Serious Sam III Finally!

serious-sam-cover-art I have played video games my entire life, but it was not until the early 2000’s that I really started doing it as more than a casual pass time. It was around then that I got my first 3d capable PC. There were four games that I spent unholy amounts of time playing. They were Morrowind, Half-Life, Delta Force, and lastly Serious Sam.

I was in Wal-mart burning time in the games section, waiting while my family shopped when I happened upon it. Only $10 at the time it was one of the cheapest PC games I had ever seen.

It had no complexity, no coherent story, not a second of it ever taken seriously. Just a lot of really big guns, goofy one-liners, and the largest horde of bad guys I had ever seen! It was love at first play. Since then it is the only one of those four games that I have kept installed on every Pc that I have ever owned. And I have enjoyed all its sequels even Serious Sam Advance.

I say all this to make the point, I am borderline giddy about the latest post on Croteam.com.

“Just a quick note to let all Serious Sam fans know that Serious Sam 3: BFE is coming this summer 2011. Official annoncement will be released soon.”

Catherine not Japanese Exclusive after all?

On 02/03/09, in one of my final post on my former blog Nintentoad.com I said…

“I am a little ashamed to say it, and also slightly afraid of one of the many crazed Atlus fans out there finding me. But with the exception of Trauma Center I am not a huge fan of most Atlus games.”

Now almost exactly 2 years later as I type this Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey sits in my DS with Radiant Historia next to it. Persona 4 is sitting in my PS2; I have a shortcut to Shin Megami Tensei Imagine sitting behind the window I am typing this in. Several copies of Digital Devil Saga are on my eBay Watch List. Even Maken X is near my Dreamcast!

When I typed that 2 years ago, I had no idea that I would be one of those crazed fans in need of a time machine so that I may kick some since into myself. Needles to say I have been very much looking forward to Atlus latest release Catherine.

When Atlus told Beefjack.com that there were no plans for a US release much sadness ensued. But now it appears that there is a bit of hope. A listing on Gamestop.com was found (and promptly removed) stating a 7/26/11 US release date. And to make matters even more interesting Beefjack.com is saying “A source has also told us that Atlus is planning an official announcement tomorrow.” Cross fingers and toes now! (WARNING: Toadink holds no responsibility for cramping toes and fingers from prolonged crossing)


Norimono Oukoku DS: You! Unten Shichai na You! Review

norimono-oukoku-ds-you-unten-shichai-na-youI don’t speak, read, or know a single word of Japanese beyond "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto." But, unfortunately, there are many, many, and sadly yet another many, great games that are never released outside of Japan (Mother 3 I’m thinking of you).

Fortunately for us, some games don’t need any Moon language skills to be enjoyed. One such title is Norimono Oukoku DS: You Unten Shichainayo.

First, I will say that for a DS game Norimono Oukoku DS is very impressive from technical standpoint; with a large open 3D city filled with traffic, an excellent draw distance, and a silky smooth frame rate. For what seems to be a budget title this one is very impressive. But it does still have its limitations. For one, the other vehicles are very bland and blocky and there is a lot of texture pop-in as they get closer. The city is also lacking in detail. There are very few unique landmarks to make any one road look different from another.

If you have ever stolen an emergency vehicle such as an Ambulance or a Police car in the Grand Theft Auto series you will have a pretty good idea what you’re in for. At the start of the game only the Ambulance is available. You must drive around until you get a radio call which you then answer on the touch screen. You then have to reach the destination indicated on the mini map and deliver the injured person back to the hospital in the time limit. Ok, yeah, it’s basically Crazy Taxi, but what sets this game apart is that as you progress through the game you unlock new types of vehicles, each with its own gameplay and handling.

The controls are another thing that sets Norimono Oukoku DS apart from other driving games. Each vehicle has its own dash board on the touch screen, with a steering wheel and other controls unique to each vehicle. Like sirens, opening the back hatch of the ambulance, or a loudspeaker for pulling over criminals. But the touch controls do come with some good and some bad. The good is that they are very responsive and precise. The bad is that it is very easy to lose control because you were looking at the top screen and didn't have your stylus on the wheel.

The language barrier is fairly miner. While getting through the menus can be a little confusing at first, once you’re in the game there is very little text. But, unfortunately, at the moment there are no English Translation FAQs online, so if you do run into a problem you are on your own.

Over all, if you’re an English only speaker this game will have a few frustrations but it also has a ton of gameplay variety and is a very unique experience (at least for the DS). If you track down a copy I seriously doubt you will be disappointed.