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The World Ends with You - The last JRPG I will ever play

Sometimes if you keep trying something, you will eventually grow to like it. After many attempts with Japanese RPGs, I would say that it is not one of those things.

I wanted to try one more JRPG before I would seriously give up on the genre, so based on a recommendation from a friend; I picked up The World Ends with You on the DS. Like a lot of other JRPGs, this game had a unique battle system that utilized both the top and bottoms screens. The top screen featured your partner who you would control using the directional pad, and on the bottom screen, you controlled the main character exclusively with a stylus. This combat reminded me of that thing you always tried to do as a kid, where simultaneously, you would tap your head with one hand and rub your stomach in circles with the other.

3DS price cut and the importance of software

After a very prosperous era with the Wii console and DS handheld, Nintendo is looking to continue their success with their 3DS handheld, and WiiU console with tablet like controller which is set to release sometime next year. Similar to the unexpected wide reaching success of both of these platforms, Nintendo wasn’t expecting the somewhat negative reception of their two brand new pieces of hardware.

Recent reports state that Nintendo’s shares are down 13% after the poor WiiU presentation at the E3 2011 press conference and slow 3DS sales. In reaction to the significant drop, Nintendo has cut the price of the 3DS to $169.99, an $80 price difference from the original March launch price that was $250. This large price drop should lower profits about 82% this year, but will hopefully act as a catalyst for consumers to gain excitement around the glasses free technology of the 3DS, despite the scarce release of games for the handheld.

Team Fortress 2 - Leveling the playing field

If you haven’t heard, Team Fortress 2 went free to play on PC last week - a game that I bought way back in 2007, which I still play often enough to be informed about the numerous updates. These updates consisted of new weapons for all of the very balanced and complementary classes, new maps and game modes, an in depth weapon and accessory crafting system, and even a store in which the player can purchase items to improve upon their favorite classes. And with these updates, I have also changed the way I have played, by moving from a 32 player server to a 24 player server and gradual lowering of visual settings. Ultimately, what this means is the game has changed, not only in the way it is available to players, but the required hardware strength in order to have a desirable experience.

Where I uncomfortably sit with handheld gaming

I always thought the Nintendo DS, or any handheld for the matter, was not built for someone like me who found it difficult to sit hunched over a 4 inch screen for hours at a time. I was always uncomfortable, I would try sitting up in a chair, lying on my stomach, sides or back, feet up while sitting on a couch, almost every possible sitting variation I could think of. Sitting there for extended periods of time happened not because I was uninterested in standing; it was caused by the amount of time needed to invest into these long games that were filled with overwhelming amounts of content. I’ve sort of given up on handheld games and just focused my attention towards my consoles, until the large mobile gaming boom that started early last year. 

Competitive Pricing of Games

I remember watching T.V today and seeing a commercial multiple times for MX vs. ATV Alive, and hearing the song Alive by P.O.D seemed like an obvious but sort of cheesy choice at the same time. When the commercial was wrapping up, a $40 price was brought up on the screen. I was surprised by the price; it told me that someone else besides me is fully aware of the success that can come from a $40 game. I’m not sure of the reason that made the publishers decide on a $40 price, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they did it because they recognized the potential of having a competitive, non-standard price.

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