Archive for the ‘Activision’ Category

Call of Duty: Ghosts Trailer – Updated Wii U GamePad Version

September 12, 2013

Coffee Beans
Earlier this week, Activision released an “Official Call of Duty: Ghosts Single Player Campaign Trailer“.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Wii U, as you can see herehere, and here, and I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the changes, like sliding, in Ghosts might change up gameplay and strategy in online multiplayer.

While Call of Duty: Ghosts will be releasing for the PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 5th, I am most interested in the Wii U version of the game. Why?

Well, there are multiple reasons, but the biggest reasons are Call of Duty: Ghosts’ Wii U GamePad Off-TV Play feature, free online multiplayer, and the optional Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls for when my GamePad battery gets low.

I have updated the “Official Call of Duty: Ghosts Single Player Campaign Trailer”, to show how I will most likely spend the majority of my time playing the game, showing the trailer on just the Wii U GamePad.

Brew yourself some coffee, and watch my updated Wii U version below!

The Brew

If you watched the original trailer, and my Wii U version of Call of Duty: Ghosts’ latest trailer, you probably noticed I also updated the very end of it with some of the features Nintendo could use to help advertise the Wii U version of the game this holiday season.

While it is unclear still if Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Wii U will receive any DLC, being that I have never downloaded any DLC for any game (none that I can remember anyway), it isn’t a huge issue for me, even though I do hope Nintendo will help get any DLC for Ghosts to the Wii U as well.

Questions
Are any of you planning on buying Call of Duty: Ghosts when it releases this year, and if so, which version are you planning on buying?

Also, do any of you think Nintendo should use the Wii U’s “free online multiplayer” as a selling point for the system and games on it this holiday season, considering both the newer consoles will charge for online multiplayer?

You can pre-order Call of Duty: Ghosts from Amazon.com below, and get release day delivery by selecting “Two-Day Shipping” when checking out:

CONNECT WITH COFFEE

The Amazing Spider-Man data report. How many hours have U.S. Wii owners reported web-slinging?

March 5, 2013


Coffee Beans
The Amazing Spider-Man was released on June 26, 2012 for the Nintendo Wii, and was based around the Spider-Man movie of the same name. The game was developed by Beenox and published by Activision, and it received an ESRB rating of “TEEN” with “Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence” listed as content for parents and gamers to be aware of.

A description for the game on the Wii’s Nintendo Channel says, “Spidey is back with the return of wall crawling, web-slinging action! Perform acrobatic attacks and stealth maneuvers with the brand new web rush combat system. Uncover the rest of Peter Parker’s untold story in the original epilogue to the film.”

While we have looked at another Spider-Man Wii game before, how many hours have U.S. Wii owners reported web-slinging in The Amazing Spider-Man since it released last year? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

Data for U.S. Wii owners, not world-wide.

The Brew
The Amazing Spider-Man has approximately 11,023 U.S. Wii owners that have reported gameplay hours, with 251 days possibly reported. The average play-time reported is 8 Hours 0 Minutes “Per person” as the image shows, which averages to be about 2 Hours 15 Minutes played per time (or day) reported.

As the image also shows, U.S. Wii owners have reported web-slinging in The Amazing Spider-Man nearly 90,000 Total Hours (over 500 weeks’ worth). While it’s not as high as other games based on the number of days possibly reported, the fact the game did have hours show up in less than a year since it released is a positive compared to many other Wii games.

What about critic and customer reviews for the Wii version of The Amazing Spider-Man? Well, the game has a “professional” critic review score average of 64.33%, based on 3 reviews on GameRankings.com. It has a customer review score average of 66.66%, based on 9 reviews from Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts

First, if you missed how Activision promoted the game last year, here is the initial trailer for it, as well as an extra trailer showing off more from the HD version of the game (it says Wii Trailer, but was for the HD version I believe):

While the Wii version of The Amazing Spider-Man bears the same name as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version released at the same time, it doesn’t feature the exact same open-world gameplay of the other version, which I expect the open-world gameplay would add more hours and replay value to the game overall. This also might be one reason the customer and critic reviews of the Wii version of the game averaged lower than the other version, due to the limited exploration in the Wii version.

With the game’s overall reported average of 8 Hours “Per person” probably being about how many hours you can expect to play it, before beating it, these reported hours are probably not a reflection time you can expect from the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and now Wii U version(s) of the game.

You can watch a movie many times, just as you can play a game many times. I always find it interesting to see what the average hours (and/or minutes) played per day/time is on games, and not just the overall reported average. Why? Because it shows if gamers are playing the game in shorter sessions, or longer sessions, and what I can maybe expect if I get it.

I think it’s interesting that Wii owners have reported playing The Amazing Spider-Man game (each time/day reported) about as long as it would take to watch the movie (a movie I still haven’t seen!). The The Amazing Spider-Man movie has a run time of 136 minutes (which is 2 hours 16 minutes), and again, the Wii game’s average play session is just over 2 hours 15 minutes.

World/city map displayed on the Wii U GamePad.


If you own a Wii U and are a Spider-Man fan, The Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Edition which is based off the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version(s) released today with a MSRP of just $39.99. The Wii U version includes four DLC packs, as well as some Wii U GamePad features (not in the other versions), including Off-screen Mode (Off-TV Play) which allows you to play the entire game on just the GamePad, if you like that option (I do).

Questions
Have any of you played The Amazing Spider-Man on the Wii, or maybe another console? If you played the Wii version (or other console version), do you remember how many hours it took you to beat the game from start to finish?

With the Wii U version, The Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Edition, releasing today, are any of you planning on purchasing it and giving it a try?

You can purchase The Amazing Spider-Man related game and movie products below:

Call of Duty? Conduit? GoldenEye? Metroid? What is the most played FPS Wii game in the U.S.?

November 13, 2012

The Roast
The Wii has had a variety of first-person shooter (FPS) games released during the last 6 years, some of the more popular Wii FPS titles you can see in the image above. With more than 20 FPS games released for the Wii, at least 10 have had online multiplayer, while some have been more single player focused like Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Red Steel 2.

What is the most played FPS game on the Wii in the United States, according to the overall total hours reported and the average hours reported “Per person” on the Nintendo Channel? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

Coffee Beans
Call of Duty: Black Ops is the Wii’s most played game from the Call of Duty series, according to the average hours reported “Per person” and also the total hours reported on the Nintendo Channel for all of the Call of Duty games, as well as all of the other FPS games with data reported through the Nintendo Channel.

Call of Duty: Black Ops was released on November 9, 2010 for the Wii, with a MSRP of $49.99. The game was developed by Treyarch and published by Activision, and received an ESRB rating of “MATURE” with “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

The data shown in the image below is for the gameplay hours reported from U.S. Wii owners, with 734 days possibly report.

Data for U.S. Wii owners.

The Brew
Black Ops now has approximately 200,601 Wii owners from the U.S. that have reported playing the game through the Nintendo Channel, which is about 23,428 more Wii owners that have now reported data for the game, since the data report in June.

The game’s reported average play-time is now 84 Hours 22 Minutes “Per person”, over 2 hours higher than June’s reported average “Per person”, and the average played per day/time is about 2 Hours 36 Minutes. This simply means each time a Wii owner sits down to play Black Ops, they are spending about 2.5 hours playing it each time. It could be zombies. It could be standard online multiplayer. It could be single player. It could be all of them, but whatever it is, the game is still being played a lot.

What about reviews for Call of Duty: Black Ops on the Wii, has anything changed since June? Well, the game still has a “professional” review score average of 81.47%, based on 17 reviews on GameRankings.com. It now has a customer review score average of 77.30%, based on 141 customer reviews from Amazon.com.

How most Black Ops 2 players are feeling after the last night of gaming?

Caffeinated Thoughts
Millions of gamers are probably playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on their PlayStation 3s, Xbox 360s, and PCs as I’m typing this. While Black Ops 2 is not releasing for the Wii, as confirmed by an Activision representative in October, the Wii was home to every other Treyarch developed Call of Duty game.

I haven’t played my copy of Black Ops on the PS3 in a while, but I did enjoy the online multiplayer when I played it, and the zombie mode as well. I didn’t go out and get a copy of Black Ops 2 for my PlayStation 3, because I’m debating on grabbing the game with my Wii U this Sunday.

If you haven’t seen any footage of Black Ops 2, take a look at the launch trailer below!

I am surprised that Black Ops on the Wii has become the most played FPS for the system, in both the hours reported “Per person” and the overall total hours reported. I thought that Call of Duty: World at War would hold onto the most played according to “Total Hours” reported because of Modern Warfare 3 potentially getting purchased and played by Black Ops players, but the data just over the last few months shows Black Ops is on a steady increase each week.

I’m really glad to see Treyarch releasing Black Ops 2 for the Wii U, and while it’s unfortunate for Wii owners  that want to play Black Ops 2 but won’t be getting a Wii U soon, hopefully the game makes use of the Wii U GamePad in some innovative ways that might even help sell a few more Wii U consoles to Call of Duty fans.

Questions
Have any of you been playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on the Wii, perhaps while waiting on Black Ops 2 and the Wii U’s release next week? If you have played Black Ops on the Wii, do you know how many hours you have put into the game?

Also, did any of you go to a midnight launch for Black Ops 2, or are any of you planning on buying Black Ops 2 for the Wii U?

If you are interested in Black Ops for the Wii, or the newly released Black Ops 2, you can see links for the games on Amazon.com below:

"Black Ops II will just be on the Wii U", Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 not releasing for the 3DS, DS, or Wii.

October 31, 2012

Coffee Beans
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will be releasing on November 13th, and until now Activision has been quiet about the game releasing for the Nintendo Wii, DS, or 3DS.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has already been confirmed as a Wii U launch title, even pre-launch of sorts, and it will be available to purchase on November 13th. Will Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 release for the Wii, DS, or 3DS this year? Brew yourself some coffee, and hit the jump for a quick Call of Duty games history on the Nintendo DS and Wii, as well as the answers!

The Brew
The Nintendo DS was home to Call of Duty games for 5 consecutive years:

  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007
  • Call of Duty: World at War in 2008
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized in 2009
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops in 2010
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in 2011

The Nintendo Wii has had five Call of Duty titles released on it:

  • Call of Duty 3 in 2006
  • Call of Duty: World at War in 2008
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex in 2009
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops in 2010
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in 2011
I contacted Activision earlier this month about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 releasing for the Wii, since I couldn’t remember seeing that information confirmed, or denied, anywhere. I asked, “Also, is Black Ops II going to be releasing for the Wii, or just on the Wii U for the Nintendo side of things?

The initial response I received was, “Black Ops is shipping for 360, PS3, Wii U and PC.

To make sure Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 wasn’t releasing for the 3DS or Wii, I followed up with a second question, “So, just to make sure, there will be no Black Ops II for the Wii or 3DS? Just for the Wii U?

The second response was very clear. They said, “In terms of Nintendo products, Black Ops II will just be on the Wii U.

A picture says a thousand words, a zombie just moans?
Caffeinated Thoughts
I think it’s interesting that Activision isn’t releasing Black Ops 2 for the Wii, because the system does have such a large install base. I imagine the game could have sold decently on the system this holiday season, especially considering the Wii just had another price cut. I believe Nintendo is probably the biggest beneficiary of having Black Ops 2 only on their new Wii U system this holiday season, by using that as a potential selling point for older Wii only owners.
As for not releasing Black Ops 2 on the 3DS, or even DS, I think it’s surprising considering the DS had a new Call of Duty game released every year since 2007, with this year being the first the system isn’t getting one. The Nintendo 3DS has not had any Call of Duty game released for it, and this year makes for the second holiday season the 3DS will be on the market. When the largest FPS franchise in the video game industry is skipping a platform, that does make me question some things about the platform.
If you missed the post on Black Ops 2’s live-action trailer, you can see the trailer that released on Monday below.

I’m still planning on buying a Wii U day one, and Black Ops 2 is on my short list of games I’m debating on to grab with the system. Being that I enjoy Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls in FPS games, thanks to Treyarch and other FPS Wii developers, I’m glad to know that Black Ops 2 Wii U has those control options, as well as the Wii U GamePad control option.

I enjoyed the zombie mode a great deal in Call of Duty: World at War, and played the mode a decent amount in the original Black Ops, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what changes have been made to the mode. With today being Halloween, I think a Call of Duty zombie mode needs another visit!

If you’re a Nintendo fan and have enjoyed the Call of Duty Wii games and want to play Black Ops 2, I think this news is just another reason to buy a Wii U when it releases.

Questions
Are any of you planning on buying Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 when it releases? If so, which system are you planning on getting it for?

Does the news of Black Ops 2 not releasing for the Wii, or even 3DS, make you more likely to buy a Wii U system to play the game, if you are a Wii only owner?

If you are interested in Black Ops II, you pre-order the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U editions on Amazon.com below:

"Zombies. Groovy." Black Ops 2 Live Action Trailer

October 29, 2012

Coffee Beans
Call of Duty: Black Ops II will soon land at retailers nation-wide and be available to purchase on November 13th. Treyarch and Activision are busy getting Black Ops II ready for launch, and like last year’s release of a live-action trailer for Modern Warfare 3, that has now been followed up with today’s release of a live-action trailer for Black Ops II. Brew yourself some coffee, and enjoy the trailer (a few times)!

*NOTE! Apparently the beans spilled out of the bag too soon, and someone released the trailer earlier than it was supposed to be release! Coming from a follow up email, “The explosive :60 second high-octane piece, titled ‘Surprise,’ will be unveiled on network television in the U.S. tonight on Monday Night Football and will rollout worldwide across high-profile telecasts including elite European football matches.


Caffeinated Brew
How many main people were in the trailer? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 main characters with *lines* from my count. Some were simple lines like, “Suprise!”, or even “Boom!”, but they were there, helping make the trailer complete.

I did look for coffee references such as, mugs, shops, and coffee pots in the trailer, but I didn’t spot any. While I’m patiently waiting Nintendo’s details on the Wii U’s online features and specifically which launch games will feature online multiplayer, Black Ops II is currently one of the Wii U games I’m looking forward to playing, a lot because of Treyarch’s solid Wii Call of Duty titles.

Questions
Are any of you planning on buying Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and if so, which version of the game are you planning on getting?

You can see Black Ops II on Amazon.com below for pre-order, including the Amazon.com pre-order bonuses:

How many hours have U.S. Wii owners reported playing GoldenEye? GoldenEye 007 Data Report

August 27, 2012


Coffee Beans
If you are looking for information on the contest/giveaway you will find the link for it in the “Caffeinated Thoughts” section below.

GoldenEye 007 was released on November 2, 2010 for the Wii, and the game was originally announced as a Wii “exclusive” at its E3 2010 reveal. I wrote a post titled, “Can GoldenEye 007 (Wii) Legally be Ported to the Xbox 360 and PS3?” on November 9, 2010, in which I listed the reasons why I thought the game not only could be ported, but would be ported to the other consoles. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with the subtitle “Reloaded” added to it, the following year on November 1, 2011.

GoldenEye 007 received an ESRB rating of “Teen” with “Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of. The game was developed by Eurocom, and published by Activision for the U.S. release.

How many hours have U.S. Wii owners reported playing GoldenEye 007 since the game released? If you’re a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 owner interested in GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, how many hours can you expect from the game according to the Wii’s reported data? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
GoldenEye 007 now has approximately 114,583 U.S. Wii owners that have reported game-play data through the Nintendo Channel, which is almost 30,000 more players that have reported data since this past November. The game has an average play-time per day/session now of about 1 Hour 58 Minutes, with its overall average now being 30 Hours 15 Minutes “Per person” as the image above shows.

The “professional” critic review score has remained the same since November, still sitting at 82.77% based on 62 reviews on GameRankings.com. GoldenEye 007’s customer review score average based on just the “Standard” software only version is now 77.59%, a slight increase since November, now based on 158 customer reviews on Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts
GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 was released in the U.S. 15 years ago as of Saturday, August 25th. It was my favorite and most played Nintendo 64 game that I owned, and I still enjoy playing levels in it from time-to-time. When Activision and Nintendo revealed GoldenEye 007 for the Wii at E3 2010, I was glad to see it. While I knew the game wasn’t going to be a direct port of the original, it looked like Eurocom had put a good bit of effort into it, and I purchased it the day it released for the Wii.

If you purchase GoldenEye 007 for the Wii, and you enjoy Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls for your Wii FPS games, I would suggest making adjustments to the default control settings. You can see how I “fixed” my control setting for the game in the video below:

While I haven’t played the Wii version in a while, I did enjoy the single-player campaign and put a good number of hours into the online multiplayer modes as well. I don’t know how active the online multiplayer community is still going though, but just based on the reported data for the game it is apparently being played a decent amount, because it has one million more hours reported now, than were in the last report 9 months ago.

If you enjoy FPS games for the single-player aspect, I would recommend giving GoldenEye 007 for the Wii a try. If you are looking for people to play with online, my friend code for the game is 2043-7355-3797. The Wii version, as well as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version, can now be found for under $30 at most retailers, and considering the average hours are now more than 30 hours “Per person” on the Wii, I would think the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions would offer just as many hours of game-play.

With the original game releasing 15 years ago this past weekend I wanted to look at the newer GoldenEye another time, before looking back. What do I mean “before looking back”? Well, I should have a new feature up this week called “Retro Grind”, on the original GoldenEye.

If you are looking for the games giveaway link, you can find it HERE. If you have already entered the contest/giveaway and want another entry, just tweet out this post using the “Tweet” button at the bottom of the post including my Twitter tag @CoffeeWithGames in it. You can also get an additional entry if you have “liked” the CoffeeWithGames Facebook page HERE, and by liking this post on the Facebook page.

Questions
Have any of you been playing GoldenEye 007’s online multiplayer for the Wii, and if so, how active is the online community? If you own the PS3 or Xbox 360 version, have you had a chance to play the MI-6 mode that is exclusive for those consoles and what do you think of the mode?

You can see GoldenEye 007 for the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 linked below on Amazon.com:

President Obama, Space Camp, & Six Flags Fun Park? How they are oddly connected.

August 20, 2012


Coffee Beans
     Bankruptcy, Six Flags Fun Park, President Obama, and Space Camp?

     Just about 2 weeks ago, I put together the story, “Curiosity Inspired – Space Camp Hours Report“. After I posted the story, a former developer who worked on the game saw the story and sent me an email. While the developer will remain anonymous, they were glad to see coverage on the game and wanted to share information on the “…background on the development process, and also why the game dropped with zero marketing…”.

     How are Space Camp, Six Flags Fun Park, and President Obama connected? What decision by President Obama is given as a reason to have possibly “killed all the synergy” around the Wii game Space Camp? What about bankruptcy? Brew yourself a fresh pot of coffee, and read the email below to find out!

The Brew
     The former 7 Studios developer said, “OK, so back in mid to late 2008, 7 Studios was finishing work on Six Flags Fun Park for DS and Wii, published by Brash Entertainment. Brash had a lot of problems and ended up going out of business right when SFFP was supposed to release. The DS version made it to store shelves — with zero marketing — but the Wii title didn’t. It had been approved by Nintendo for North American release and the discs, manuals and boxes were all printed and ready to go, but Brash went under before they could actually ship the game to distributors.

So we were all pretty bummed that this Wii game that we’d worked on for a year and half or so, and were pretty happy with, would never see the light of day. At the time our main LA office had only one other project, Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, published by Genius, so we were looking for other games.

We ended up signing the deal with Activision to make Space Camp. It was a very short development cycle, something like 4-5 months, with a small DS team and a small Wii team. How were we able to get a console title done that quickly? We re-used as much of Six Flags Fun Park as we could.

If you check videos on YouTube of Space Camp and SFFP you can see that the interface, engine, even many (maybe even a majority) of the minigames are identical. At the time we weren’t too concerned as the DS version of SFFP got no marketing, and the Wii version was never released, so we were still shipping what was effectively a brand-new game for consumers.

When the Space Camp game was signed, if I remember correctly there was an expectation that President Obama was going to work with NASA and announce a new push for another US moon landing. The plan was that Space Camp would ride the wave of publicity around that and we’d be part of the marketing push for both NASA and the real Space Camp — Activision had licensed their logo and possible new mascot.

Unfortunately due to the economy the President backed off on these plans, which killed all the synergy around the project. My understanding was that Activision had never planned to spend a ton of marketing money on the game, mostly seeking a cheap tie-in to the existing hype which never panned out. So it shipped and disappeared. The office responsible for publishing the game was Activision Minneapolis, which at the time was tasked with publishing the company’s low-budget ‘value’ titles.

The really funny thing is that as we were working on Space Camp, Ubisoft bought the Six Flags Fun Park project from Brash as part of Brash’s bankruptcy proceedings. They shipped the existing boxes, which were released to stores in March 2009, just two months before Space Camp! Ubisoft also had us make a version of SFFP for Europe, Fun Park Party. Apparently SFFP did well enough to justify another print run, but 7 Studios wasn’t able to work on that directly as we were purchased by Activision.

So that’s the story of Space Camp, and the related story of Six Flags Fun Park. Overall the team was proud of what we were able to accomplish on both games, in terms of what we could do with the time and resources we had, and it’s always been disappointing that factors out of our control (Brash’s bankruptcy, the backtracking of the new moon project) led to both titles underperforming.

Unfortunately 7 Studios didn’t ship another title. The Scratch lawsuit happened shortly after we were purchased by Activision. After that we did prototyping and development work on console and iPhone, and we helped out with some tools and the downloadable demo for DJ Hero 2. Then in Spring 2010 Activision shut down their music/rhythm game division and that was the end of the studio.”

Caffeinated Thoughts
     I was glad a developer was willing to share feedback and an inside story on the development for Space Camp, and Six Flags Fun Park, giving us a small inside look of why certain decisions were made. They did say that, “…there may be a few minor errors…” in the story, but that they had fact checked dates to backup things from memory, and I did look at release dates and other information as well to make sure we were providing accurate information.
     I personally found it interesting that Activision gambled on a new Moon mission being promoted by President Obama, even going as far as possibly getting licenses from NASA and the real Space Camp, but then not being able to move forward with their use because of President Obama’s decision to not move forward with a new Moon mission; funding instead went to the Mars mission I believe. I can already see a political attack ad being formed, “Obama destroyed the video game industry, and your children’s entertainment by cutting NASA’s Moon funding!”.
     As for Brash Entertainment, the original publisher of Six Flags Fun Park, and how it came and went so quickly in the video game industry, here is a great piece on the company and its failure: “Brash fallout a cautionary tale“.

     Now, let’s say you are in a store and you stumble upon Six Flags Fun Park and Space Camp, both at a great bargain price. How do you decide which one to try?
     Well, I asked the developer and this is what they said, “I can’t recommend one over the other, it really depends on the player. If someone is really into NASA, they should go for Space Camp. If they like carnival games, they should go for SFFP. I think SFFP has more content overall than Space Camp does. In terms of the single-player story, Space Camp starts better but gets grindy near the end, while SFFP starts slow but has some really cool moments near the end.”

Questions
     Have any of you played Six Flags Fun Park and/or Space Camp? If so, what did you think about the games?
     Also, what did you think of the story behind the games, and how they both came about? Did you find any details perhaps odd, hilarious, or just outrageous?

You can see links to Six Flags Fun Park and Space Camp below:

Played more than Mario? Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure Hours Report

August 14, 2012


Coffee Beans
     Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure now has a higher average play-time “Per person” on the Wii, than either Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Galaxy 2. You read that right. Players of Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure are averaging a higher reported play-time with the game, than players are with Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Galaxy 2.

     Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure was released on October 16, 2011 with a “Starter Pack” MSRP of $69.99. The game was developed by Toys For Bob and published by Activision, and it received an ESRB rating of “Everyone 10+” with “Cartoon Violence” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

     How many hours have U.S. Wii owners reported playing Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure since its “Hours Debut” last year, and what is the average time played for the game? If you’re a 3DS, PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360 owner interested in the game, how many hours can you expect from it according to the reported data of the Wii version? Brew yourself a fresh pot of coffee, and let’s take a look!

Can the Skylanders’ portal keep coffee warm? It should.

The Brew
     Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure now has approximately 55,571 U.S. Wii owners that have reported game-play data through the Nintendo Channel, which is 53,075 more players that have reported data since its debut report.
     The game has an average play-time per day/session of about 2 Hours 16 Minutes, with its overall reported average being 37 Hours 43 Minutes “Per person” as the image above shows. It is the 37 Hours 43 Minutes “Per person” reported for Skylanders that is higher than the reported averages “Per person” of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 in the United States.

     How have the review scores changed since the first report?
     The game now has a “professional” critic review score average of 80.18%, based on 11 reviews on GameRankings.com; which is just a slight decrease since the first report.
     The game has a customer review score average of 83.46%, now based on 248 customer reviews from Amazon.com. The game originally had a customer review score average of 92.09%, based on 43 reviews from Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts
     While I still have not played Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, knowing that Skylanders Giants is due out later this year I would probably wait for the new game if I were to get one. If you have not seen any footage on Skylanders and have no clue what the game is about though, the trailer below might give you a decent idea:

     When I did the initial data report on Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, in the “Caffeinated Thoughts” section for it I said, “Seeing Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure’s average hours ‘Per person’ being more than 20 hours on its debut is extremely impressive, and shows the audience playing this ‘game’ seems to be really enjoying it…”, and with the game having nearly doubled its reported average over the last 8 months I would say players have really been enjoying the game.
     Seeing Skylanders’ average hours played, pass games like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 in less than a year is impressive, most impressive.

     If you’re a 3DS, PC, PS3, Wii, or Xbox 360 gamer interested in the title, based on the Wii’s reported average of “37 Hrs” now and the original data report average of 20 hours, I think you should be able to get a good 20 hours just off of the “Starter Pack”.
     Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure has been a big success for Activision, and I think its portal functionality with the toys might be one reason (a big reason) Nintendo added the Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality to the Wii U’s GamePad controller, and I think it will be interesting to see how well Skylanders Giants is received when it releases.

Questions
     If you have played Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, about how many hours have you played and do you remember how many hours of game-play you can get from just the “Starter Pack”? If you have played the game, did you play just the “Starter Pack” or have you tried to collect and play with other Skylanders as well?
     Also, are any of you surprised that Skylanders’ average hours “Per person” have passed two of Nintendo’s top rated Mario Wii games?

If you are interested in the game, you can see a few of the versions below:

Curiosity Inspired – Space Camp Hours Report

August 8, 2012


Coffee Beans
     Sunday night as I was working on the computer, I was debating on whether or not to open an extra tab to NASA’s site for coverage on their latest rover mission to Mars. I ended up opening an extra tab and switching back and forth on the coverage of the Curiosity’s landing on the Red Planet. After watching the Curiosity coverage, it made me wonder how many “space” type games there might be on the Wii that I had missed. So, that’s how this post was inspired.

     Space Camp was released for the Wii on May 26, 2009 and I believe it released with a MSRP of just $29.99. The game was developed by 7 Studios (now closed) and published by Activision, and it received an ESRB rating of “Everyone” with “Mild Fantasy Violence” listed as content for gamers and parents to be aware of.

     The Curiosity Mars rover took 253 days (about 6,072 hours) to reach Mars. How many hours have U.S. Wii owners reported training for lunar journeys with Space Camp? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

The Brew
     Space Camp has approximately 12,860 Wii owners that have reported game-play data through the Nintendo Channel, with 1,168 days possibly reported. The game’s average play-time per day/session is 1 Hour 22 Minutes, and as the image above shows the game has averaged just over 6 Hours “Per person” that has reported data.

     Space Camp’s “professional” critic review score average is 62.00%, based on just one review score on GameRankings.com. The game has a customer review score average of 65.00%, based on 4 customer reviews from Amazon.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts
     If you had recently written an article with a title like, “Top Ten Wii Games You May Not Have Heard About”, and you had included Space Camp in that list, I would have been surprised by it. When I was searching for games Sunday night and Monday afternoon, Space Camp was the only one I saw in my search that I had never heard of before.
     If you have never seen any footage of Space Camp, below is a trailer for the game:
 

     With the game only having one “professional” critic review for its GameRankings.com review score average, I can see how the game released and flew past my games radar unnoticed; there just wasn’t a lot of coverage for the game from what I can tell.
     While I don’t recall ever seeing a copy of the game in a store, this game surprised me simply because I could not remember hearing about it and it had game-play data reported through the Nintendo Channel; which is better than many games I know about and have tracked for a few years now on the Nintendo Channel, that don’t have data reported yet.

Questions
     Have any of you perhaps played the Wii, or DS, version of Space Camp? If so, is it a game you would recommend to other Wii and DS owners?
     As for the Curiosity’s landing on Mars, did any of you stay up and watch the coverage of it live Sunday night as well?

If you are interested in Space Camp, you can see a link to it on Amazon.com below:

Pachter: "Sometimes, I add two and two and get seven…"

July 30, 2012
Original photo credit – Hot Grill

Coffee Beans

     Michael Pachter continues to make news in the video game world. On July 16th, Edge-Online.com published an article where they quoted Mr. Pachter as saying, “Activision never said anything to me, but I know that [for] big games like Call of Duty they said, ‘No, we’re not putting it on there [the Wii U*] if you don’t give us a conventional controller’. So they [Nintendo*] gave in.” *bracket text added for clarification
     Was Michael Pachter’s opinion on this topic of Activision, or even another third party developer, basically demanding Nintendo make the Wii U Pro Controller or they would not support the Wii U console a well informed opinion? Was it an opinion based around the known facts of the Wii U’s controllers and the history of Activision’s support of the Wii, as people should expect coming from a “Managing Director” at an “Equity Research” firm?

     Well, when I saw the quote I decided to contact Mr. Pachter for clarification because I thought it might have been out of context, and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. After a few email exchanges with him, and pointing out what I thought was one obvious flaw in his opinion on this subject, Mr. Pachter replied, “Sometimes, I add two and two and get seven, but I still add two and two.

     What was the context of this quote, and what flaw did I see in Michael Pachter’s original statement? More importantly, did Mr. Pachter explain his statement after I mentioned why his original opinion made no sense, in a way that made sense? Brew yourself some coffee, and take a look at one partial email exchange with Michael Pachter below, as well as a visual aid I hope can help with Mr. Pachter’s bad math!

*The PS3’s controller “d-pad” is counted as one button/input, like the d-pads on the
Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, and Xbox 360 Controller

The Brew & Caffeinated Thoughts

     In one email exchange after a few paragraphs, I closed with “If you want to go around saying the world if flat, when the facts prove otherwise, you certainly can do that, but don’t be surprised when people don’t take you seriously. I was actually trying to get clarification on the issue, and see how you reached the ‘opinion’ you did. That’s my point.”
     In the response email he sent, Mr. Pachter said at one point, “You have a right to your opinions, and you of course have a right to think that my opinions must be based on facts. However, it is my view that my opinions can be based on whatever I see around me, and putting two and two together gets me to opinions all the time. Sometimes, I add two and two and get seven, but I still add two and two.
     I think the problem with Mr. Pachter’s defense of just coming to the wrong conclusion, or opinion, is that he wasn’t even analyzing things around him that were obvious, and he certainly wasn’t just using simple math. He was creating a problem where the solution was already known and he did so by ignoring facts and history.
     First, he ignored that the Wii U GamePad has more buttons and control input options, than the Wii U Pro Controller does. How does the Wii U GamePad not equal the Wii U Pro Controller, when the GamePad offers more buttons and input options than the Wii U Pro Controller does? Is there a third party developer that would look at the Wii U GamePad and think it doesn’t have enough input options?
     Second, he must have also forgotten that Activision has published every single Call of Duty game, except one, for the Wii. As I wrote about before, Treyarch has developed or ported each Call of Duty Wii game, and they are developing Black Ops 2; why wouldn’t Black Ops 2 be on the Wii U considering Treyarch’s support of Nintendo’s current console? Now, if he had said EA demanded a more traditional controller, that might have been a little more believable based on EA’s spotty support of the Wii with their FPS games this generation.

     Personally, I think Mr. Pachter can have any opinion on video game subjects and topics that are still a mystery such as the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, or something such as “Michael Pachter’s Top 10 Video Games of All Time”.
     I know he meets with many video game representatives and people within the video game industry, but when he makes a statement that contradicts known facts, he should be able to explain why his statements make sense and why they should be taken credibly, when the evidence and facts show otherwise.

    I think the one thing his statement showed though, is that Michael Pachter is not irrelevant to the video game industry and especially to the video game “journalism” side of things. I think his statement was not only incorrect though, but I also haven’t seen much in his response emails that makes me think he believes he was wrong and the only clarification he has given ignored Treyarch’s support of the Wii this generation.
     I did ask Mr. Pachter if perhaps he had skipped his daily cup of Yuban coffee that day and think perhaps he answered it decaffeinated, but I haven’t received a response to that question yet.


Questions
     Do you think Michael Pachter is well informed about the video game industry, and that his original comment and his response about it to me made sense based on what we know of the Wii U’s controllers?
     Or, do you think Michael Pachter should never speak another word about the video game industry again, and a thousand of Cupid’s arrows would not change the way you feel about him?
     If you could ask Michael Pachter one question in general, keeping it civil, what would that be?