Category Archives: review

Game & Watch: Donkey Kong Jr. – review

Before the GameBoy and before the NES, Nintendo made the Game & Watch series. The first Game & Watch was released in 1980 and a total of 60 games was realesed.

Some of the Game & Watch games have been released in compilations on the GameBoy and Nintendo have now startet to release some of the games on Nintendo DSi as DSiWare at 200 DSi points.

I’ve been playing Donkey Kong Jr. which was released on DSi in Europe on Friday April 23rd, 2010. The game mimics the original game that was released in 1982 very well. The screen looks and feels like the old LCD screens on the G&W. I remember playing this game some 25 years ago, and the game is still fun to play.

There are some good G&W games to wait for, but until then, Donkey Kong Jr. is a great buy. Lots of fun for 200 points.

Winter Games review

There is one gaming company that I do remember from the 80′ies, Epyx. They made a lot of good games. One, which I’m very fond of, is Winter Games on Commodore 64. The games was released on ‘all’ formats under the sun. And since it’s time for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, I thought it was time to digg the game up and make a small review of it.

This is the emulated Commodore 64 version on Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console (only available in Europe I think).

Winter Games have 7 eventens, detailed bellow. The games was released in 1985 and is 25 years old this year. Is the game still good? Yes, I think so. The graphics is quite blocky by todays standards. But all those 8-bit games have some sort of soul that many new games don’t have. Remember that these games ran on a 64 Kb computer. It’s amazing what they achieved with so little memory.

The characteristic C64 sound brings back good memories. The game emulates very well, it only lack a Tac 2 joystiq.

Under my YouTube-video, you will see a small description of each event.

Hot Dog

This is a freestyle event. Make your twist and turns and try to land stright.

Biathlon

Find a nice pace with the left button to get a good rythm of your skier. Watch your heart rythm since you will get tired and slow down uphills. It will also be harder to hit your target while shooting. This is one of my favourite events.

Speed Skating

This event is pretty easy. Find a good rythm with the left and right buttons, and you will win easy.

Figure Skating

You have 1 minute to do your jump and spins. Sounds easy, but you have to land stright to get good score from the judges.

Ski Jump

The key in Ski Jump is to time your jump right, have a nice flight down the hill and try to land standing. As you see in my video, this is something I’m not good at.

Free Skating

My only criticism to this game is that this event is the same as Figure Skating, except that you now have 2 minutes to do your athletic movements.

Bobsled

This is my other favourite event. Learn the curves and when to press the button, and you will do great.

In other words: Play some Winter Games. It’s still a great game after 25 years.

Avatar 3D

The man behind movies like Alien, Terminator and Titanic is back with Avatar. And I’m talking about James Cameron. He got the idea for this movie in 1994 and have been making it for the last four years. It’s a great movie.

We meet Jack Sully who’s a former Marine confined to a wheelschair. He’s recruited to a outpost on Pandora which have a mineral that can solve the energy crises on Earth. They started the Avatar Program since the atmosphere on Pandora is toxic for humans. The avatars are geneticaly engeneered with DNA from human and natives from Pandora. The mission is to infilitrate the Na’vi and to get them to move, so the humans can mining the rare mineral.

I thing Avatar is a great movie. The story is OK, the action is good and the visuals are amazing. I watch Avatar in 3D and the effect is very good. It’s a lot of CGI in the movie, but it blends well with real life people and places.

Avatar is a long movie, around 160 minutes, but it doesn’t that long since the story, action and scenery keeps you watching and forgetting the time. Avatar is highly recommanded, and if you have the opertunity to watch it in 3D, do that.

Avatar trailer

Interview with James Cameron

Interview with avatar actors

Picture taken from IGN.com.

A look at the new Today & Tomorrow Channel on Nintendo Wii

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Today & Tomorrow Channel is the new free channel you can download from Wii Shop Channel on Nintendo Wii. To quote Nintendo.co.uk: “Check your daily fortune and get hints on relationships, activities and even the types of food that your horoscope recommends.”

This is not a usefull channel to have, but it’s free so at least you can download it an play around with it. If you have a brother or sister you can always make a competition out of it like to get highest total luck.

You can register up to six Mii’s and you can get todays and tomorrows fortune for all of them. The horoscope will tell you about Love, Work, Study, Communication and Money. You will also get the colour of the day.

The new channel will also give you food hints, fun hints and care hints. And if that wasn’t enough, you can check the compatibility check between Mii’s.

I won’t use this channel much, but it’s fun to play with for a while.

I recorded a YouTube- video of the Today & Tomorrow Channel, and below that, it’s a bunch of screenshots I made.

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Review: The IT Crowd v3.0

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I really liked season 1 and season 2 of The IT Crowd. I’m happy say that season 3 is as good as the previously seasons. We’re still following Moss (Richard Ayoade), Jen (Katherine Parkinson) and Roy (Chris O’Dowd) in their everyday life as IT people. If this crowd can work in IT, everyone can.

Here’s the episode titles of series 3:

  1. From Hell
  2. Are We Not Men?
  3. Tramps Like Us
  4. The Speech
  5. Friendface
  6. Calendar Geeks

My favourite episodes are The Speech where Moss and Roy convince Jen into belive that the Internet is in a small black box. Friendface is also a great episode. It’s a parody on Facebook. Real fun.

Here is the text from the backcover:

Whilst Reynholm Industries boss, Douglas, is spending the pension fund on gold flakes in the water supply, the dysfunctional IT department – Moss, Roy and Jen – build up the courage to face the frightening world of people who somehow communicate without using a keyboard.

As well as the usual bickering, time wasting and incompetence, the co-dependent trio become the victims of sexual harassment, create a fundraising nude erotic calendar, confront the builders from hell and join a social networking site.

In addition to six good episode you also get this:

  • Audio commentary w/Graham Linehan
  • An Interview with Graham
  • Original Title Sequence Animatic
  • Deleted Scene 1: “Look After Yourself”
  • Deleted Scene 2: “Roy’s Sex Life”
  • Cracking the IT Crowd
  • Set Tour
  • Out-takes

If you liked the previously seasons of The IT Crowd, you will like this one. If you like British comedy, this is the show for you, start with season 1. The IT Crowd is highly recommanded!

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Star Trek (2008) – A great movie

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More Star Trek pictures on IGN.com

First things first, the new Star Trek movie by JJ Abrams is fantastic.

Star Trek started as a TV show in 1966 featuring the now legendary Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. It myst have been a hard task to make a new Star Trek movie, when you think about the legacy it have.

But JJ Abrams, the master mind behind LOST, Alias og Fringe, have solved this task in an excellent. The reboot of  Star Trek works real well, and I like it.

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More Star Trek pictures on IGN.com

The movie starts with the main characters Spock (Zachary Quinto) and James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) as small children. We see them grow up, enlist and join the Starfleet. The crew gets assembled, and goes on a  journey where no man have gone before.

This is a sci-fi movie with a lot of action, and its full of humour. This formula works very well. Zachary Quinto plays the role as Spock very well, but it’s great to see Leonard Nimoy appeared and plays the role as the  old Spock.

What I found interesting that is was a very grown up crowd at the cinema when I watched the movie. I will guess that most of them was men, 30-40 years old. Interesting.

I think JJ Abrams did a great job with the Star Trek reboot. The movie works great on it own. It also fun to see that they have found people to play the roles in this movie that have a similar face to the original cast of the show.

I highly recommand you to see Star Trek, if you are a trekkie or not.

Space… the Final Frontier, these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

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More Star Trek pictures on IGN.com

I found a couple of interviews on IGN.com with JJ Abrams and Leonard Nimoy, among others.

Review: Nintendo DSi – a good upgrade

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I got my first and only DS from eBay right after the US launch in 2004. That was 3-4 months before the Norwegian and European launch. Nintendo revolutionised handheld gaming with its two screens, where one was a thouchscreen. The DS have been a great success for Nintendo with 100 million consoles sold.

Nintendo DS was launched as Nintendos third pilar, but soon it looked liked it was the only pilar. DS Lite was launched in 2006. For a long time I was thinking of upgrading to a DS Lite. But last October 2008 the great new of the DSi was released. I found out that I could wait some months.

On Friday April 3, 2009 the Nintendo DSi was released in Norway and Europe, two whole days before USA. It have been discussed on forums if the upgrade to a DSi is worth the money. For me this have not been a question since I upgraded from a Phat grey DS. For me the upgrade to Nintendo DSi is worth every Norwegian Krones.

Here is my small Nintendo DSi review. 

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The biggest news is that the DSi have two cameras (one on the inside, one on the outside), it can use SD-cards, build-in storage, you can download software and it have bigger screens. DSi is also missing the GBA-port.

Some of Nintendo DSi’s specifications (Wikipedia.org):

  • CPU: ARM @ 133 MHz (DS – 67 MHz)
  • Screen: 256 x 192 pixels, 3,25 inch (DS – 3 inch)
  • 16 MB RAM (DS 4 MB)
  • 256 MB internal storage + SD-card (support SDHC)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b, DSi support WPA and WPA2, DS still only support WEP

The screens are bright and clear. The inner camera and mic are placed between the two screens. This works great. The speakers are placed on each side of the upper screen.

Nintendo DSi Camera

The DSi cameras are only 0.3 megapixel, 640 x 480. This isn’t much, but I don’t think that is a problem. Nintendo also had internal discussion about the hardware. The DSi isn’t ment to replace a compact camera. If the DSi cameras had had higher resolution, the DSi might have been a bit bigger and it would use more processor power to handle the picture, and that would have give less batterylife. The picture look good on the DSi screens, and OK on PC too.

The built in software have some function to play around with: Disortian, Graffiti, Colour, Colourpad, Mirror, Mischief, Emoter, Merge og Resembalance.

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The photos bellow was taken with the DSi camera.

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Nintendo DSi Sound

With Nintendo DSi Sound you can play with sound. You can record upto 10 seconds soundclips. These can be used when playing music. Fun. When playing a song you can adjust tempo and pitch. You can also play music with four different filters: Radio, Intrumental, Echo og 8-bit game.

DSi can only play AAC files, no MP3s. This is a bit strange since MP3 is the most common format. But again, Nintendo removed MP3 playback from the Wii. But there should be no problem converting your music to the AAC format.

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Nintendo DSi Shop

When you log on to the Nintendo DSi Shop for the first time, you get 1000 DSi points which is very nice. You can buy more points with your Visa/MasterCard or buy Nintendo Point Cards at your retailer.

There are four price categories; Free (which we all like), 200, 500 og Premium (that is 600 and over). There was not that many titles available at the European launch.

These was the titles available at the European launch on April 3, 2009: DSi Browser (free), Paper Plane, Pyoro (200), Art Style: AQUITE, ArtStyle: CODE and WarioWare: Snapped! (500).

Rumors also have i that GameBoy and GameBoy Advance games will be available for download. But that is only a rumor.

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Nintendo DSi Browser

DSi is missing the GBA-port, so the old DS Browser won’t work. But as it happens, you can download DSi Browser for free. The DSi Browser won’t replace your desktop browser, but it does a good job. It’s faster than the old browser.  And you can still not play video, flash or soud with the browser. But I don’t see that as a problem, since this is not my main browser.

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PictoChat

Local chat and the same as previously DS. But it now support rainbow colour.

DS Download Play

With this function you can play multiplayer with only one gamecart.

You can also download DS demos from Nintendo Wii. But it would be cool if you could download demos from the DSi Shop and store them on the SD-card or the internal storage. When using Download Play the content will be erased from memory when you quit the demo.

Conclusion

Nintendo DSi also have two new nice features. You can now hot-swap games without turning off the DSi. This is very usefull. With a fast press on the Power-button you quit the game/software you using, and you come back to the main menu.

With two cameras, 256 MB internal storage, support for SDHC memory card, internet, downloadable games; I think Nintendo have a new hit. Nintendo DSi have already sold 2 million units in Japan. They must do something right.

The DSi is missing the GBA port so games like Guitar Hero won’t work and you can’t play GBA games. But how often do you do that anyway now? DSi Enhanced games will come that will work on “old” DS and have extra functions on the DSi. At some point DSi only games will also come. They will be region locket. All DSiWare is also region locket, and the only way to play japanese only DSiWare is to import one.

So the question is: Should you upgrade to a DSi? That depend. If you have a DS Lite today, you can wait and see what the downloadable software and games will be over the next months. If you don’t have a DS today, or you are like me and still have the Phat grey DS, I can recommand the Nintendo DSi.

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