Crash to Desktop – 8/15/2009

Posted by | August 15, 2009

Good evening, and welcome to Crash To Desktop, our daily digest about my disjointed ramblings and the day’s news. I’d like to take this moment to mention our Twitter feed, and how subscribing will make you a better person who is loved and adored by all.

Those of you who’ve been following the site might have noticed a heavy slant toward Wii games in our reviews and discussions, and the reason is there’s a Wii sitting next to my ancient black monolith of a TV set. Given that I’m a Wii player, I tend to notice conversation about the system, and the common topic seems to revolve around whether the little white box that could is a better toy for either toddlers or babies fresh from the womb.

For some reason, people think that Wii = kiddy.

The People's MarioI don’t understand it. Sure, the Wii is flagshipped by Mario and friends, a franchise based on eating strange mushrooms to grow huge while violating sewer systems as if the pipes were a german porn slut and Mario was a two-liter bottle, but even still the games are fun. Bright colours and cartoonish characters don’t make a game childish, any more than the Realism Brownifier that filters any exuberance from the hues of a virtual world makes the game mature. What matters is gameplay, challenge, and context. Is Mario bright and cheerful? Of course. But he still kills goombas, koopas, and other enemies by crushing them under his boot, before going into hand-to-hand combat with a goddamn dragon king.

Mario is ****ing metal.

I learned the lesson that real games can hide under a comforting cloak of cuteness back in the NES days, when Bubble Bobble came into my life. It’s a game where little chibi dinosaurs blow bubbles to trap adorable enemies with no sharp edges. This is a lie and a ruse. A few levels in the difficulty ramps up, the levels become puzzles timed by an invulnerable death machine, and the sweet cuteness transforms into mockery of your pathetic skills and shrinking manhood. Bubble Bobble will break you.

And I will cut anyone who speaks ill of Duck Tales.

Tough, fun games aren’t kiddy, no matter what they look like from a distance. They’re good, and good games don’t have a cutoff date when anyone with two hairs on their chest has to throw down the controller before the age police show up. Why should games on the Wii be considered any differently?

Not to mention that almost every game on those other systems out there eventually sneaks over into the Wii’s lineup, or that the Wii version is sometimes better than the original. Just ask Resident Evil 4. Last I checked, the Wii runs Call of Duty, The Conduit, Medal of Honor, Bully, House of the Dead: Overkill, Guilty Gear, Madworld, and ten-thousand sports games. If you want enough blood and violence to sicken a Somali warlord, the Wii can shovel it down your throat with a spoon big enough to rival any other console of its generation.

What’s kiddy about that?

Just something I thought about while striding through exploding clouds of blood to disembowel the next fool punk who thought he could step to me in No More Heroes.

In the news today, the LA Times reports that video gaming is finally feeling the pressure of the recent economic downturn, as the unofficial, but real damn close to 20% unemployed in this country, are forced to make the choice between Madden NFL 10 or eating. The bone-strewn desert where once fresh, succulent hit titles grew may also be a contributing factor. Read about it here.

Meanwhile, World of Warcraft is plundering the past with the return of the dragon Onyxia. Onyxia was the brood mother of the Black Dragonflight, a powerful matron who survived hundreds, if not thousands of years of warfare and domination among her own kind, before taking the guise of Lady Prestor and trying her hand at mortal politics. Four years later, and the mortal races were hoisting her head on a pike above their city gates.

Blizzard has retuned and rebuilt the Onyxia encounter into both a normal 10-man raid and a 25-man heroic mode battle. New loot has been added, including a special flying mount. Get your Ony solo runs in quick, before the 3.2.2 patch hits! Oh, and check out the details on the World of Warcraft website.

Game releases this week continue on the theme of a vast wasteland devoid of life, broken only by a football stadium draped in familiar banners. Madden NFL 10 hits store shelves this week, which is good news for anyone who sells video games, since there’s no way anyone will pay money for anything else that came out recently. Ares Technica has a list of this week’s game releases.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to paw randomly through the rest of our content here at Vox. You might find just the Fallout 3 nude mod you’ve been looking for.

In honour of Ony’s return, here’s a fine example of a typical Onyxia encounter, courtesy of The Grind. And remember, save early, save often.

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