Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

December Brewed – "Coffees Consumed", "Games Played", & "Caffeinated Thoughts"

January 9, 2013


Coffee Beans
Did Santa Claus come to your town? I hope everybody had a great holiday season, and has gotten the new year off to a great start so far. December was a bit busy around here, maybe the total of “3” posts for the month was a clue? If you’re reading this and missed the posts in December, there are basically 2 you might be interested in:

     1) Are you interested in ZombiU, but not sure about the game because of a few reviews you have read, or maybe things you have heard about it? You might find “Critics vs. Customers! ZombiU reviews, or zombie reviewers?” an interesting read.
     2) Want to see Bean 1 throw a Mario fireball? Watch the video embedded in the “Merry ‘Mario’ Christmas!?” post.
With another month (and year) gone, what coffees did I consume and what games did I play during December? You know the routine, brew yourself some coffee and let’s take a look!
Coffees Consumed
Maxwell House coffee blends were the “go to” coffees for us during the month, with us finishing off a Maxwell House Original Roast container and a Maxwell House Daily Brew container as well. The Master Chef blend was a smaller container of coffee that Mrs. Coffee purchased for us in the middle of the month, but it didn’t last us about a week with one of the Maxwell House blends.

I also brewed up some our Kona Blend Coffee, which is one of the coffee blends I received for my birthday last year. We still have some of the Kona Blend Coffee, as it’s whole bean coffee and I use it as a “backup” coffee when the others run out, or start running really low. When we went out of town for a long weekend, Mrs. Coffee purchased us some Folgers Black Silk coffee in a small container to bring with us, and we enjoyed it while it lasted.

Games Played
Here’s the “Instant Coffee” list of games I played in December: Trine 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, ZombiU, Nintendo Land, Rage of the Gladiator, Mario Kart DS, Mutant Mudds, BIT.TRIP Runner, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, and New Super Mario Bros. U.

Many games would be green with envy over Trine 2’s graphics and art style.

Trine 2: Director’s Cut – I have completed the main campaign in Trine 2, which took me right around 20 hours, and I am now working my way through the Goblin Menace levels. Like I mentioned last month, I’m still pretty much playing using only the Wii U’s GamePad and not even looking at our TV. The graphics and art style have continued to impress me throughout the game, and I enjoy the slower paced design of the levels with puzzles scattered throughout. I have found that Trine 2 is an excellent game to have a pot of coffee brewed while playing, because of how often I stop to think of how to keep progressing through the levels.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2Black Ops 2 could really be used by Nintendo to help “sell” the Wii U to the “hardcore” players, especially those that are married and/or have roommates they have share a TV with. The ability to play Black Ops 2 on just the GamePad, is absolutely awesome. I completed Black Ops 2’s single-player campaign on just the GamePad early one morning, while Mrs. Coffee was using our Wii system (not the Wii U) to watch a show on Netflix. I have also enjoyed quite a few multiplayer matches using just the GamePad, while she uses the TV to watch something on Netflix.
ZombiU – I completed ZombiU’s single-player campaign in November, but attempted Survival Mode a few times in December. I haven’t made it far, or lasted very long at all though. I have now loaned out ZombiU to our neighbors, but I’m not quite sure how far he has made it now. Last I checked, he had made it to Buckingham Palace. If you own a Wii U, and haven’t played ZombiU but are interested in the game, European Wii U owners just received a demo of it, and it might be hitting the North American eShop on Thursday. So, make sure to keep an eye out for a ZombiU demo possibly hitting the eShop this week if you have been interested in the game. If you missed the ZombiU post in December, here’s a video of Mrs. Coffee and I playing one of the game’s multiplayer modes:

Nintendo Land – I played this early in December, and then when we visited some family out of town one weekend later in the month. My cousin and I played Battle Quest together, with him doing the sword fighting and me using the GamePad for the bow and arrows. I still want to finish off the Metroid Blast levels here soon, but I have a few other Wii U titles to finish before the.
Rage of the Gladiator – I played a few rounds of this on Mrs. Coffee’s iPhone early in the month, and when we were traveling out of town. It did get an update though, and I need to get that downloaded and see what it changed/updated.
Mario Kart DS – Bean 1 has made some incredible gameplay progress in this one. He can beat the Eyerok boss in the Level 1 mini-games (I think Level 1). He can now even do “power slides” in the game, and complete one of the mini-game challenges that require 4 power slides in a lap. When we were out of town visiting family, as we were leaving a parking lot, he said, “Daddy, can you power slide?” While it caused me to laugh, because I’m sure he was 100% serious, I had to sadly inform him we couldn’t do it in our car. My time with this game during the month was helping Bean 1 beat the mini-game challenges. I think we have made it to the Level 4 challenges so far, but I think he erases them after he takes over, or they auto-erase when you leave that section of the game; I’m still not sure about it.
Mutant Mudds – I completed the main levels of Mutant Mudds on December 31st. When I finished the last level, I had 24/40 levels completed. Bean 1 started playing Mutant Mudds a good bit in December, and volunteered me to play the game all the time. Mutant Mudds released for iOS devices in early December, and is available to purchase for just $0.99 on them. While I don’t own that copy of it, I am looking forward to learning more about Mutant Mudds Deluxe for the Wii U in the next few months. If you haven’t played Mutant Mudds, but enjoy platformers, I do recommend it.

Max and Grannie will thank you for playing, too!

BIT.TRIP RUNNER – Even though we own a Wii U, I still have not done the Wii to Wii U data transfer. One reason is because the Wii U does not have the Nintendo Channel, so I still use the Wii weekly to access and record game data; another reason is because I know some of our game save files won’t transfer over to the Wii U. So, for now we are using our Wii as we were before we got the Wii U. Bean 1 voluntold me to play BIT.TRIP RUNNER one night, so I put it back in the Wii and gave it a try. I still haven’t beat it yet, but I am close. I think a good solid day (or two, or three) of playing might be the solution to beating it.
Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed – One weekend we were heading out of town to visit family, my cousin that enjoys games a good deal said that Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed would be one of the Wii U games he would be interested in playing. So, I checked Redbox to see if it was available to rent from one in our area. It wasn’t. I checked with Blockbuster in our area and online, thinking they might have it to rent. They didn’t. Next, I decided to give GameFly a try and put Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed first in my queue expecting it to ship out and arrive before we left. What I didn’t realize is that GameFly does not follow the typical queue order, and they don’t ship from the top down. No, they ship the first available game in your queue, even if it’s not the first game listed. So, this game joined our Wii U collection right before our weekend trip, when I purchased it. While my cousin played it a good amount, Bean 1 wasn’t really aware of the game being “ours”, so we hid and “re-gifted” it to him as another Christmas gift. We haven’t played it a whole lot, but I really do like how each level seems to be designed around the three transformations: driving, flying, and boating. It really seems to keep each race fresh, and the courses seem to be well designed from those I have played so far.
New Super Mario Bros. U – This was a Christmas gift for Bean 1, and we left it sealed until he requested to play it (or, requested me to play it). That day wasn’t until December 31st, so I opened it up and he attempted the first level and I thought he was going to beat it. After he tried a few times, I was voluntold to play it. I completed World 1, saved the game, and Bean 1 took over again for a bit. He ended up finding the magic “erase” button, and deleted the file in short order. Fortunately, World 1 isn’t that challenging. While playing through World 1 though, I did find the background in the game, how it’s layered anyway, a bit disorienting at first. I will say that I haven’t been “wowed” by the graphics in it yet (our HD TV is not hooked up yet, so that may help); not like I was/have been with Trine 2 anyway. The gameplay is solid though, as is probably expected in a Mario platformer, but I noticed something in World 1 with a pipe that has me wondering if it changed from the older Mario games. I may have to put on my investigation gear, and see if the difference is what I’m thinking it is, or if I just don’t remember the older pipes systems correctly.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have really been enjoying our Wii U, and the games on it so far. I’m still debating on whether or not to keep the GameFly subscription going, or end it after the first month. You also may remember me commenting randomly about our HD TV hunt that started during the holidays, and we ended up purchasing one Christmas Eve (yes, I’m THAT kind of shopper). The TV is still in its box though, as we have been a little busy as I mentioned above. After getting some painting done this past weekend, and ordering the mount today, the TV should be going up on Thursday if everything arrives as planned.

While 2012 ended slower than I was planning here on the site with posts, and I have a few posts “in the works”, I’m debating on a few things for 2013 that may change the frequency of posts (and type).

If any of you received a Wii U for Christmas, or are planning on buying one here soon, feel free to add my Nintendo Network ID to your Wii U friend list. My NNID is Coffees. As always, if you have any questions about the games I played, feel free to ask me in the comments below or by sending me an email at: Scott(@)CoffeeWithGames.com.

Questions
Did any of you perhaps get a Wii U, or other game related items, during the holidays? If so, did you get anything you would recommend?

If you perhaps didn’t get anything new, what games did you play during December, and did you find yourself drinking any coffee during the month?

Advertisements

November Brewed – Coffees consumed, games played, & a Wii U game finished!

December 8, 2012


Coffee Beans
November is gone, and with it millions of turkeys. (For a few of those missing millions, start HERE.) If you had a busy November, here are a few posts you may have missed:
     1) Halloween candy laced with the t-Virus making people zombies? Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles Data Report
     2) Vote? Don’t vote? Gamers vote? Everybody votes? Did you vote? Everybody Votes Channel Data Report
     3) Nintendo’s U.S. Wii U TV advertising. Marketing genius, or marketing failure?
     4) Call of Duty? Conduit? GoldenEye? Metroid? What is the most played FPS Wii game in the U.S.?
     5) Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U

While I didn’t post as much in November as recent months, I did get a good bit of gaming done and drank lot of coffee during the month. What coffees did I consume, and which Wii U game did I complete? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

Coffees Consumed
We finished using the Gevalia Espresso Roast very early in November, and enjoyed it while it lasted. November then consisted of us using our coffee grinder a good bit. We ground up some of the Kona Blend Coffee that was another birthday gift to me back in October, from my brother and his family. We have enjoyed the Kona Blend and have enough to last us a little while longer, if we start grinding it up. We finished the month of November using the Maxwell House Master Blend coffee and the Maxwell House Original Roast coffee; both the 200+ coffee cup containers.

Games Played
The skimmer list for games played in November is: Rage of the Gladiator (iOS and WiiWare), Mario Kart Wii, Super Mario Bros. 3, BIT.TRIP RUNNER, Mutant Mudds, Max & the Magic Marker, Nintendo Land, ZombiU, Trine 2, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Rage of the Gladiator – If you don’t know, Rage of the Gladiator is now available for your iOS devices and soon to be Android devices as well. The game has a price of just $2.99, and has all of the WiiWare content/bosses included, with some improvements. The game was ported over by a different developer though, Gamelion, while Ghostfire Games remained involved in the process. Ed, from Ghostfire Games, contacted me over the summer and asked if I would be interested in helping test it out, and help some on the community front. Gamelion seems to be very active on the developer community front though, so I was able to more of less help out with the testing of it, and see how it progressed through development.
Mario Kart Wii – Bean 1 randomly requested this one I think in October, and he kept playing it early in November. He has now graduated to Mario Kart DS though, since our New Super Mario Bros. DS cartridge randomly freezes in levels now; which results in a very sad Bean and me randomly finding the game cartridge shoved under his door.
Super Mario Bros. 3 – This was another one Bean 1 and I randomly played early in the month, but not very much of it.
BIT.TRIP RUNNERI. SURVIVED. THE GAUNTLET! So, I started this from Mrs. Coffee’s gift from my birthday, the BIT.TRIP COMPLETE set, and I am in the third world so far (I think the last as well). I’m really enjoying my time with the game, and it is definitely challenging. I can see why some people might not like these type of games, due to the difficulty, but when everything flows together so well, it really is a great experience.
Mutant Mudds – Could I complete the main levels before IncompleteGaming? It wasn’t meant to be! But, I am still enjoying my time with Mutant Mudds, and find myself randomly trying to beat the levels from time-to-time, sometimes with Bean 1 watching. Other times, I’ll be voluntold by him to play the game; even if it’s a delay tactic right before he goes to bed, sometimes I’ll play a level a few times trying to beat it.
Max & the Magic Marker – This was one I hadn’t played in a long while, but Bean 1 found it on our Wii’s SD card and fired it up one day. I showed him a few things in the game, and he actually got the hang of drawing/erasing pretty quickly, and was soon off running around the level having fun. I didn’t play it much, but it did make me hope that we get a Max & the Magic Marker HD sequel on the Wii U now. Not only could the game still support Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls, but I think using the GamePad to draw in the game would work very well also.
LittleBigPlanet – This is another game, like Super Mario Bros. 3, that I find myself playing most often with Bean 1 watching and/or being voluntold by him to beat a level in it. We have made pretty good progress in the game, but Bean 1 has discovered how to find the user created levels, and watching him run around in the Nintendo-Mario themed levels is a lot of fun, and some of them are incredibly well designed.
Fat Princess – This is a demo I had downloaded on our PS3 for a long time, but never played it. Bean 1 randomly requested I give the game a try one night, so I did having no clue what to expect. After not winning the first night, and just running around the battle losing, I turned it off defeated. After figuring out what to do the second night, winning became a lot more achievable, and I can see why this game was pretty popular when it first released. If you haven’t played Fat Princess, you should be able to still find a demo for it on the PSN store, and give it a try.

Nintendo Land – I briefly talked about my time with Nintendo Land in my Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U piece, and I have since played it a bit more. I actually put more time into Metroid Blast and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest. I am really enjoying Metroid Blast, and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest is surprisingly better than I was expecting using the GamePad controls. Bean 1 and I completed one of the Battle Quest missions together, with me using the Wii Remote+ and him using the GamePad. So, while he figured out the GamePad controls I was able to swing away and help keep us going for a bit. It was actually a lot of fun, and we completed the mission we did together.
ZombiU – This is the Wii U game I completed in November. It kept me coming back to it, night after night. If you can go into ZombiU not expecting it to be perfect, but expecting a different experience, I think you will enjoy it. Go in thinking survival horror, even with a sense of survival terror thrown in; and don’t go in thinking you will be burning down rows-after-rows of zombies with guns, and don’t think your melee weapon will be wielded like a lightsaber (for SHAME!) delivering you up 1,000 hit combos. I really don’t understand the mindset of some of the early reviewers on ZombiU, complaining about things like the melee combat in the game, since the melee combat is one of the very things that helps deliver the mood of the game. It’s as if the “reviewers” were expecting a guns-a-blazing game, grabbed the wrong game and perhaps realized they got ZombiU only after getting home. Reading some of the reviews appears they were expecting to get Resident Evil 5 or 6 action based game instead; I just don’t know. Also, many of the early reviews have incorrect information (entire paragraphs in some), and leave out alternate, relative, information (if you tell me the game has “Low” replay value, but fail to tell me if you beat it, how many hours it took you, or how many survivors, I can’t really judge much on the replay value). One even complained about scanning with the GamePad via motion controls, but FAILED to mention an alternative default control option for doing the same exact action in the game.
Trine 2Is this The Princess Bride of video games? It’s told via storybook like the movie was, and the game definitely has a good assortment of characters from the start. The sense of humor in the writing is there so far, and the way the characters interact with each through dialogue randomly as you progress is a nice touch as well. Have I said how incredible the game looks? I really hope that NSMBU looks this good, or there might be a “Caffeinated Thoughts! Nintendo is LAZY!” post incoming. I actually now pretty much use only the GamePad when I’m playing Trine 2, not even looking at the TV. Perhaps once we get a new HD TV, that will be remedied? The GamePad play is really great though, and very convenient for lounge playing late at night on the couch. I haven’t tried the online yet, but Bean 1 and I did complete the first section together, and I have since made pretty good progress in the game (I think), playing through about one section each night this last week. If any of you have Trine 2 on the Wii U and want to play it online, feel free to add my NNID to your Wii U friend list: Coffees.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – That’s right. The future is black coffee, and Black Ops 2. I have been playing Black Ops 2 on the Wii U, though most of my time with it in November was the very last night of the month. I have played a bit of the single-player campaign and the multiplayer, and the streaming of the game to the GamePad is done very well. Now, I will say for some reason the game doesn’t use up the entire GamePad screen display when it streams to it. I’m not sure why it displays the way it does, but it works very well nonetheless, and I found myself using the GamePad streaming feature quite often my first night with the game.

Questions
Did any of you get a Wii U in November, and if so, what games have you been enjoying on it? If you didn’t get a Wii U, but have been gaming in general, are there any games you would recommend that you played during the month?

Again, if you missed my “Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U” piece, my Wii U ID is Coffees, and feel free to add that to your Wii U friend list, and I’ll add you back!

As always, if you have any questions about the coffees I consumed or games I played during the month, feel free to leave a question below or send me an email to: Scott(@)CoffeeWithGames.com.

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?

Amazon & Target leak Wii U games release dates? Wii U to release same day in US & UK?

September 13, 2012


Coffee Beans
In just under 12 hours now, Nintendo of America will be holding their Wii U press conference and all speculation as to the system’s release date, price, and launch games should be put to rest. Yesterday, as I was writing my, “Wii U – Caffeinated Predictions, Thoughts, & Wishes” post, I was doing research and checking a few sites to see if any had changed release dates early, and I was checking for any Black Ops II information that might have been leaked early.

I predicted in my post that went up this morning a Wii U release date of October 28, 2012. I mentioned in the post and prediction I had done some “investigative work” that helped me reach that conclusion, and when I was researching yesterday I spotted the same release date, for three separate Wii U games, on two different retail sites.

What Wii U games have been listed with new release dates that aren’t apparently just place-holder release dates, perhaps giving us a clue to when the console will release in the US and the UK? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
First, Amazon.co.uk has Tank! Tank! Tank! listed on their site, still, as releasing on November 1, 2012. The site says, “This item will be released on November 1, 2012.” Is it just a default place-holder date though? I don’t think so, for a few reasons. Tank! Tank! Tank! isn’t the only Wii U game I spotted on Amazon.co.uk with a release date listed. Two other Wii U games, Rise of the Guardians and Ben 10 Omniverse, also have release dates listed, but they are not listed for November 1, 2012. They are listed as November 23, 2012 and November 30, 2012, respectively.

You can see a screenshot of Tank! Tank! Tank!’s Amazon.co.uk page in the image below:

The one common factor between the three Wii U games listed on Amazon.co.uk with different release dates is the publisher, Namco Bandai.

The other retail site that had November 1, 2012 listed as a release date was Target.com. Except on Target.com, they had/have two Wii U titles listed with a release date of November 1, 2012. Those Wii U games are Just Dance 4 and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012. You can see images for both of those games with the dates listed in each below:

Both the Wii U games on Target.com are being published by Ubisoft, but on other sites have apparent place-holder release dates as December 31, 2012.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I think its very interesting that two separate sites, in two different countries, have the same release date of November 1, 2012, but on three different games. If it was a simple place-holder date just from a publisher, I wouldn’t expect Ubisoft and Namco Bandai to use the same place-holder date, as December 31, 2012 has been the default place-holder apparently being used by most retailers, probably as instructed by Nintendo.

I based my October 28, 2012 Wii U release date based on the history Nintendo has with releasing consoles on Sundays, but seeing a game like Just Dance 4 which will already be out for the other consoles having a release date for November 1, 2012 makes me wonder. Will Nintendo break their history of releasing consoles on Sundays in the US, and instead release the Wii U on a Thursday, that Thursday being November 1, 2012?

I guess we will find out in a few short hours, and I’m going to brew some coffee as sleep will probably be rare the next 24 hours for me.

Questions
Do you think from the date on Amazon.co.uk and Target.com for three Wii U games being the same, that the Wii U console will be releasing on November 1, 2012 perhaps in the US, and the UK?

Also, are any of you staying up for the Japanese Wii U information tonight, and will any of you be attempting to watch the Nintendo of America Wii U conference in the morning?

Caffeinated Thoughts on Sony’s 2012 E3 Conference

June 13, 2012

Coffee Beans
     Sony’s 2012 E3 press conference was last Monday night, at 9:00PM EST. While I was able to watch the first 20 minutes or so, I didn’t watch much after that for the night. I was able to watch the entire conference last week though, on Thursday, thanks to the wonderful invention that is the internets and internet videos.
     What are my caffeinated thoughts about Sony’s E3 press conference, and what coffee roast grade do I give the conference? Keep on reading below!

The Brew
     The first game Sony showed in their conference was a brand new IP, titled BEYOND: Two Souls. The game is being produced by the same developer that developed Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream, and is running on an improved Heavy Rain game engine. The trailer they showed for the game was intriguing, and definitely made me wonder what type of game it will end up being. I have not played Heavy Rain, though I do know several people that have, and most enjoyed it from what I heard. I’ll be watching to see how BEYOND: Two Souls progresses in development until it releases.

     After BEYOND, Sony brought out some of the developers that are working on Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and demoed an entire 4-player match. It was pretty interesting, and apparently very Super Smash Bros-ish from what I have read, but I have never gotten into the Super Smash Bros. games, so I probably won’t be purchasing this either.
     Sony then mentioned several games in passing, but didn’t show any trailers for them unfortunately. These games included Journey, The Unfished Swan, and then Black Ops Declassified for the PS Vita.

     Sony then showed an Assassin’s Creed III trailer, and announced a new PS3 console bundle will be releasing this November with the game included. When I first saw the Assassin’s Creed III trailer being shown, I thought, “Is that a Pirates of the Caribbean game?”. I thought the graphics/style for the game looked really good, and an improvement over what I remember from the first game.
     Then Ubisoft revealed Far Cry 3’s cooperative mode for the first time, via a live stage demo with 4-players. It looked pretty good in action, with the level seeming pretty open, and the team had to complete at least one objective in the demo shown. They also confirmed the game will have a map editor, which I think is awesome.

Hot. Cold. Coffee is served both ways.

     After Ubisoft’s games were shown, Sony changed direction of the conference and started talking about the Sony Move controller and a new game, or software, that is being designed for it called Wonderbook.

     It’s being designed as an interactive storybook of sorts, allowing players to open a book and see items come to life on their television screens and then interact with the book and objects by using the Sony Move controller. One big announcement for Wonderbook was that Sony has teamed up with J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author, and will be creating a special Wonderbook title based on the Harry Potter world titled, “Book of Spells”.

Fire breathing dragons = ORIGINAL!

     After the wonderful Wonderbook presentation (SarcMark!), Sony showed off God of War: Ascension (that poor elephant creature!). It looks like it will keep the same God of War game-play mechanics as the past games, but to me it appeared that the graphics were a bit “brighter” than the past games from what I can recall? Perhaps I’m incorrect on that, as I haven’t really played any of the past games at any length.
     Sony closed out their presentation by showing The Last of Us. I have read many impressions about it, but after watching the full trailer again from their conference, I’m not really that impressed with it. While I was impressed with one thing in the trailer, it had nothing to do with the game-play mechanics, or necessarly the graphics. Kind of how I was very impressed with BEYOND: Two Souls.

     I can’t say there was much that actually surprised me in Sony’s conference, but I’m currently most interested in BEYOND: Two Souls and Far Cry 3, and even Assassin’s Creed III some (ship battles anybody?!).

Caffeinated Thoughts
     Overall, I give Sony’s conference a “Mild Roast” coffee grade. While they definitely had some great games to show, there was nothing that really surprised me in their conference. I do think Sony did a good job of sticking with the general rule of “Starting Strong, Ending Strong” when doing conferences, but the last game they showed just wasn’t something I was interested in, though that could always change, and there weren’t any games that really surprised me.
     Bitter – Not much PS Vita news for Vita owners.
     SweetBEYOND: Two Souls being announced and shown, and I believe actually being kept a secret up until the reveal. The Last of Us’ first room shown in the trailer, being a coffee shop.

Questions
     Agree, or disagree? Was Sony’s 2012 E3 press conference your favorite out of all of them? If so, what PS3 and/or PS Vita games are you looking forward to the most?

>Caffeinated Thoughts about Project Café Rumors

June 6, 2011

>

Coffee Beans:
     The rumor mill exploded in April with “news” about Nintendo’s next console, codenamed Project Caféafter Game Informer first broke the news.
     While initial rumors varied, a few things seemed to remain consistent throughout:
     1)  Nintendo’s next console will be more powerful than the Wii, and support 1080p HD games
     2)  There is a new controller for the system that will include a touch screen of some sort, and be more of a standard gaming controller with dual-analog sticks
     3)  Release date for Nintendo’s next system will be in 2012, with a MSRP between $300-350
     4)  Nintendo will try to win back the “hardcore” gamers with this console, and is going for more third party support
     5)  The codename for the console “project”, is Project Café

     I haven’t really posted many thoughts about all the Project Café rumors, though I have chatted with some of you about them.  Some of you may have been wondering, “Why has Coffee not posted any thoughts on Nintendo’s next console, codenamed Project Café?!
     Well, I do my best to let rumor waves settle, before jumping into the waters they come from; kind of like letting a cup of coffee cool just a bit, so as not to burn your mouth.  Sure, while the Project Café rumors were freshly brewed up in April, it was also the craziest time to talk about them, because of how quickly more rumors were popping up all over the place(even now).

     What do I think about some of the WiiHD/Project Café rumors, even the latest “confirmed” rumor of the controller having a 6″ screen?  As I am sitting here drinking a few cups of Maxwell House coffee, here are my thoughts!

Caffeinated/Filtered Thoughts:
     The Project’s Codename – I think the codename “Project Café” is awesome of course.  Being that Brewster’s coffee shop is in Animal Crossing: City Folk, I can see the codename for Nintendo’s next console having a coffee meaning of some sort.
     I wish I could say Nintendo contacted me about buying my site because of the project’s “codename”, but that hasn’t happened…yet.  Nintendo my email address is: Scott@CoffeeWithGames.com!

     Touch Screen Controller –  I believe it was THIS site, 01net.com, that first broke the “rumor” about Nintendo’s next console having a touch screen controller.  The initial rumor report said the controller has a 6 inch screen, a sensor bar implemented into it somehow, and a front-facing camera.  At this point, the controller screen is basically confirmed, as the Japanese site Nikkei.com was reported to have also confirmed a 6 inch screen on the console’s controller just in the last day.
     As for the camera on the controller, it makes 100% sense to me as I think Nintendo will expand the “Miis” idea on their next console, and like the 3DS’ camera, the controller’s camera will allow users to take their own picture and the system’s Mii software will help “create” a Mii for them based off the picture.
     I think having a touch screen on the controller may help some people with menu navigation.  Perhaps instead of moving an on-screen cursor around to make a selection, simply tapping a window(much like on the Wii’s current menu system) on the controller’s screen with your finger will open it up.
     With how common and popular touch screen phones have become, with the iPhones, Androids, and Blackberry phones, etc.; perhaps Nintendo has realized that a touch screen controller on a home console will have a lot of appeal now to the casual audience with those phones.  I think a touch screen console controller makes a lot of sense now, especially if Nintendo is perhaps trying to capture part of the “mobile” gaming market and bring them over to the home console market.

     Rumored System Function & NameThere has been at least one rumored “official” system name for Nintendo’s next console, that being “Stream“.  The biggest reason behind the rumor, whether it’s true or not, is probably based on the other rumors about the touch screen controller and how the console is able to “stream” content to the controller.
     Being the parent of a 2 year old, I actually like the possibility of the console streaming games through the controller’s screen.  If the console allows that, my son(with another expected within a month) can be watching all the SpongeBob, Thomas the Train, or Word World type shows he wants on the television, and I could be playing a game at the same time, but without having to have another television hooked up.

     Release Date & Price – The rumors have all pretty much been saying that the console will not release until 2012 and with a $300-350 MSRP.  If true, I think Nintendo is showing up really late to the HD video game party.  I think this is like being invited to an event/party and showing up at the end wearing a tuxedo with an entrée, when everybody is already relaxing in jeans having dessert and coffee.
     The Wii has sold well for a number of reasons, but I believe the biggest reason initially was its lower price point, compared to the PS3’s and Xbox 360’s prices a few years back.
     Back on April 20th I commented on another site, “if the 2012 release part of the rumors is true, the console better be $200 or less…
     The PS3 and Xbox 360 are both now $300, and they are HD consoles that have HD games.  Microsoft even has the Xbox 360 Arcade edition for just $199.99.  Unless Project Cafe/Stream makes espresso drinks, or does something really incredible, I don’t see how Nintendo can benefit with the price point of the Stream being higher than the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012.
     Sure, there is the, “People buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games”, but if Nintendo is also trying to win back 3rd party support as has been stated, I think a sub-$200, new, HD console would help to really spur sales for the system, and give 3rd parties more of a reason to want to develop for it.
     If Nintendo’s next console is more than $300 I just think people may be like, “Why buy the Stream for $300-350 for HD games, when I can buy a PS3 and/or Xbox 360 for less; and those consoles already have a plethora of HD games, and many that are budget HD games for $30 or less?”

     Hardcore Rumor – One rumor floating around about Nintendo’s next console, is that Nintendo is going to go after the “hardcore” gamers, again, with this system.  In the initial Game Informer post on the “Nintendo HD” as they called it, they said, “It is our understanding that Nintendo is trying to embrace the western gamer and will likely launch a new brand with this console.
     If by “embrace the western gamer”, that means a new FPS IP from Nintendo, I hope this “rumor” is true.  I hope that Nintendo will finally announced a FPS game at E3, that will become their Halo, Resistance, Killzone, Battlefield, or Call of Duty FPS series for their next console.
     The Nintendo 64 brought gamers the FPS games GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark as exclusives, both published by Nintendo.  I think E3 would be the perfect time for Nintendo to introduce a brand new FPS IP being developed for their next console, and that the game will include online multi-player, local multi-player, co-op, single-player, and HD graphics.  Oh, and it will be a launch title for Project Café!

     I’m definitely excited for Nintendo’s E3 conference this Tuesday.  I found out this past Thursday that my day off this week is actually Tuesday, and I’m sure I will be glued to the computer screen watching Nintendo’s E3 conference just like I did last year!
     I’m excited to learn more about Nintendo’s next console, but the one “rumor” I think will be most difficult for Nintendo to fulfill(if it’s true), is their trying to win back the “hardcore” gamers.  Last year Microsoft passed out ponchos for their Kinect debut show, and unless Nintendo is passing out hard hats and raining down FPS/action games upon the audience, I don’t see how they get, and keep, the “hardcores'” attention.
     While the price point does have me concerned because I have never paid more than $250 for a system; perhaps at E3 we will see that Nintendo has a ton of secrets they will be revealing not just about the console’s specifications and controller(s), but also about 3rd party developer game deals they have signed for the system, which could make the price point not such a big deal in 2012.

Questions:
     Are there any rumors that you agree, or disagree, with me on?  Do any of you feel, like me, that releasing the console in 2012 is arriving late to the HD party with the rumored $300-350 price point?  Or, do you feel Nintendo’s next console will help breath new life into the HD gaming party, and the price won’t matter?