There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the guy who lost 9 pounds playing Wii. Quite interesting – and anyone who has played Wii Sports can attest to the fact that boxing is the most active sport out of the bundle (that is, if you actually dodge and punch instead of just flicking the remote and turning it from side to side). So a full on boxing game would be sure to burn the calories, right?

That’s why I got so excited when I saw what some guy at Microsoft did with his DDR pad and a punching bag.

A shot of a guy punching his DDR mat on a punching bag.  What a novel and fun idea!

Do that for 30 minutes a day, and that’s guaranteed to be a good workout. I have 2 DDR pads… I wonder how much a punching bag like that costs?

Another interesting thing that Jason pointed out to me the other day is this online app that calculates what your name means. The descriptions are extremely specific, which probably increases the odds that they don’t apply to most people. But for me, they were eerily accurate (right down to describing artistic / design talent that starts off latent). You might give it a try. I tried it for a few friends whose full names I knew, and for some it was accurate, others… not so much. But give it a try and let me know what it says for you.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 220 user reviews.

Just when I was wondering how to keep advancing toward Pro status in Wii Tennis, the folks at Gamer PALs offer a solution.

… Maybe I should stick with Wii Golf.

Wii Golf in action

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 214 user reviews.

Happy New Year! As with last year, I’m back to offer my readers insight into my New Years Resolutions, just like last year (incidentally, two days late once again). This year, I’ve resolved to make more friends – of the Wii variety, that is.

Read more…

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 209 user reviews.

Due to high demand, Amazon came up with a new way to sell their limited supplies of gaming systems – randomly select people to purchase them among a group that has signed up. Check it out.

Now, these types of lottery are all so random, I try not to put much stock in them. But it’s good to know, according to Amazon, that we have better odds of winning the game system of our choice (20 to 1 for a Wii) than contracting botulism (2, 300 to 1), contracting the plague (299, 999 to 1), or getting bitten by a shark (6, 000, 000 to 1). Personally, I’m holding out for the wii. But if I wake up tomorrow with botulism and no wii, I’m gonna be one pissed off gamer.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 171 user reviews.

Vince is at it again, recently releasing Game III over at xiigames.com. It’s an interesting approach for split screen gaming, creating a similar game concept in each screen with a similar interaction style but a different story entirely. I think it’s a cool new way to think about gaming – definitely an interesting new puzzle.

Read more…

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 226 user reviews.

Gaming consoles are being released this holiday season, both the Nintendo Wii and the Playstation 3. Most Final Fantasy games tend to be released for Playstation consoles, so I’ll probably eventually get a PS3. But this holiday season? Not likely.

Tuesday, BetaNews released an article stating that most stores will be receiving eight PS3 consoles for the holiday season. But Sony is not completely unreasonable: If the store is “higher-traffic, ” they will get a double shipment.

What I find the most amusing is that GameStop, one of many stores who is taking pre-orders, is letting employees have two. It seems limiting considering how many employees each store must have (wouldn’t it suck to be third on the list?), but at the same time, you’re selling 25% of your product internally? A measly six are left for the everyday consumer. I think I’ll just have to wait until the buzz dies down.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 176 user reviews.

I guess Microsoft’s acronym obsession is getting to me.

Squeenix has been on a Final Fantasy sequel kick of late, with titles like Final Fantasy X-2 confusing many, wondering if it should be 12, or 11, when it is in fact read “10, 2.” The FF7 sequel came out recently, and since I had such fond memories of playing FF7 back in high school, I figured the sequel would be worth a purchase.

Cover of FF7 Dirge of Cerberus game

Boy was I wrong. Aside from all of the legitimate arguments mentioned in that review, my number one complaint is that this “First-Person Shooter with RPG elements” has no RPG elements to speak of, aside from the presence of character levels and the ability to purchase things at a shop – elements that RPGs share with many other genres. Essentially, the FF7 sequel is a bad shooting game with a semi-familiar storyline (I say semi-familiar because the town that I’m currently “exploring” has a name that wasn’t used in the original FF7).

In short, don’t buy it. Not worth the $50 that I dropped. Instead, pay me $25 for it, and then we can both feel less idiotic since we only paid half price.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 159 user reviews.

A few weeks ago I posted a blurb about Kingdom Hearts 2 with a link to a video previewing KH2, FF7 AC, and the new Zelda game. I stumbled upon the music used for the second half of the video, Million Miles from Home by Dune. It’s fun and upbeat, so check it out on iTunes if you liked it.

On another note, I’m finally done with the MHCI program at CMU. More on this later with my graduation post, coming later this week.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 255 user reviews.

Sadly, today was the last day of Game Design class. I stand by my original stance that it was one of the best courses that I’ve taken. As promised, I have the second half of fun lessons from Game Design.

Between a game design conference, an HCI conference, and a day that I forgot when the shuttle left for the PTC, there aren’t as many as last time, but you should still enjoy it. In quote form this time:

  1. Microsoft came out with this ad campaign in the 90s, suggesting, ‘What if your computer could turn on like a lightbulb?’ WHAT IF IT COULD, YOU IDIOTS? WHY DON’T YOU DO THAT? MORONS!
  2. I hate dustpans! They suck! They’ve been the bane of my existence since I was 5!!!
  3. Swiffer was a sweeping success.
  4. Do you think the very best business people go into the game industry? NO! No they don’t! They’re trading securities in Malaysia or something.
  5. Usability is easier to figure out than playability. [Not a joke – a deep thought that I particularly like.]
  6. With private investors, it’s all about the hype. It’s sad, really… they lose a lot of money.
  7. One of these days, retailers are gonna wisen up to MMOs and say, ‘Hey! We’re only getting the little piece!’
  8. There are lots of good things you can do with waffles! Chocolate waffles, strawberry waffles. Waffles can have toppings…
  9. The key to Location-Based Entertainment is to make it something you can’t get at home. It’s very important. Arcades know it… prostitutes know it…
  10. Bowling is the gold standard of location-based entertainment.
  11. IBM contributed three things to the computer business: The I, the B, and the M.
  12. In juggling, if you’re not dropping, you’re not learning.

Oh, Game Design, what a good class. One thing I will truly miss from CMU.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 167 user reviews.

Everyone’s been talking about this wii thing. Not knowing what it was, I decided to Google it. Ohhhh… it’s the Wildlife Institute of India. Wow. I didn’t realize that we as a culture were getting so environment-conscious. And what a great design for a website while I’m at it. Kudos to everyone.

Kidding aside, everyone knows (and mostly abhors) the name for the new Nintendo console. This was the only unique angle I could hope to take while attempting to be funny, so there you go. If you want true humor, check Vince’s post.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 162 user reviews.