan, and it wasn’t until 2003, 13 years after the first Fire Emblem was released, that one was distributed overseas.
Each battle is turn based, and depending on the number of points of damage dealt are used against the current character’s life points. As each enemy is defeated, experience points are gained, however, if a playable character dies, they cannot be revived and remain unusable for the rest of the game. Should the main character be defeated, the game will end.

Screenshots (from Super Smash Bros. Melee)

Roy charging Flare Blade Roy idling Roy leaping (front)
Roy leaping (back) First Roy Trophy Second Roy Trophy
First Roy Trophy Second Roy Trophy Third Roy Trophy

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