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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wii! New Super Mario Bros. Box Rocks!

After playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii (a stupidly long name for a simple, fun game), one thing struck me about the experience: I love the box.
g42841t9fbtThis is the coolest box art I’ve seen in years, and I’m not even talking about Mario, Luigi and the Toads bounding through the center. What I love is the color. So many game boxes are black- or white-based, or otherwise blandly designed, but this box screams loud and clear, “I’m here!” The red throws me back to my NES days, which obviously is what they were going for. More designers need to take notice: a good box can get people to stop and look, and it doesn’t have to include violence or sex. Some people think that the color black is as bold as it gets on a display, but when half of the games around your title feature the same color base, you will blend in, no two ways about it. Aside from being a web editor and head of, I’m an artist at heart. I’ve always been critical of the art in games, and the visuals used to promote them.

Now, I don’t want to see a whole herd of red Wii boxes (see note above re: overuse of a color), but for this title, it couldn’t fit better. Good job, Nintendo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sims 3 – 1, Alpha – 0

I’ve been fighting The Sims 3 recently when it comes to installing downloadable content and patches. What’s come to my attention today is that my computer is convinced that Sims 3 is not installed. Why? I have no idea. I can play it, it runs fine, and I’m registered, but for some reason both Vista and EA’s Download Manager are stubbornly determined that it’s not there. I’ve also delved into the registry to confirm this, and yup – no installation.

In light of that, I’m being forced to do a re-install. Consider me miffed, especially now that I’m facing a nearly five hour download from EA’s servers. I also had to back up all of my and Beta’s saved data to hopefully prevent losing our avatars, lots, pics and videos.

I want to pick up the new Sims 3 expansion pack World Adventures, but it would be useless unless I’ve got a working copy of the base game.

In other news, the review overhaul is going fine, but slow. It may be a day or more before it’s finished. Maintenance Underway isn’t going to see a new review for a short while as I update our review format. I’m including a star-based score at the top of each game for quick-and-easy reference, and I’m updating each review’s scoring to a new, bolder look. Witness:


Do you like it? Hate it? Let me know! Your opinion could guide the look of the site! As always, you can contact me at

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scribbling’s not for Naught

There I am, enjoying Torchlight, when another fun game crosses my path. Scribblenauts is a fun and freeform puzzler for the Nintendo DS where creative minds and a vivid vocabulary can equate to solutions that are both funny and innovative. In one early puzzle, I was asked to clear a park of trash and a fly. My answer? A flamethrower. There was no park left when I was done, but I did what was asked of me, so I passed. I hope to have a review up soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lighting the Torch

I’ve put some time into Borderlands on the Xbox 360, both solo and with Omega, and it’s unique and entertaining. However, I’m more absorbed right now with Torchlight, of all things. This Diablo clone is done really well and unlike Titan’s Quest, Dungeon Siege and countless other wanna-bes, it’s allot of fun (that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy some of the other titles, but they were often more grind then game). Torchlight has a simpler style and isn’t trying too hard to be a serious, hardcore game. As a result, it’s a good way to kill and hour or… ten. Heh.

Now, if only it had multiplayer.