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Posted in , , | Posted on 16 Jul 2012 16:30by somekool |

Microsoft finally release its Go game for Xbox 360.

Microsoft Research has been working on a computer-go AI engine for several years [1]. But we never knew how strong it was. Recently, Microsoft Research hired the two people that were behind iSheep. The game that won one of the recent XNA contest.

These guys took care of building a decent looking XBLA game around the AI engine Microsoft Reseach had developped.

if you win all the way through the story mode, the dialogs will sound buggy. The story is clearly written for someone who never played Go. But It offers a very good tutorial for new people coming into Go. Blended through a little story. Several culture mix and confusions between China and Japan is annoying for those who the difference. Several things in the background does not fit together at all. but most people won't see anything wrong.

Other than that. its nice to see a good looking Go game for Xbox. The first one I see that brings nice 3D visuals for this awesome game we are playing for over 2500 years. that's nice.

There are several user interaction issues I found annoying. such as why do I need to "Quit" my game, after a win, the term is plain wrong. Another annoying thing is some messages that appears too fast to be read and they seemed more interesting than the one you have to click 'A' your way through.

I don't like Chinese scoring, a choice should have been made. I don't think it make such a difference on a regular 19x19 board. but on a small 9x9 board with 5.5 komi. it gets quite hard to win as black. That said, the AI is not that strong although its play does feel quite natural. But I have yet to try it on a large board.

Setting up a game through Xbox live is a little bit annoying. You don't know how many people are currently online. So, it feels like you are waiting for nothing...

In-game voice chat and or Kinect support would have been nice.

Overall, I recommend the purchase. 400 Microsoft points is not exaggerated. and the 200 achievements gamer score points are easy to get.

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Posted in , , | Posted on 19 Dec 2010 20:19by somekool |

Kinect: first impressions.

I knew all along I would be getting this new technology and there was no point in waiting for others to review it. So I did not wait any longer than its release date. I bought my Wii right when it came out as well and even though there isn't as many interesting game that came out for the Wii as I first thought. I'm still curious about this sweating gaming trend. Unlike Sony that is coming out with some High Def version of the Wii with their Playstation Move, I find that Microsoft is actually bringing something entirely new to the market. So the choice was a no brainer.

Everybody knows it by now you need a Kinect compatible living room to be able to use it. We can’t really complain about that, this technology is about getting your ass off the couch and move. This won’t be happening on a single foot square. In my case it is slightly more complicated, I have a projector instead of a TV. This brings several issues. I will first cover the three most obvious technical problems I have regarding this and then add some more comments about Kinect itself.

The lighting. My room is quite dark; the only light is the projector. So when my Xbox ask me to turn on the light for face recognition, I can’t. Therefore I could not try this feature so far. Light and projector simply does not quite go well together. I guess I will try to add some lights until I can use the face recognition technology and see how the responsiveness and image quality improve or worsen.

Cable too short. You guessed it, same issue with the Wii. But the Wii does not carry any information from the “sensor bar”. So several wireless options were possible. With Kinect, It needs to be plugged in. In theory the maximum for a USB2.0 device is 15 feet. But I found out you could use at least 25 feet long USB cable without much of a problem. In my case, I had to add a 10 feet cable to the existing one. I did not measure the existing one, so I am not so sure how much it adds up. But I’d say very close to 25 feet. I feared I would lose responsiveness but did not feel any problem when using Kinect.

Always being in front of the projector. Argh, this one is annoying. My projector is located behind me in a high shelf but it ain’t high enough. Moving my projector to the roof requires an investment I had not planned. On the Wii, it was not too much of a problem. Your body would not move so much, only your arm and even for DDR, if sometimes your head or shoulder would hide the screen for a quick second, it never been a real problem for me. When I tried Kinect Adventures, I keep jumping in front of the projector blindly missing all the targets. So if I want to keep playing on the projector, I definitely need to make some adjustments.

Apart from that, the initial Kinect was flawless and everything seems to work perfectly. But I got several other disappointments. I was expecting to be able to watch movies, pause, rewind and resume them with voice command. But Netflix is not supported. Only Zune. That sucks as I don’t use Zune and don’t want to either. Actually I find voice commands quite useless. From the dashboard you can’t select anything but Kinect. Once in the Kinect menu, you have to pronounce “Xbox” again for it to receive a new voice command and then your choice is limited again. After you made your choice, the voice capability ain’t available anymore.

I have a similar complains with gesture control. You hop into a menu option and it forgot you were using your hand; you have to wave again to take control. I feel like I have to wave my hand before every single click. This is very bad usability.

Anyway, I did not give this more than one hour so far. So I will keep you posted for updates.

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Posted in , | Posted on 05 Nov 2010 00:01by somekool |

Atari 2600 game collection

http://mightygodking.com/index.php/2008/04/21/fun-from-yesterday/

Posted in | Posted on 24 Apr 2008 11:13by somekool |

Nintendo Super Mario Bros. (hardcore tricks).

Could anyone teach me half of what does guys are able to do.

The classic 1up trick that I never been able to do is actually possible on the New Super Mario on DS.

And what's up with all those guys jumping backwards? * R.Yoshizawa (aka. Pom) * Trevor Seguin

This guys also knows a lot of excellent tricks. Although he takes his time in this video, he really show much he masters the game.

please comment below with HOW to do these.

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Posted in , | Posted on 17 Nov 2006 05:34by somekool |

Nintendo World 2006 in Osaka, Japan (and japanese highways)

So I have finally been there, again. I was not too sure, since I knew it would be very similar but just busier then Nagoya. But Mihoko could not come to Nagoya, so she had not tried the Wii yet, poor girl. And I convincer her. Plus I really wanted to try few more games to help get my mind set on what to buy.

Actually there is something I think I forgot to tell you about Nagoya. I think I already told you I went to Nagoya by train or maybe some photos I took told you so. But there is one little thing I forgot to say, Is how many DS I saw in the Train. Although I had to cross two prefectures, from Minute One, I saw kids playing with the DS in the Train. I mean, there is always bunch of people with cellphones, PSP and DS. but that day. it was impressive. Closer I was getting to Nagoya, more DS, geeks and even female geeks are boarding the train. This was cool to see. Girls playing DS in the train have a different dress code. I'll let your imagination craving and not say more.

For Nintendo World in Osaka, click on to read more.

So I succeeded to wake her up at 7h30 and we left at 9h. As I did not have time to check time schedule and were a bit late for the train anyway, we decided to Drive there. Well, I drove to Osaka. Driving there was sure a huge fun. It ended up being more expensive than expected though. Close to 9000 yen in Highway fees. Kinda crazy.

Anyway, I cannot do differently than talking about it since it was so cool. It was only my third time I was driving in Japan. I drove around the main Okinawa island in August and to Nara last week. Today to Osaka. Along with the few pictures I took of the Nintendo Conference, there is a few of the Highway which might or not be interesting.

I always said that in Western Canada: "there is no such thing as an Highway" at least compared to the real thing we have on the East coast. But now, I gotta review my statement, They got the real thing here. There is huge wall around the highway, like it would keep the sound inside, improve aero-dynamism, prevent face-to-face accident and what-not. They really got this future look to it where you drive in a circular tunnel. I don't think there is any cops. There isn't really any way for them to hide on the side or get in a various places. Maybe they catch you on camera and surprise you at the told gate. but as far as it look like, we are paying to get on the highway and we are not going there to get assled with cops crap. Plus, the speed is regulated with the quantity of people driving on that day.

You know what, It's getting close to midnight now, still need to take my fabulous Japanese Bath. I know how patient my readers are, so I will just continue with the Video game stuff on a separate post tomorrow. Cheers.

As a consolation gift, the few pictures I have taken. And for those you wants to the punch of the story before everyone. No, I did not win one of the 100 Wii they were giving away, this time either.

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Posted in , | Posted on 12 Nov 2006 05:00by somekool |

Nintendo World 2006 in Nagoya, Japan

So, last Friday I realized a long time dream I had. Going to a video game expo, in Japan. It's one of those reasons I'm in Japan, and Nagoya is only 1h15 and 1620 yen of train away, how could I not go.

The event was from 9am to 4pm and I was pretty excited so I took the train as early as possible. Going there was pretty easy, even though it was my first time visiting Nagoya. I got there around 9h30, had breakfast at the station and the first train on Aonami line was leaving at 10am. so It was a perfect timing. 10h30, I was sure inside. That's about the best I could do.

First thing I learned when I got inside... They were giving away 100 Wii to the visitors. We receive some kind of lottery number when we arrive and we can check if we have a winner number as we leaves. Now I was excited, hehe...

read on for details ....

It was a bit different than I has expected. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting. but they had about 200 Wii on demonstration, if not more. and many many DS you could play with. So without asking myself too many questions, I put myself in line to try out Tennis from Wii sports. Let's get a feel of the Wiimote as fast as possible.

First the Wiimote is much smaller that I had imagine. It about the same length as a DS Lite. It feels totally comfortable in the hand. I had a hard time dealing with my excitation, the Japanese instructions and analyzing this remote to get as much as I could of the gameplay. I unfortunately got beaten. The other geek found some trick to throw a spin. Seriously the ball was really going much faster when it was doing it. So that means there is a lot of possibility with this new style of gameplay. Especially these are only the first generations of games for this console. Games always gets better and better on the 2nd and 3rd year. It was both our first experience and overall, we were pretty equal I think.

It was very important for me to try Wii sports as it does not come with the system in Japan. You have to buy it extra for 4800 yen. So I really wanted to know if I wanted to buy it or not. Tennis is fun, If I had it I would sure play. But If I have to choose 2 or 3 games between the 30 games available at the launch. I'm not sure this is the one I'll pay for. Especially US people consider getting it for free. I might end up getting a copy for 5$ on ebay. That said, many times I read US people feel sorry for us in Japan because we don't get Wii Sports "for free" but they forget they pay 250$ for the system while we only pay 25000yen. It might look similar, but its about exactly a Wii Sport different ;) So really, the difference is that we have the choice, while you don't. I think Nintendo wanted to have a price that looks similar everywhere. Or It's a conspiracy with the Japanese government to make people believe (slowly) that the US dollar is equal to 100 yen. Another big reason, is because in Japan we get a game called はじめのWii. Which kinda means "Beginning with the Wii". So buyers, depending on their age and experience are most likely gonna get one of the two games to start with. While, only Wii sports is available in America to have this Wii educational purpose.

Then I tried Wii sports Boxing. That one I had a huge time. And I sure beat this other amateur, hehe. It was so much fun and my body temperature really increased. I was so hot after this 6 minutes trial. I made a comments earlier this week on a blog post at IGN complaining about Wii Sports. The guy rather have a bad opinion on the game but while some of it might be true, I think he exaggerates a bit. Anyway, Boxing was awesome. and for this one game, Wii sports is worth it. but then other boxing-only games are coming out. so who knows what am I gonna buy.

Then I went to Zelda, they had about 8 Wii running with Zelda on it, but unfortunately it was too busy. They required special ticket for that game, which were unavailable since 11am. Crazy... it was sure very busy. That is only Nagoya, I can't imagine Osaka next week and Tokyo near the end of the month.

Too bad, I went to Mario Galaxy which was very very interesting. Mario Galaxy was twice special, because it is not available at the launch. We had an demo disk probably made especially for this event. There was a countdown in the game so we cannot play more than 6 minutes, while the other games (full version) did not have that. There is a lot of people and Japanese people are quite precise when it comes to this. Everybody has to get the same thing. So nobody complains about injustice.

So the game requires you to do quite special movement. It is definitely different from the side-scroller we all know. Killing enemies can either be done by pointing at them, shaking your hand, taking and throwing objects at them (a bit like fishing) and of course jump onto their head. The you often gotta travel from a planet to another, which is very easy to do and very fun at the beginning. Pointing and shaking your hand. there is tons of different new moves you gotta learn compare to the sports games, which can only be sports games. I had a very good time playing Mario Galaxy. And this title sure brings a new type of gameplay onto the table.

That's it, I was tired of the crowed after that and starving to death for two good hours. So I decided to leave a bit earlier. After all, it was my first stop in Nagoya, I had to checkout the city a bit more. And I, unfortunately, did not win one of those 100 Free Wii they were giving way.

But hope is not gone, next Sunday, in Osaka, Nintendo World 2006 part 2 is taking place. I expect it to be very similar. So I'm not 100% sure to go, but I might to try few more games.

For those you like pictures, I took a few.... http://gallery.somekool.net/v/Japan/2006-11+From+May+To+November/2006-11-03+Nintendo+World+2006+Nagoya/

enjoy yourself...

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Posted in , , | Posted on 07 Nov 2006 01:29by somekool |

Preparing for the Wii

The new Nintendo Video Game console, previously codenamed Revolution and now called Wii is coming out very soon, around November 7th according to various rumors. And will most likely be a gaming revolution. Instead of just iterating on what is already known, the Wii promess a different style of gaming. Hell, it might even become healthy. What else could we ask for. With this new product they are targeting everyone, not only hardcore gamers or kids, but also parents, grand-parents and hell your dog might want to play.

There is various Nintendo convention announced around the world, This friday in America, Japan and Europe, not sure of the exact details at the moment, I can't find the link. And also the famous LEIPZIG GAMES CONVENTION 2006 and the exciting Tokyo Game Show from September 22nd to 24th.

As you might guess, I'm very excited. I could not exactly describe why as I have not been a big gamer, but like many of us, I start playing video games as I was kid and I always been very interrested looking at the newest stuff. Although I was not playing. Just following up with the news has been so far enough for my gaming needs. Until now, I thought everything was pretty redundant. Better graphics, faster game play, more AI, more stuff on the screen going at the same time. but overall, same games were just refactored and resold. The Wii changes that. It brings a whole new world of games into your living room. and as I said before, It might even be healthy. Fooling around with this Wiimote, standing up with your friends and family.

So for more excitement, I started looking at them game titles line-up to see what I might get. For more details about my choices, click on for reading.

I first selected the games that was appealing to me. I then separated them into three categories. Those that I NEED, the one that I might eventually get. And the one that was worth thinking about that I may not buy but still interresting. Inside these categories, they are placed in no particular order. Enjoy the reading and leave comments.

Need

What is a Nintendo without a Mario. This Mario as the title state comes right from the Galaxy. Totally different, it might gives us a real Wii experience while keeping us in enjoyement of a Mario. As you already know I bought a Nintendo DS recently. And I have been playing, almost exclusively, the New Super Mario Bros.. It's so much fun and so incredible. I'm sure gonna get Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii. I might blog about the New Super Mario Bros soon. * Red Steel

Red Steel is the action game often demonstrated in Wii videos. It allows you to manipulate a sword or a gun just like a real one, using the incredible Wiimote. Let's be honest, the main reason the Wii will be so different is because of the remote. So I'm planning to buy games that will use the feature as much as possible. * Karaoke

The link might just redirect to the official Nintendo website at the moment. but the domain http://wiikaraoke.com exist, and Nintendo bought it. I don't know when this game will come out but I will sure get it. the remote includes an integrated microphone, so we won't need extra hardware. The family I am living with has a full karaoke machine, unfortunately broken, fixing it might be more expensive than the Wii itself. so why bother and all sing along. * Wii Sports (Tennis, Baseball, more...)

This is THE title demonstrated everywhere. people standing, playing tennis or baseball. This should strech us up and show the older people that game isn't only a passive luxury. * Metal Slug Anthology

Maybe you know Metal Slug already. I'm just a big fan and I think this title might become a collectible so I'm getting it.

Maybe

This one is very interesting. Schedule to be avalaible at the Wii launch you will be playing as a Doctor, healing patient in a whole new way. Rather cool.

Well, Wii Sports already have Tennis and Maybe Table Tennis as well, so I won't need it. but If need be, its there. As you notice, I'm looking for games that includes physical activity.

The Soulcalibur series is my favorite fighting series. I played SC2 on Dreamcast and SC3 on GameCube and it is the Best in my humble opinion. Although, it might just iterates on what is already know. So I don't think I will get it any soon. but If I can use the Wiimote as a real sword, this might get on my shopping list, although Red Steel should give me the same feeling. * Wii Motor Sports Airplane

Always been a big fan of Combat Flight Sim. I'm just gonna keep an eye on this title see what it has to offer. I have been a big fan of AirForce Delta on Dreamcast which has later been ported to XBox. I also used to play a lot Nighthawk F-117 Stealth Fighter on my 386SX-16 ;) * Open Season

I am not exactly sure what is this title is yet. but It does seems to be worth the look.

Who does not like Marvel, tell me? The series of Spiderman from Dreamcast , GameCube and Xbox as been awesome games. I'm sure Marvel will follow the same trend. Although its categorized as an RPG, I think it will still be an Action adventure. but really, I don't know. * Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent

I might not need this one, because Red Steel will be plenty for me. but after I finish Red Steel, I might get this one. * Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz

Hell, Money Ball is a lot of fun, period. * GT Pro Series

Racings: known to be demonstrating the real power of a machine and to get the adrenaline out of every boy. I sure will need one of the racing game. Which one.... we'll see. * Far Cry Instincts Evolution

Far Cry hit my curiosity and I'm just gonna have to follow up on this one. * Rayman Raving Rabbids

Again, I played Rayman 2 on Dreamcast and it was more than awesome. If I don't know what to buy and I did not get this one yet. it will be next. * Blitz: The League

Football fan anyone? Blitz brings the blood to the fun and the action to the living room. However, if it does not use the Wii-features and remains a regular title, I might think twice before getting it. but If I get a Football game, its gonna be Sega or this one from Midway.

Interesting but does not need

This is the weird game you might have seen in one of those Wii video. You shoot weird creatures around the house for some purpose. looks fun. * Penny Arcade Adventures Maybe you know the internet site Penny Arcade. They are releasing a game with their famous caracters as the main theme. Might be something to watch out.

I introduced the 101 dalmatiens on dreamcast to my mother. I see the Chicken Little movie and I thought of her right when I saw this title. Apparently there is some Tomb Raider and Spliter Cell like actions. just ala Disney. * Sonic and the Secret Rings Sega Sonic, just like Mario Galaxy might rule the video game world, Sega Sonic might be on his heal. * Avatar: The Last Airbender

What is this last one again? well, I'll check in a month or two, see if I'm still curious about it.

Sorry for the lack of details at this point. None of these titles are available at the moment, and not much details about them as been released. I think the idea is to build a series of titles and keep the links here so we can all look them up easily in the future. Ah, the future....

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Posted in , | Posted on 12 Sep 2006 19:03by somekool |

Apple style Nintendo Wii advertisement

I came accross this one yesterday. Trying to find new flashy stuff about the Wii, sorta getting really excited here ;)

Well, it's a bit too much let say. but everything they say makes so much sense.

it's exactly like the current Apple ads. The fatty bitch is a PS3 and the slick little pussy is the right fit for immediate fun. Cheap and Easy ;)

Watch this and comment below ;)

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Posted in , , | Posted on 02 Sep 2006 07:50by somekool |

Compulsive Buyer

So I went to Joshin tonight as I needed a Air Duster for a long time to clean up my laptop keyboard. What I didn't see, the new Jet Black Nintendo DS Lite was coming out today. Yeah. I didn't even know about it. but I see this beautiful shiny black DS Lite stating its fresh from today. I thought "Ok, I'm gonna go crazy and buy it right now". So I did. I bought the New Super Mario Brothers, Indeed. and Project Hacker. Who changes, really? These are gonna be good for my japanese reading skills.

Nintendo DS Lite Black

let's play ;)

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Posted in , | Posted on 02 Sep 2006 07:32by somekool |

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