The Xbox One Media Remote: Go Buy One

We were out and about this past weekend and stopped in at Best Buy for the first time in what feels like years. Amidst their disheveled Xbox One display was this tiny green box with a little black bar in the middle. As I got closer I realized it was the Media Remote which was due out… some day in March. I had already forgotten about the thing but instantly grabbed one despite its $25 price tag. You can watch the video above to see it in action but if you’re looking for a quick breakdown here’s some pros and cons:

PROS

  • Has that smooth, soft rubber feel all over
  • Totally silent compared to using the clicky controller
  • Motion sensor lights up the keys as you pick it up
  • Dedicated One Guide button to go right to TV grid
  • More responsive IR than older 360 remote
  • Playback control buttons work in apps as well as with discs

CONS

  • $25, really?
  • A little too small in my hand
  • Low profile buttons hard to tell apart at times
  • Wibbly-wobbly design, if that kind of thing bothers you
  • Has to be pointed at Kinect to adjust volume
  • Didn’t work in Xbox Fitness app which seems weird

This Week on YouTube: A different kind of bug

Sometimes you just need to unwind with some Beetle Adventure Racing! That was my exact thought as I tried for the umpteenth time to make it through the next stage in Body Harvest. That game’s gettin’ rough!

Beetle Adventure Racing is one of those games that I’m always ready to play and with the N64 set up to record it was finally easy enough to do so. I was hoping to make this another “I played all the way through” videos but I picked the wrong difficulty and it ended after 3 or 4 courses. No worries though, there’s plenty of ridiculous “shortcuts” to see here and I even boosted the video brightness through YouTube so you can see them!

I also posted the next stage in Body Harvest: Java Stage 02. This isn’t the one I’m currently stuck on, that’s Stage 04. This one is still filled with whimsy… and tanks. And more than a few of my own sound effects.

Katy’s channel rages on with more episodes of Beautiful Katamari, EDF2025, Infinite Undiscovery and Minecraft Disney World. Katy’s also got another vlog up about her experience at SM Town in Paris back in 2011.

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Worth Watching
I’ve been flipping through old issues of GameFan before bed and jotting down games I’d forgotten about or ones I never got to play. Loadstar is maybe the slickest FMV rail shooter of them all, featuring Ned Beatty and some quality emoticon gags. Ultra Vortek for the Jaguar is as painful a Mortal Kombat clone as you’d imagine. Kaze Kimi wasn’t thrilling to watch but has an almost Bushido Blade-esque strategy to its 2D ninja action.

Crazy Taxi: City Rush might maybe be cool?

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HEY MAN! WHY DON’T YOU JUST COME ON DOWN AND MAKE SOME CRAAAAZY MONEY… for Sega. Right? I mean, this “free to download” Crazy Taxi: City Rush just has to be full of in-app purchases, right? Coming soon to Android and iOS, it’s not the “wide variety of adrenaline-fueled missions, wild challenges and unique areas” that worries me, it’s the “customize your cab to increase its power and visual appeal”. It kinda reeks of “pay us money if you want a high score”.

Still, it’s hard to argue with the words of Crazy Taxi creator, Kenji Kanno, who’s back on board for City Rush. “We are delivering a truly fun game that captures everything our fans love about the original and infusing it with several new features to create an even more fantastic and memorable experience.”

I dunno, one of my favorite things about the original was hearing people demand I take them to Kentucky Fried Chicken, not ‘U.S. Attire’. Also, The Offspring. If nothing else, this new announcement has spurned Sega into giving away the iOS and Android port of the original Crazy Taxi so go grab that before they jack the price back up.

Dig out your AR Cards, the 3DS has a new puzzle game

While VR constantly seems on the verge of exploding into the next big thing, AR continues to be a seldom seen diversion. I blame it on cameras: the Vita and 3DS have the worst cameras but that’s where interesting AR games keep happening.

The latest is the one you see above, Bubble Pop World, out now on the 3DS eShop for $4.99. For all the flashy features the video shows they don’t really explain how the main puzzle-popping mechanic works. It seems to be a mix of Bust-a-Move and Poppit! with the ability to move around the 3D model and insert the next colored blob wherever you’d like.

It’s got 120 puzzle and arcade levels built in with the ability to create and share your own via QR codes (another maligned AR technology!) as well as 8 underwater themed minigames. I’ve still got some cash left in my Mario Wallet (or whatever they call it on the eShop); I may have to give this a shot!

KatyCraft: HEY! LISTEN! BITCH LISTEN!

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HEY! You guys, Katy makes a lot of awesome stuff. LISTEN! She’s on Red Bubble, Storenvy, Etsy, and Gumroad with stickers, cross stitches, shirt designs, jewelry and more.

HEY! This week’s featured item is that delightful sprite of spite, Navi! Link’s eagle-eyed sidekick is back in T-Shirt form to let everyone in your life know it’s time to listen to you! I put it on appropriate green for this image but LISTEN! it’s available now in an array of colors on a variety of shirt styles… HEY!

Minigolf goes to Columbia in Vertiginous Golf

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“Vertiginous Golf is a physics-based, first person exploratory mini-golf game, set in an alternate, steampunk-infused world where life on the ground is enveloped in permanent smog, constant darkness and never-ending rain. Players chip and putt their way around courses floating high above the clouds with complex machinery and Victorian-era décor, as they slowly discover what the hell is going on in this peculiar place.”

That’s a helluva thing. While the big news is Vertiginous Golf’s “community driven” debut on Steam Early Access, all I care about is the “exploratory mini-golf”, Burnout-style aftertouch control, and gilded automaton hummingbird. I’ll pass on it for now but I’m keeping my eye out for the “final release” headline.

What’s the deal with golf anyways? It’s the one genre of games I never tire of being completely terrible at.

This Week on YouTube: We’ve got a big alien bug problem

The giant alien bug slaughter rampages on! I finally posted a video of our time with Earth Defense Force 2025 (Katy’s got lots more, and more coming) and set foot in 1941 Java for more N64-style bug slaying in Body Harvest.

Another rampage took place on Tuesday; a rampage of my heart. R-Type Tactics II finally broke me (as I knew it would) on Mission 05. After six attempts I finally understood what was happening and was able to record but the spark has left me. Without being able to read or understand what’s going on there’s not much fun in it for me. This is the last regularly scheduled R-Type Tactics video for the time being.

Katy’s channel continued this week with more installments of Beautiful Katamari, EDF2025, and Minecraft Disney World. On a personal note, she’s also posted a vlog about her history with Kpop.

KatyCraft: Earth Defense Force 2025 Shirts

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You guys, Katy makes a lot of awesome stuff. She’s on Red Bubble, Storenvy, Etsy, and Gumroad with stickers, cross stitches, shirt designs, jewelry and more.

This week’s featured item is from Earth Defense Force 2025 which we’re currently obsessed with. She’s got two designs — the one seen above and another that’s more like a logo — each available on a variety of tops in even more colors. Katy says:

Commander: Give me a status report

Troops: The citizens are being attacked by giants insects!

Commander: Attack the giant insects and protect the citizens!

Troops: YES SIR!

- Earth Defense Force 2025

The Earth Defense Force, a unified multinational military sponsored by nearly every country, is founded after detecting an impending alien visit in case the aliens prove to be hostile. In the year 2017, that proved to be true and the EDF fought against the Ravagers, an alien race that attacked Earth with giant insect-like creatures, UFOs, robots, and gigantic, 120 foot tall lizard-like creatures. Eight years after defeating the last Ravager in Arizona, they attack again with new creatures, evolved from their underground nest. Among them is the Retiarius, a spider-like creature which makes gigantic spider-webs, and giant bees. In the year 2025, the EDF must protect the Earth again from the alien invaders. source

I love this game series!!!

This Week on YouTube: Giant Alien Bugs set the tone

I really need to get crackin’ on these recordings but EDF, guys, is so good. I did make time for Spelunky and used XSplit’s new Gamecaster software to telestrate all over City of Gold or Bust! Day 6. I also inched one step closer to that terrifying mission #5 in R-Type Tactics II by posting Mission 04. Last up for me this week was the final mission in Greece in Body Harvest: Pt. 04: Greece, Stage 04 – ALL the Explosions. Now I really need to start recording that one again!

Katy’s kept things a little more lively on her channel. There’s more Beautiful Katamari, our first night with Earth Defense Force 2025, the next part of our Anniversary trip to Minecraft Disney World and another installment of Infinite Undiscovery.

We now have a Forklift Simulator that has Zombie DLC

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The next oddly compelling, strangely soothing worktime simulator is upon us and it is the whimsically titled ‘Warehouse and Logistic Manager’ from UIG and app2fun. Out today on Steam for $15 (and 20% off through March 4th), the sim takes the Shenmue forklift minigame to astoundingly realistic heights. Inexplicable controls and vague mission objectives are sure to abound as you try your hand at a job that requires an accredited license in real life.

Oh, and there’s also a $3 DLC pack called Hell’s Warehouse that pits your forklifting skills against armies of the undead. Watch for this one to pop up on your favorite ‘Let’s Play’ YouTube channels soon! … But not mine, I’m too busy with 3DO games.