Archive for September, 2012

PCA – National Coffee Day! Get free coffee.

September 28, 2012


Coffee Beans
This is a public coffee announcement. Saturday, September 29th, is National Coffee Day! Yes, that is correct, National Coffee Day is tomorrow!

McDonald’s has been helping celebrate all week by giving away free small cups of coffee, and that will continue today and tomorrow for National Coffee Day.

I took advantage of a free coffee from McDonald’s today, and enjoyed it earlier this afternoon (technically yesterday I guess, but I’m still awake *today*). So, if you don’t work the weekends, but pass by a McDonald’s and are feeling the need for a coffee boost, stop on by and they’ll give you a coffee for no charge. It could be the morning cup to boost you through the day, or the afternoon cup of coffee to help you make it through the night!

I may be making another pass by a McDonald’s on Saturday for National Coffee Day, and it may help me burn late into the night when I’m attempting to play a game, or two, from my Steam account.

Questions
Do any of you know other restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, etc., giving away free cups of coffee tomorrow, and perhaps even today, like McDonald’s is doing (and has done all week)?

Have you taken advantage of any free coffee offers this week, or are you planning to do so on National Coffee Day? Any plans this weekend for some video game playing that a few cups of coffee might help you make it through?

Advertisements

LEGO City: Undercover to feature multiplayer? Nintendo says no, then yes?

September 25, 2012

Coffee Beans
Other than the “Grounds for Celebration! Award – LEGO City: Undercover” post, I haven’t seen this really talked or written about anywhere else, and I did “google” for it.

Apparently, LEGO City: Undercover is going to have a 2 player mutliplayer feature of some sort, though there was some confusion whether it did or didn’t, apparently. Nintendo has not specified if the 2 player feature will be a local multiplayer mode, an online multiplayer mode, and/or perhaps even some multiplayer function with the 3DS system.

How did Nintendo representatives respond when asked if LEGO City: Undercover had any form of multiplayer, local or online? What was the reason for confusion on whether the game has multiplayer? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
This was told in the “Grounds for Celebration! Award – LEGO City: Undercover” post, but I wanted to highlight this about LEGO City: Undercover with its own post, for the people that may skim over the other one.

The sources of my confusion.

Last week when I was working on the other post for LEGO City and about to publish it, I noticed the official page for the game and the fact sheet on the game had different information about the number of players that will be able to run around LEGO City.

The official page for the game, HERE, shows “No. of Players: 1”, while the fact sheet for the game shows “Players: 1-2”. I “googled” for other posts on the topic, looking for an announcement on it, but I didn’t find any post that was specifically about the multiplayer option in LEGO City: Undercover, or any post that even talked about it really.

So, I sent over an email to the press contact for the game, and waited on a response. 24 hours passed, and I didn’t receive a response, which I thought was kind of odd. Jeremy from NintendoFuse.com offered to send an email over, seeing if perhaps they could get clarification on the issue for me.

He did. The question he sent over was the question I had pretty much asked, “Does, LEGO City: Undercover have a multiplayer option?” and he mentioned how the official page and the fact sheet showed different things.

The response he received was, “The game is 1 player. No co-op/multiplayer of any kind.“, with the representative apologizing for the confusing language on the site and fact sheet. Pretty straight forward, right?

Well, yesterday, I decided to send one more email about it, just to attempt one last time from my side to get an answer before posting up the other story. I asked, “Does LEGO City: Undercover have a multiplayer option? Perhaps, a co-operative play mode like in other LEGO games?”

This is not what I did while waiting on a response…

I received a reply shortly after that said, “We are looking into this and will get back to you soon.” Interesting.

I wasn’t sure what “soon” was, but only about 5 minutes later I received a second response that said, “Please refer to the fact sheet that states there are 1-2 players.

With the time that my emails took to be responded to, I would imagine they were trying to get clarification from Nintendo on what they could/couldn’t say about the multiplayer options in the game, which still isn’t much other than verifying the game will have some form of a 2 player mode.

Caffeinated Thoughts
Many of the past LEGO video games have featured local co-op multiplayer on Nintendo systems, so that could be one option. Some of the LEGO games on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have featured online co-op, as well as local, so that multiplayer option would make sense as well.

After seeing the trailer for the game though, I’m wondering if there might perhaps be some sort of “hide-and-seek” mode in the game using the Wii U’s GamePad. One player would run around the city with either a Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination or a Wii U Pro Controller attempting to “hide”, while the player with the Wii U GamePad could use the controller’s scanning capability as they showed in the trailer for the game (seen below in the awards video), to try and locate the other player in the city.

I think a “hide-and-seek” sort of mode in LEGO City: Undercover, even if only as a local option, would be fun with its “open city” setting and perhaps a good way to use the GamePad for a multiplayer feature.

Also, a big thanks again to Jeremy for trying to help me out last week! You can visit NintendoFuse.com HERE, and enter their “Ultimate Mario Kart 7 Competition – Win a Wii U” contest HERE.

Questions
Are any of you planning to purchase LEGO City: Undercover when it releases for the Wii U? Would a multiplayer feature in the game make you more likely to buy it, or would it not really matter to you?

Any predictions as to what the 2 player mode will be in the game?

If any of you are interested in LEGO City: Undercover, you can pre-order the game on Amazon.com and GameStop.com below:
icon

Grounds for Celebration! Award – LEGO City: Undercover

September 25, 2012

Coffee Beans
Did you see Nintendo of America’s Wii U preview event? If not, you can watch the full conference as it happened, HERE. During the press event a few Wii U games had live gameplay demos (Nintendo Land and Call of Duty: Black Ops II), while many more were shown via trailers.

If you missed the, “New Feature – Grounds for Celebration! Award“, post last week, in it I described this new feature briefly and said, “If I’m playing a game and I notice a coffee reference, or if perhaps I see a game with a coffee reference that I haven’t even played or isn’t even out yet, I’ll try and give the game some attention with a ‘Grounds for Celebration! Award'”.

Well, it’s time for the first Grounds for Celebration! Award, and if you missed the coffee reference during Nintendo’s Wii U preview event, you can see it in the video below…in a slightly updated form:

LEGO City: Undercover was the only game during the conference that I can remember having a coffee reference. While the full trailer as seen in the video above was not shown during the conference, the coffee scene was. What was my reaction when the coffee reference was mentioned during the conference? “COFFEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAME OF THE YEAR!!!!!”

Other than the trailer and screenshots in the video above, what else do we know about the game? What is one feature for the game that I don’t think Nintendo has talked about yet? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
LEGO City: Undercover is being developed by TT Games and published by Nintendo. It is a Wii U exclusive set to release in the system’s “launch window”, which is through the end of March next year. A few retailers have the game listed with a MSRP of $59.99 right now, but it doesn’t have an ESRB rating yet.

LEGO City: Undercover features:

  • The Wii U GamePad is woven seamlessly into the game-play experience. Players use it to scan for hidden clues and criminals, receive mission updates and place waypoints on an overhead city map that displays their position in real time.
  • Experience LEGO City like never before. Players will encounter familiar play sets come to life as they explore the vast city, looking for clues to bring Rex Fury to justice.
  • Players can go undercover with a variety of disguises, including a firefighter, a construction worker and even a robber, and use their unique abilities to solve puzzles and access new areas of the city.
  • There are more than 100 vehicles for players to collect and use to explore the city, including sports cars, motorcycles and even aircraft.
  • LEGO video games are known for their humor and parody, and LEGO City: Undercover delivers this and more with fully voiced characters and ambient crowds, bringing LEGO City to life.

If you like pre-ordering games, there will be a special pre-order bonus of a LEGO figure for the game’s main protagonist, Chase McCain, for a limited time while supplies last.

Official logo.

The one feature in LEGO City: Undercover that I do not believe Nintendo has spoken about, or even really announced yet, is either a local multiplayer option (maybe co-op?), or even an online multiplayer mode in the game. After looking at different information on the game, as well as a few emails back and forth with Nintendo representatives, it has pretty much been confirmed that a 2 player option will be in the game. Skip to the “Odd Beans” section below for more.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I was a big LEGO fan when I was younger, and had many of the sets. Our first trip out of the house with Bean 1 was to a “grand opening” of a LEGO store in our area, and they had a LEGO Master Builder making Star Wars LEGO figures.

Can you spot Bean 1?

With Nintendo usually having more “family friendly” games, I’m really excited to see LEGO City: Undercover being published by Nintendo for the Wii U. I have enjoyed “open world” games in the past, and from what I have seen of LEGO City: Undercover it seems to be an “open world city” game, but probably one that I won’t have to worry about if Bean 1 starts playing it one day when I’m not watching.

Hopefully Nintendo will clarify the multiplayer option in the game, because it is one of the Wii U launch titles I am interested in, and having a local and/or online multiplayer option I think would be great.

Odd Beans
The reason this post was delayed several days since last week is that when I was looking over the information before publishing it, the LEGO City: Undercover “fact sheet” had something that grabbed my attention. The sheet showed “Players: 1-2”, while the official page for the game on Nintendo.com showed “No. of Players: 1”.

Sources of confusion.

I contacted Nintendo’s press contact for the game, and waited on a direct response for whether the game has a multiplayer option, before publishing it. Was the fact sheet correct, or the official page for the game? I was wanting to get this post up by last Friday night, and Jeremy from NintendoFuse.com was able to contact somebody with Nintendo and get the question answered quickly for me.

The response he received was:
The game is 1 player. No co-op/multiplayer of any kind.“, and it was mentioned that the confusing information would be brought to Nintendo’s attention.

I contacted the press contact for the game one more time yesterday though, seeing if perhaps I could get a direct response before posting this story. I did get a response yesterday, but it was, “We are looking into this and will get back to you soon.” Odd.

Well, “soon” was only a few minutes later, when I received this response:
Thanks for your patience with this inquiry. Please refer to the fact sheet that states that there are 1-2 players.

So, after a couple of emails, a few days of waiting, and several pots of coffee, I can confirm that LEGO City: Undercover for the Wii U will have a multiplayer feature for 2 players? Again, no specifics on whether it will be a local or online 2 player option have been provided. Perhaps it’s just a local 2 player co-op and online co-op like many of the past LEGO games?

A big thanks again to Jeremy from NintendoFuse.com for attempting to get an answer last week for me, though, it appears we both may have caused some scrambling behind the scenes at Nintendo trying to get a clear answer, without them spoiling too much about the game just yet!

No more pretending your LEGO copters can fly.

Questions
Did any of you catch the coffee reference in LEGO City: Undercover as you were watching the Nintendo Wii U preview event, and immediately think “GAME OF THE YEAR!” as I did?

Even if you didn’t, are any of you interested in LEGO City: Undercover as a Wii U title and would you purchase it day one if it releases with the system, especially if/when Nintendo confirms the multiplayer aspects of the game in more detail?

Also, any feedback on the first Grounds for Celebration! Award in general?

If any of you are interested in LEGO City: Undercover, you can pre-order it on Amaaon.com and GameStop.com below:
icon

Critics vs. Customers! Madden NFL 13 – PS3 & Xbox 360 Reviews Averages

September 24, 2012
Review score averages shown were captured around 5:00PM EST, on 9-24-12.

Coffee Beans
Did you know the Madden NFL video game series has been around for almost 25 years now, with a “new” Madden game being released basically every year since the series started?

Madden NFL 13 was released almost one month ago now, on August 28, 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It released with a MSRP of $59.99 and received an ESRB rating of “Everyone” with no content listed for gamers or parents to be aware of. The game was developed by EA Tiburon, and published under Electronic Arts’ EA Sports label.

One big new feature in Madden NFL 13 is the new physics engine in the game, the Infinity Engine, which is designed to make tackles and hits more authentic, and it tries to make sure “no two plays ever look or feel the same” in the game.

We are now 3 weeks into the the official NFL season, and we have almost a full month of “professional” critic reviews and customer reviews for Madden NFL 13 to look at. Have PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players of Madden NFL 13 agreed with critics on the game? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
The first “professional” critic review scores for Madden NFL 13 started being published around August 24th, a few days before the game released.

First up, the reviews for Madden NFL 13 on the PlayStation 3. The PS3 version has a “professional” critic review score average of 84 out of 100 based on 17 reviews on MetaCritic.com, and it has a critic review score average of 84.14% based on 18 reviews on GameRankings.com.

What about the customers though, what has their reaction been to the game since it released? Well, Madden NFL 13 on the PS3 has a customer review score average of 37.35%, based on 318 customer reviews from Amazon.com.

The Xbox 360 version of Madden NFL 13 has a “professional” critic review score average of 82 out of 100 based on 32 reviews on MetaCritic.com, and it has a critic review score average of 83.37% based on 31 reviews on GameRankings.com.

Madden NFL 13 on the Xbox 360 has a customer review score average of 45.60%, based on 375 customer reviews from Amazon.com.

Broken back? Or, broken reviews?

Caffeinated Thoughts
I think the “professional” critic review score averages versus the customer review score average for Madden NFL 13 clearly show there is a disconnect somewhere. We’re not talking about a simple 10% review score average difference, we have about a 36-46% review score average difference between the “professional” critics for Madden NFL 13 and the customers for Madden NFL 13.

One of the first reviews published on August 24th, by the largest video game site on the web (see – IGN), gave the game a 9.0 out of 10. To me, the review seemed to be a well crafted PR statement almost, based on features in the game, but glazing over real issues with the game (or, simply not mentioning them). The reviewer said of one feature, “This kept me coming back to the Connected Careers week after week.” I was curious as to how many weeks he had the review copy, so I asked and according to the reviewer he had it maybe 2-3 weeks before his review was published; which was a full 2-3 weeks before the game released and was available to the general gaming public.

Why does this matter? Early in his review he states, “At a glance, Madden NFL 13 might just look like Madden, but in your hands, it feels polished.“, which I found odd based on my time with the demo.

I played the PlayStation 3 demo for Madden NFL 13, and completed several games in it. The demo didn’t sell me on the game though, because I thought it lacked polish. Sure, I could understand some issues from a new series, but seeing holograms on the sidelines (people that are *there* but you can run through), bad camera angles on replays, cars that look like cardboard boxes driving outside the stadiums, and things like hearing the same comments from announcers within a game, just seemed to me that EA hasn’t been pushing the series very much.

Also, when I see a glitch like in the following video that was posted up in Chalgyr’s Game Room review of the game, the word “polished” doesn’t enter my thoughts:

How is it possible for the critic and customer review score averages to be so far apart, on the same game? Well, from what I read of the critic reviews it seems many didn’t experience real-world online play in the game, and perhaps were in an *EA bubble* before the game released protecting them from bad experiences with it?

Also, many of the early critic reviews, like IGN’s, failed to mention features taken out of the game, one being the lack of offline cooperative play in Franchise Mode, which apparently from many user reviews is still a big selling point for the game/series. Perhaps, the more time you spend with the game, the better it becomes and a solid 2-3 weeks is what the customers need to be spending with the game before reviewing it (this wouldn’t change the lack of features though)?

Questions
If you purchased Madden NFL 13 for the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360, what do you think about the game? If you were to give the game an overall review score average, would it fall closer to the “professional” critic review score averages above, or to the customer review score averages shown? Is Madden NFL 13 a game you would recommend to other gamers, that perhaps have played a few Madden games over the years, but haven’t purchased one in a while?

Also, if you haven’t purchased Madden NFL 13 yet, will the customer review score averages reflected above for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, make you think twice before reading a “professional” critic review score average and basing your decision to purchase a game on it?

If you are interested in Madden NFL 13, or just want to read through the Amazon.com customer review score averages (which I highly suggest), you can see the games on Amazon.com below:

Coffee Bean Counting: Are you planning to buy a Wii U day one?

September 22, 2012

Coffee Beans
The latest Coffee Bean Counting Poll closed Thursday, one week after the Nintendo Wii U preview events around the world. I tried to keep the question and answers pretty simple, but I was curious how the poll would end up since I get traffic here from a variety of sources, and I haven’t done polls very often on the site.

If you have read some of the comments here or on other sites since the Wii U preview event last week, you may know that I have pre-ordered (reserved) a Wii U console, but I haven’t clarified which one I went with yet. Did I choose to go with the Wii U Basic Set, or the Wii U Deluxe Set? Also, what were the poll results? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look at the poll results!

The Brew
First, if you find this post closer to the Wii U’s launch (or after), the poll ran from Thursday, September 13, 2012 through Thursday, September 20, 2012. You can see the poll question underlined and in bold below, as well as the three answers to choose from I provided, with the answer that had the most votes in bold as well.

Are you planning to buy a Wii U day one?
Yes!     21 (67%)
No!        9  (29%)
Maybe.  1  (3%)

Caffeinated Thoughts
The largest vote total was “Yes!” with 21 votes, which was 67% of the total votes.

Now, I chose “Yes!” myself, and as I mentioned in the “Coffee Beans” section I did pre-order a Wii U console. As a matter of fact, I was on the phone with one GameStop store within minutes of the Wii U conference ending, but was informed they weren’t taking Wii U reservations yet. About 15 minutes later I received a call from that GameStop store (was on a “call list” there), letting me know they had just opened up the pre-orders on Wii U systems.

I grabbed my car keys, hopped in my car, and sped up to the GameStop closest to our house; only 3 minutes away! If you saw a pillar of smoke rising from the East last Thursday, around 11:30AM EST, that was probably smoke my tires (or engine!) on my way to GameStop.

When I walked in the store I asked the employee, “Are you taking reservations on the Wii U?“, and after the shocked look left his face he replied, “Yes. Did you call earlier?” He literally had just finished printing the Wii U information papers off the printer, and was looking over the information.

I made the choice of reserving the Black Wii U Deluxe Set, and being that I’m a member of the GameStop PowerUp Rewards program, I was able to reserve the system for just $25, instead of their standard $50.

The proof

As of now, I’m planning to buy the Black Wii U Deluxe Set day one, November 18, 2012 here in the US. The one thing that could significantly change my decision is if Nintendo fails to address their online service(s), before launch, because we really haven’t heard anything about it. I don’t want a repeat of the Wii with having initial launch games (see: Black Ops 2), not having online multiplayer options available, because Nintendo doesn’t have the service/servers ready.

Questions
Alright now, which one did you vote for? 

If you voted “Yes!”, which Wii U console bundle did you reserve? If you voted “Maybe.”, or perhaps didn’t vote in the poll, which Wii U console bundle are you most interested in?

Time for Wave Race Wii U? Time for Wave Race 64 – Data Report

September 21, 2012


Coffee Beans
What happens if you don’t drink enough coffee? You may write a post with a “semi-caffeinated prediction” that ends up not being fulfilled. Or, you may miss links for your chance at a FREE PlayStation 3 game, Double Dragon: Neon, HERE, or even a FREE Wii U system HERE.

Wave Race 64 released on November 5, 1996 for the Nintendo 64 in North America. The game, like F-Zero X, was developed by Nintendo’s EAD studio and published by Nintendo worldwide. Wave Race 64 was released again, digitally in North America, for the Wii’s Virtual Console on August 6, 2007 at a price point of 1,000 Wii Points. The Virtual Console release received the updated ESRB rating of “Everyone” with no content listed for gamers or parents to be aware of.

Did you skip out on Wave Race 64, but have been interested in it? How many hours can you expect from Wave Race 64, at least according to the Nintendo Channel data? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
Approximately 29,551 U.S. Wii owners have reported playing Wave Race 64 through the Wii’s Nintendo Channel, now with more than 5 years possibly reported. The players have reported 72,436 Total Hours of gameplay since the game released on the Virtual Console service, with the average play-time being just 2 Hours 27 Minutes “Per person” (or Wii console) that has reported data. The average per day/session reported played is just over 27 Minutes, which simply means that each time a Wii owner sits down to play Wave Race 64, they are spending about 30 minutes with the game before moving onto something else.

The game has a “professional” review score average of 91.07%, based on 14 reviews on GameRankings.com. Its customer review score average is 83.80%, based on 42 reviews from Amazon.com. (I took one customer review out of the average, because it was a negative against the seller, not the game.)

Wave Race 64 has made Nintendo about $295,510, based on just the $10 price point and the approximate number of U.S. players that have reported data.

Caffeinated Thoughts
Just over a week ago, I wrote my “Wii U – Caffeinated Predictions, Thoughts, & Wishes” post in which I detailed what I was hoping we would see from Nintendo’s Wii U preview event. I ended the post with a “semi-caffeinated prediction” saying I thought that “Wave Race Wii U will be announced as a launch title for the system.”

Well, if you watched the conference you know my prediction failed, like Michael Pachter often does, and my prediction/wish/hope for a Wave Race Wii U game was not fulfilled. I blame a lack of coffee (never the lack of sleep)!

Perhaps you have never seen what Wave Race 64 looked like? The video below is from the game’s introduction screen, and should give you a good idea of the graphics in it:

I didn’t own Wave Race 64, but one of my cousins did and we played it a lot. I find the average hours reported “Per person” for the Virtual Console version a little surprising, because I remember having a blast with the game in both the single-player and the multiplayer racing options, and probably spending 2 hours playing it in just one day (or, afternoon back then).

While my Wave Race Wii U prediction failed to come true, I’m wondering if perhaps Nintendo is simply going to re-release Wave Race: Blue Storm from the GameCube as a Wii U eShop title now? Instead of releasing a new Wave Race title for the Wii U, maybe Nintendo will be updating the GameCube title with HD graphics and online features? One can hope!

Questions
Did any of you play Wave Race 64 on the Nintendo 64, and do you have good memories of it as I do? Do you remember playing the game for more than the reported average is now, or do you remember playing it just a short time, perhaps before moving to another Nintendo 64 game?

Also, do any of you think it’s time for a new Wave Race title for the Wii U, with full HD graphics on and online leaderboards and/or races?

If you are interested in Wave Race 64, you can download it to a Wii console for $10. Also, see the N64, Game Boy, and GameCube versions linked below:

Talk Like a Pirate? Play Like a Pirate! Sid Meier’s Pirates! Data Report

September 20, 2012
Some of the finest buccaneers around!

Coffee Beans
Ahoy, me hearties! Sid Meier’s Pirates! released for the Nintendo Wii on September 28, 2010 with a MSRP of $39.99. The game was developed by 2K China, Firaxis Games, and Virtuous and published by 2K Games. It received an ESRB rating of “Everyone 10+” with “Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

***Avast ye! Are ye looking for details on the Wii U and PS3 booty giveaway? Aye? Check me “Caffeinated Thoughts” section below! Savvy?***

A description for the game reads, “Overflowing with intense pirate action, Sid Meier’s Pirates! features a treasure chest of gameplay riches, including the traditional mini games from the classic original such as Sword Fighting, Ship Combat and Dancing, as well as two brand new Wii exclusive mini games Bombardment and Lock Picking. In addition, the Wii version offers exclusive character and ship customization options.”

How many hours have U.S. Wii pirates reported pillaging the seas in Sid Meier’s Pirates! since the game released almost 2 years ago? Batten down the hatches, brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
Sid Meier’s Pirates! has approximately 4,294 U.S. Wii owners that have reported being scurvy dogs through the Nintendo Channel, with 720 days possibly reported. The game has 63,462 Total Hours of gameplay reported, with its overall reported average being 14 Hours 47 Minutes “Per person”. The average play-time per day/session is about 2 Hours 20 Minutes.

How was the game received by “professional” critics (aaaarrrggghhhhh!) and customers? Pirates! has a “professional” review score average of 61.54%, based on 13 reviews on GameRankings.com. It has a customer review score average of 76.66%, based on 18 reviews from Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have not played Sid Meier’s Pirates!, or any of the Sid Meier’s games that I can remember. If ye have not seen any footage from the Wii version, the video below might give you an idea of what you can expect:

I wasn’t sure what to expect for average hours “Per person”, but seeing the game sitting near 15 hours “Per person” I think is pretty good, especially considering you can find the game for under $20 on Amazon.com. If your local GameStop store carries it, you should be able to grab it for under $10 there.

***Shiver me timbers! Ye want Double Dragon: Neon for the PlayStation 3, find the booty details HERE! Ye want a chance to get a Wii U, find the booty details HERE!***

Questions
Did ye talk like a pirate yesterday (still my today) for Talk Like a Pirate Day? More importantly did ye play like a pirate, perhaps in Sid Meier’s Pirates! or another pirate related video game?

If ye played Sid Meier’s Pirates! on the Wii, would ye recommend it to Wii owners that are looking for a fun, pirate-themed, video game? If ye had played the older Pirates! games, did ye find the new Bombardment and Lock Picking Wii mini games fun? Or, prefer to stick with the standards?

If ye are interested in pirate related games, ye can find some below!

New Feature – Grounds for Celebration! Award

September 19, 2012

Coffee Beans
How many video games have coffee references in them? I don’t know the exact number, but I have played a few over the last several years with some coffee references in them, even writing about and making a video for a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 coffee item.  What is a “Grounds for Celebration! Award”?

The video above is a brief introduction of what will be a feature on Coffee with Games from time to time. If I’m playing a game and I notice a coffee reference, or if perhaps I see a game with a coffee reference that I haven’t even played or isn’t even out yet, I’ll try and give the game some attention with a “Grounds for Celebration! Award”.

Is Kirby’s Dream Collection worth $40? What do Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards’ hours suggest?

September 17, 2012

Coffee Beans
Is Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition worth its asking price of $39.99? Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition released just yesterday for the Wii and includes 6 classic Kirby games, challenge stages from the Wii title Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (released just last year), a Kirby soundtrack CD, and a few other Kirby related items. The collection has a MSRP of $39.99, and received an ESRB rating of “Everyone 10+” with “Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

Random Beans – If you own a PS3 and want the chance to win Double Dragon: Neon click HERE, if you are here for the Wii U system giveaway details, keep reading and you will find the details link in the “Caffeinated Thoughts” section below!

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is one of the 6 classic Kirby games in the Special Edition, and was originally released for the Nintendo 64 on June 26, 2000. The game was released again through the Wii’s Virtual Console service on February 25, 2008 and is available to download for 1,000 Wii Points, which is $10. The Crystal Shards received an “Everyone” rating from the ESRB and has no content listed for parents and gamers to be aware of.

Have you purchased Kirby’s Dream Collection and wondering how many hours to expect from it? Maybe you haven’t bought Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition yet, but are curious as to how many hours you can expect from the Kirby games in it? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look at how many hours you can probably expect to get out of one Kirby game included in it, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards!

The Brew
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards now has 935,279 Total Hours of gameplay reported, from approximately 89,306 U.S. Wii owners that have reported data through the Wii’s Nintendo Channel (older report here). The average play-time per day/session is 1 Hours 4 Minutes, with the overall reported average being 10 Hours 28 Minutes “Per person” as the image above shows.

The game has a “professional” review score average of 75.30%, based on 21 reviews on GameRankings.com. It has a customer review score average of 83.09%, based on 110 reviews from Amazon.com.

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards’ U.S. Virtual Console release has made Nintenod about $893,060, just based on the $10 price point and the approximate number of Wii owners that have reported data since the game released.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have not played Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, though I am very interested in Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition that released yesterday. If you have never seen footage from Kirby’s Nintendo 64 game, or what games Kirby’s Dream Collection contains, the video below has trailers for both:

You can purchase Kirby 64 on your Wii for $10 from the Virtual Console, but if you get Kirby’s Dream Collection you get 6 Kirby games, so it’s like you are purchasing Kirby 64 for just $6.67. With The Crystal Shards having an average of more than 10 hours “Per person”, I think the new Special Edition with the other 5 Kirby games and bonus materials is well worth the asking price $39.99.

If you are looking for the details link on how to win a Wii U system, you can find “The Ultimate Mario Kart 7 Competition – Win a Wii U!” details HERE.

Questions
Have any of you played Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and if so, what do you think about the game? Do you think it was a good choice to be included with Kirby’s Dream Collection?

If any of you bought Kirby’s Dream Collection yesterday (or today), have you had a chance to check it out yet?

If you are interested in Kirby 64 or Kirby’s Dream Collection, you can see links to the products on Amazon.com below:

Wii U’s Release Date, Price, Games, & Features – Caffeinated Thoughts

September 16, 2012


Coffee Beans
Nintendo’s Wii U press conferences have come and gone like Bowser and the Princess at the beginning of a Mario game. Nintendo had press events in Japan, North America, and Europe on Thursday to detail the Wii U’s release dates, prices, and games for those regions.

I like to let at least 24 hours pass after events before writing out my “final” thoughts on them, and with this I have allowed more than 72 hours for more details to surface. Being that I grind and brew my coffee in the U.S., this post will mainly be about the U.S. Wii U details.

What does a coffee addict think of Nintendo’s Wii U system details revealed on Thursday (and since)? Brew yourself a few cups of coffee, take a look at the system details, and then some caffeinated thoughts!

The Brew
Nintendo announced the Wii U will release on November 18, 2012 with two console configurations to choose from. The White Wii U Basic Set with a MSRP of $299.99, and the Black Wii U Deluxe Set with a MSRP of $349.99.

A picture says a thousands words I’ve heard, so below are two images from the Wii U Facebook I put together for a side-by-side shot., which will show you the Wii U Basic Set and Wii U Deluxe Set launch bundles. Price, release date, and accessories included with each are shown. Take a look:

Click image to enlarge.

If you want the fully roasted text version of the images, here’s what I have…

First up, the Wii U Basic Set consists of:

  • A White Wii U console.
  • A White Wii U GamePad.
  • 8GB of internal storage memory.
  • An AC adapter for the Wii U and GamePad.
  • A high speed HDMI cable.
  • A Wii U sensor bar.

Again, the White Wii U Basic Set has a MSRP of $299.99, and it should be clearly noted to all Wii U buyers, the Wii U Basic Set does not have a copy of Nintendo Land included.

Second, the Wii U Deluxe Set contains:

  • A Black Wii U console.
  • A Black Wii U GamePad.
  • 32GB of internal storage memory.
  • An AC adapter for the Wii U and GamePad.
  • A high speed HDMI cable.
  • A Wii U sensor bar.
  • A GamePad Charging Cradle.
  • A GamePad stand.
  • A Wii U console stand.
  • A physical copy of Nintendo Land.
  • Deluxe Digital Promotion (only with the Deluxe Set).
As mentioned above, the Black Wii U Deluxe Set has a MSRP of $349.99. If it’s not clear from the image and text (drink some coffee first), the extra $50 will get you a physical copy of Nintendo Land, 24GB of extra internal storage, the GamePad Charging Cradle and GamePad Stand, a Wii U console stand, and the Deluxe Digital Promotion which is a rewards type program for Wii U owners that might be purchasing digital content/games on the Wii U’s eShop.

Caffeinated Thoughts
As the Nintendo event started up Thursday morning, my coffee was just starting to brew. When Reggie said, “Wii U arrives in U.S. stores in another 66 days.”, I did the math super quick and knew November 18th before he even said it. My first thought was something like, “Call me Pachter! My prediction was wrong!”

While I originally thought releasing the Wii U on November 18th would be late and miss one key game launch this holiday season, I don’t see it as a horrible. Why? Well, there was a report of production issues with the Wii U console (GamePad related) that makes me think Nintendo isn’t worried about getting the Wii U out sooner, because more than likely the supply is going to very limited and will probably remain sold out during the holidays.

As for the prices of both Wii U bundles, I think they are $50 too much if they remain at those prices very long. I agree with Michael Pachter though, that Nintendo shouldn’t have a problem at these prices during the holiday season, and it allows them to have some price drop room if they need it. That being said though, if you are planning on buying a Wii U during the launch this year I think the Black Wii U Deluxe Set is the best value, because of what is included with it.

On the games, I thought the demo of Metroid Blast from Nintendo Land was great, and showed good use of the Wii U GamePad’s asymmetric gameplay capabilities. New Super Mario Bros. U, as of now, is already a purchase for me, so it didn’t really matter what they showed.

LEGO City: Undercover was my BEST. OF. SHOW. (More on that later. Deserves its own post.)

Seeing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 officially announced for the Wii U was great. I thought its use of the GamePad for a “splitscreen” multiplayer option was brilliant, and I’m very glad to see Treyarch trying new things with it. Also, I’m glad to know that Michael Pachter was wrong in his statement on Activision demanding the Pro Controller or no Wii U Call of Duty, and I’m glad that Treyarch took the stage and used the GamePad and didn’t simply guitar smash it to the ground, then stand on top of it with the Pro Controller smiling.

The Wonderful 101 looks really interesting to me, and I like how bright and crisp the visuals appear to be. I think the graphical style will remain fresh for years to come, as it appears to have a stylized “cartoon” look to me.

When Bayonetta 2 was announced as a Wii U “exclusive” published by Nintendo, it didn’t really excite me because I didn’t play the first game; but it did give me some hope that Nintendo is willing to work/pay third party developers for exclusive Wii U games, and hopefully content.

The one “new” feature Nintendo talked about that I thought was interesting and certainly bold, but not worth the amount of time dedicated to it, was Nintendo TVii. I would rather there have been a Nintendo Direct conference in October explaining Nintendo TVii in fuller detail, than them spending nearly 20 minutes of the Wii U press conference on it. Especially considering things they didn’t address, that I feel are more important about knowing and seeing how Nintendo has, or hasn’t, improved in certain areas.

Let me get my bitter thoughts out of the way now. Perhaps using bullet points will be the best way to do this, so I don’t go into a 500 page blog post.

So, what things didn’t I like about Nintendo’s Wii U press conference overall? The lack of information about the Wii U console features:

  • The words, “There will be no friend codes on the Wii U” were not spoken.
  • No demonstration of the GamePad’s NFC being used in Wii U launch games (or at all).
  • No mention of online play for Nintendo Land. (No Metroid Blast online mode? Really Nintendo?)
  • No real mention of online multiplayer gaming at all.
  • No mention of Nintendo “Accomplishments” being standard.
  • No details on the Wii U’s use of the “Nintendo Network”.
  • No demonstration of the eShop and interface.
  • No live demonstration of the video chat, or voice chat, Wii U feature.
  • No details/announcements of Virtual Console/WiiWare game transfers during the conference.
  • Nearly 20 minutes on Nintendo TVii.

As for online play in Nintendo Land, I honestly don’t see why that is not in the game, or maybe it is and Nintendo will reveal it in a Nintendo Direct video in October? Call me a skeptic though, because Nintendo has a pretty terrible history of not having online play in their Wii mini-game collections (Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, Wii Play). I would love to be proven wrong though.

What I don’t want to see…

So, did the Wii U conference convince me to buy the Wii U on November 18th when it releases? No. But, it did show me Nintendo has taken at least one small step in the right direction in working with third parties to get exclusives (Bayonetta 2), and seeing Black Ops 2 confirmed for the system was great as well.

While I’m not 100% settled on buying a Wii U day one, I was the first customer at my GameStop to reserve the Wii U system, and I chose to reserve the Black Wii U Deluxe Set. What’s that mean? Well, I have 2 months to figure out if I will keep my reservation on the system, or cancel it. I’m really hoping Nintendo addresses the online aspects and Nintendo Network features of the Wii U, and I really hope to hear the words “There are no friend codes on the Wii U system”, before it releases in November.

Questions
Are there any of my “Caffeinated Thoughts” you agree with, or disagree with? Do you agree that Nintendo Land should have some form of online functionality?

Was there one Wii U game that stood out to you above the others, for any reason, like LEGO City: Undercover did to me, and that you would give a “Best of Show” award?