Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekly Update: Mid July 2012

Hey Everyone,

It is almost 4 AM...I had planned to be doing this blog post around 11 PM.  I'm very I have been all day.  That said, I think I am going to push it back till tomorrow (well tonight).

I've got a video uploading, updated the Giants Info earlier, and have added Metal Mario to the Mario Tennis Open QR Code Post...That should help you out a bit.  I do have some cool stuff to post, and pics from a few weeks.  Stay tuned for that and more later tonight!

Alright, so this update is a bit over due...I have been out-of-town quite a bit here lately and time hasn't exactly been on my side.  Nonetheless, there is a lot going on, so let's get it covered.

Nintendo 3DS

Street Passin'

If you read the intro, you know I have been out-of-town quite a bit the last few weeks.  Anyone care to guess how many StreetPass Tags I picked up?  Anyone?  Don't think too hard...

The answer is...ZERO!

I honestly just don't get it.  Around my home town I don't pick up any (aside from friends) and any time I run errands I have the 3DS on in Sleep Mode just in case.  That said, when I go out-of-town for work or vacation and wind up somewhere with 2-10x the population of my immediate area I kind of expect big things...or at least like 5 tags over the trip etc.  But I continually come up empty.  At the hotels I even walk the halls in the morning and carry it to the lobbies hoping to pick up tags, but it works to no avail.

All of those "accomplishments" like 10 StreetPass Tags kind of seem daunting under this scenario...Think how I, and those in similar positions, feel about the "100 StreetPass Tags in one day" thing!?  I honestly feel like I'd have to hit a convention of 3DS Owners, LA, NYC, or Tokoyo to pull this one off.

And that is a great segway for this...

Find Mii II

A few of you will recall how excited I was to finally beat Find Mii.  Keep in mind, this takes a lot longer when you deal with Wandering Heroes who are Level 1 or Level 2 at best.  I can't imagine getting tags from real people and breezing through it in a few attempts.  I basically miss out on the accolades when you need the "Light Blue" to break the shield and "White" to light the room.  I'm tempted to get to those points, drive to GameStop, reset their demo 3DS, and build a Mii with the needed description.

Anyway, I was finally able (thanks largely to my friend's tags always being Level 7) to get through Find Mii for the second time!  This is as many as you have to play to get all the hats.  Granted you can replay it as much as you want, and I think there are accomplishments for this (beat FM 5 times etc), but for the time being all I am concerned with is the hats.

And here is the grand prize after the 2nd time through:

Pretty sweet imo...This basically replicates the Ultimate Ghost!  Here are some other end slides for those interested:
As you know, it is hard to get good shots of the 3DS Screen...There were all taken with my Galaxy S III.

The real treat here is getting to advance to Find Mii 2:

It is quite a bit more complex than Find Mii, but I won't go into it too much.  I will share this hilarious screen shot though:

So yeah, apparently if I was to breed with another Royal Mii this would be the offspring on either side...The Prince on the Left and the Princess on the Right.  I suppose the facial hair makes the Princess unique among her peers, lol.

That is about where I left off...took out a few monsters and picked my first path in FMII...I'm looking forward to seeing how it ends.

Nintendo 3DS News

And, this is kind of why I had planned to do the blog Thursday night (July 19th), but we are now one month away from...

New Super Mario Bros. 2!!  This game looks awesome!  I'm a big fan of the Koopalings having grown up with them and still considering Super Mario World one, if not the, greatest game of all time.  It looks like cons will be king in this one and there seem to be a few new tricks.  I am looking forward to it and plan to pick it up release week if not the release date....which is August 19th, 2012.

That same day the 3DS XL launches.  It will have a screen that is 90% bigger and for folks with larger hands, like myself, it will probably be more comfortable to hold and subsequently play for long periods of time.

I would also bank on a package deal at most retailers that week.

I would really like to have the XL, but can't really justify spending the "coin" just to be more comfortable and I don't want to trade in my now discontinued AquaBlue 3DS.  Plus, with the Wii U and its' incredible line-up of games launching late this year I really can't justify it.

That said, if you have held out on a 3DS this is your time to go for it.  The XL will play great, be easier on the eyes, and just with NSMB2, MK7, and SM3DL you have three great games to get you going.  Plus, there are even more on the horizon...

Mario Tennis Open

And speaking of the 3DS and great games, Mario Tennis Open offers a lot of gameplay options.  The addition of add-on characters via QR Codes is pretty cool and something I'd love to see continue, provided them being FREE.  The big release this week was the long awaited Metal Mario!  I have updated the blog post to include his QR Code.  If you just got the game and are looking for some cool add-ons, look no further:

Skylanders Updates

Alright, this is probably what most of you were waiting for...lots going on here.  I have the fresh batteries in the portal to wrap up all the Heroic Challenges for the full cast...which will be important and useful for GIANTS!

Skylanders Giants

A little more info on the new installment has leaked and I updated the blog post to reflect that:

I did swing by GameStop this past week and asked about the "pre-order all character" rumor that has been going around.  The manager said that it wasn't happening and if it was, no one had told them.  He did say he heard something about 3 coming with the pre-order...which I don't know if he means the 3 you'd get anyway, or 3 additional etc.

Skylanders Sidekicks

The time window to land Skylander Sidekicks here in the US is July 8th, 2012 - November 2nd, 2012.  I actually found the specially marked mutipack and picked up two of them...You have to send in the order form inside, UPC, and $2 to get one...And your first choice isn't guaranteed...It is a bit of a strange system, but I'm hopeful that the early submitals will get what we want.  Nonetheless, I shot a video of the package, the order form, and all the info you'd hopefully want to know which you can find here:

I really don't think the sidekicks will do much more than follow you around, but I will hold out hope they at least pick up items or something.  A hilarious action after defeating enemies or a stage would be a perk...but I really think they'll just kind of be a bonus visual.

If I get one back I will video the unboxing and then gameplay for everyone's records.

I had intended to get the "Classic Multipack" at the grocery store, but accidentally grabbed another "Flavor Mix Multipack" instead...Target didn't have the special Classic is what I spotted:

Skylanders Battle Tournament

This is going over pretty well...I skimmed the comments last night while half-asleep and there seems to be a bit of confusion as to how it works...

There was a poll asking "Who is Your Favorite Skylander" a while back.  Warnado was #1 and Boomer was #32.  I used this ranking system for this particular bracket.  So 1 vs 32, 2 vs 31, 3 vs 30, 4 vs 29 etc.  The rest panned out in the fashion where 1 has the easiest path (ranking wise) and 4 has the hardest path (ranking wise)...Just like a basketball playoff etc.

The "Battles" are actually ran by the poll.  You vote for who you think would win...which is usually going to be your favorite, USUALLY.  Let's face it, if someone likes Gill Grunt the best, they will think he is going to win every match and can vote so.  If they aren't as diehard they may think he'll be x, y, and z but has no chance against q, w, and r etc.

I think most people get that....

#1 Warnado is currently getting slaughtered by #16 Slam Bam...which based on that difference, which was huge, it seems people understand we are voting for who you think would win.  Granted, a lot of people that really like Warnado will think he could win etc.

I like Warnado way more than Boomer overall, but I honestly think Boomer would take him down in a battle...

That said, things are going fine and there only seem to be a few confused.

And the other issue of "is the poll who determines who wins, or do you play offline" is, as you should know after the above, all based on the poll.  The reason it isn't based on me running the battles is because there is no single player option...which is why I am doing the "Battle Tournament" via the poll.  It is pretty simple really, but I think if you have any questions you can find the answers here:

That said, in the next 'results' and 'Round 3' videos I will begin each with clarifications to help those uncertain etc.

Skylanders Hunting

As forewarned, despite having the base collection...I still look, mainly for variants.  I have yet to see a Crystal or Glow-in-the-Dark in person.  I am kind of thinking we might see a translucent Whilrwind or something on down the road though, so I will continue to look...Plus I just like to see how things are shaking up.

I have a backlog of pics here, but this is what I found most interesting....

Here is my local Target this week:

I hope you like Hex or Wrecking Ball because that is all they have.  I also want you to look at the size of the display...There are 12 Racks (and the Exclusive Whirlwind sign).

Now look at what I found on the road...This is a Target I went to on a trip:

Talk about a stark comparison!  22 Racks for Singles, 2 for Stylus packs, and 8 for Triple Packs or Adventure Packs!  They had pretty much everything but Wave 5 Singles.

A small store near me had a nice selection, but no Wham-Shell:

As mentioned I have a few more pics, but nothing too crazy.  I do want to post this one is the special sign for TRDS:

And yes, all they had was Wrecking Ball and Boomer, lol.

I still think we  will/should see a Translucent Whirlwind for Target...although I still think Translucent Green would be killer for Stump Smash!

Current Projects

There is quite a bit going on...and I haven't had much time to work on any of it :(

The Mario Kart Wii playthrough hasn't been touched since the start of June...that said, I still recorded a ton of it, just haven't edited past Part 4.  I may work on that this coming week.

I have a quick playthrough going on with that one, but it hasn't been touched since mid-June.

The same goes for my big "mystery game."  I've said it before, but I had major audio issues with this one...And sadly they have continued when I did try to record twice recently...I'll have to see how it pans out.

Once MKW and the partner playthrough wrap-up I may just come clean about this one and see if folks want to see it despite the massive audio/video issues, which I hope don't continue.

Currently Playing

Wii Fit Plus
Mario Kart Wii
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
Mystery Game 1
Mystery Game 2
Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
Mario Tennis Open (3DS)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS-Fired it up on a recent trip)

Currently Listening

Auto Audio (In the Car): Pearl Jam, Theory of a Deadman
Home Audio (At Home): Seven Mary Three, Taylor Swift

Other Stuff

I'm anxiously awaiting a chance to pre-order the Wii U...I figure it will be insanely popular and hard to come by without doing so...

I would like to pre-order Giants IF there is going to be something special...otherwise I'd just assume pick it up as the games rarely go out of stock.

Any news on pre-ordering figures I will jump on...those, unlike the game, will probably be quite the pain.

I recorded two random unboxings (OREO Cookie Jar because I thought it was cool, and a the Samsung Galaxy S III because I had several people ask for it).  If you go back I actually do this type of stuff from time-to-time, it isn't anything brand new.  I think I even did a Rayovac Lithium Ion Battery Charger...which is still serving me well!

The Galaxy S III has been an awesome phone!  I got it July 4th and it did an amazing job recording fireworks.  The camera is also great.  Huge screen, incredible resolution, and it has yet to drop a call etc...which I still consider important in a phone.

I really want to get Mario Kart Wii and its "partner" playthrough done asap so I can attempt to record and upload the Mystery Game, which will likely be pretty long...All in time for Giants.  If the Mystery Game doesn't pan out I will be going back a few years for the next playthrough...It is a great game and I have it on the agenda...Most have probably never played it.


Well, I finally got an update post done...feels good, even though it is 4 AM Saturday morning.  You should start to see a few more Mario Kart Wii vids soon...and I have Part 1 of the partner playthrough ready to edit  (like it has been for 6 weeks or so, lol)...I might get it up too...

Hope everyone enjoyed the update.  And don't forget to check out the Skylanders Sidekicks, Skylanders Battle Tournament, Skylanders Giants Info, and Mario Tennis Open QR Code posts!

Have a good weekend!


Skylanders Sidekicks

Back when the Sidekicks were first announced I would get a ton of questions on them...then it kind of slacked off...Now it is picking up again, and for good reason...You can send in to get them NOW!

The video should cover the basics and let you see the packaging, order form, and walk you through the process, as well as allow you to enjoy me griping about what you are surely concerned about...having to rank them and not being guaranteed you'll land your number one:

So here is the low-down:

Activision and Frito-Lay teamed up (once again) to promote Skylanders and Frito products.  The catch this time is you have to buy a specially marked Frito-Lay multipack (Classic Mix or Flavor Mix).  These retail for roughly $6.99 where I am at...

Inside the specially marked package you will find a special order form.  You need to fill it out, send $2 check or money order to the address shown, and then patiently wait 8-10 weeks to see which Sidekick shows up.

I say that in all seriousness.  They stress in several places how quantities are limited and you are not guaranteed to get your first pick...fantastic.  The issue here is there is a 4 per household limit.  So say your daughter wants Whisper Elf and your son wants Terrabite.  You send in both order forms with them ranked might get 2 Gil Runts.

Now say you intercept the package, don't tell the kids, and send off again...What if you get 2 Trigger Snappys this time?  Now do you have to involve in-laws or other relatives to land what your kids actually wanted?  Or do you resort to craigslist to try and trade them?

It is a total crap shoot, and no one wants to gamble on something like this.  Most people will either want the entire set or just x, y, or z.  I might submit for Terrabite tomorrow and only find that 10 weeks later I got Gil Runt because they didn't have Terrabit in-stock, or worse yet, they were all shipped out.

There is just a big unknown element here and it will not do anyone a favor...collector, casual fan, or parents.

I understand not getting your #1 choice come November, but I really hope right now (within a few weeks of the promotion's launch) that we could not find that to be an issue.  Nonetheless, that is the biggest drawback.       No one wants to spend $2 for something they don't want...and collectors will be livid if they get 3 of the 4 and a duplicate etc.  There are just a lot of variables and no real solution in sight.

As for what the Sidekicks do, I think it is nothing...They basically seem to just follow you around and just kind of "be there."  I don't think they'll do damage, but I'm hoping they might pick up food, items, etc for you, but there is a very real chance they will just kind of serve as your coat tail.

Still, fans and collectors alike will want to try and land the set or at least their favorite Sidekick!

As I learn more I will keep you updated.

Good luck!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III Unboxing

Well, after posting on Twitter that we upgraded to the new Samsung Galaxy S III I had several people request an here it is:

*Please note, I do not intend for this to be comprehensive, list off all the phone's features, or showcase any of them...I'll leave that to others.  This video is just what the title unboxing.

This phone is amazing...It is super quick, call quality is great, the pictures/videos are outstanding, and my only real complaint after this past week is the lack of a standard/traditional ring tone...That said, when your big complaint revolves around a ringtone, you know you have a nice phone.

Here is a quick run down on what will likely be the most FAQ:

Where did you get it: Sprint Store
What did it cost: $199 with 2 year contract...$699 unactivated
What colors are available: White and Pebble Blue
Memory: 16 GB Internal, I believe there is a 32 GB version as well
External SD Card Slot: Yes...but with 16 GB internal I don't see many needing one too soon.
Audio Quality: Very for me.
Pictures: Best Cell Phone Shots I've taken...I have a few pics up on the blog from the phone...8 MP
Flash: Yes...This thing will light up a dungeon!
Video Quality: Also amazing...true 1080p HD
4G: Capable...not all areas are set up yet
Processor: 1.GHz Dual Core Processor
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Screen: 4.8" HD Super AMOLED Display

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review of Translucent Red Drill Sergeant

Well, I took a little road trip tonight and came up with the Walmart Exclusive Translucent Red Drill Sergeant (TRDS in my own little world).  Let's take a look at the review:

Here are the basics:
-Drill Sergeant (Tech Element)
-Variant Form: Translucent Red
-Where Can You Get a TRDS?: Walmart...It is an exclusive
-How Much: $8.96
-Buy Online?: No.  Get it at your local Walmart...DO NOT buy from ebay scalpers
-Does TRDS Show Up translucent red in the game?: No, he will look like regular old Drill Sergeant.
-Any thing special?: TRDS starts at Level 5 and has 2100 Coins

Not much else to say...Personally  I don't think the "translucent red" looks too great...It is neat, but there are times it looks like a pale strawberry jello...TBB (translucent blue Bash) on the other hand looks great in person.

Also note that if you want to keep TRDS packaged, but would like to cash in on the Level 5 and $2100 you can play him on the portal with no of both worlds...enjoy in game and keep mint for display and future value!

As of right now (July 7th, 2012) we really don't know if TRDS will be flooding Walmarts across the country and spilling into grocery aisles, or if he will be somewhat limited.  A lot of people claim they see "50" at their local store, but the most I've seen in a picture is 12-18ish...not 50.  That said, I wouldn't be surprised it this is just another way to get $9 out of you, but if you are a collector, variant hunter, or more importantly just a Drill Sergeant fan this is worth the $8.96 asking price.

Also note that Drill Sergeant was released as a Gold Variant as well...that one will no doubt be more valuable, but this is at least a widely available variant and a nice addition to your collection.

I try to rotate him around to showcase the color changes in the video...some people will like the coloring, I felt it would have been better suited if it were a shade or two darker with a bit more gloss...

Nonetheless, if you are interested you should be able to find TRDS at a Walmart near you.

I will try to check back in my local stores and monitor sock from time-to-time...I'll also keep up online...I'll include updates in the weekly blog posts.  As of now, the store I got mine from received 12-18 last week and had 3 tonight...They have only had 1 shipment.

Stay tuned for more updates and good luck landing your TRDS!

OREO 100th Birthday Cookie Jar

OREO is celebrating its' 100th Birthday this year (1912-2012) and to commemorate the occasion, the company is doing a promotion where you can get a special edition OREO Cookie Jar!

Billed "America's Favorite Cookie" I happen to like OREOs well enough to go ahead and pull the trigger on this cookie jar.  The collector side of me had a hard time saying no to the I just thought it would look cool if it was put in to use!

Here is the unboxing and review:

Overall this thing is very nice!  Any OREO fan or cookie jar collector would be proud to have this piece in their collection....100th Anniversaries don't come around too often either, so it makes the piece that much more special.

Mine had a ding, but I don't think that would be a production wide issue.

My only real valid complaints are the lid.  I felt a satin/flat paint would have been better to show off the textured effect and the gasket on the lid doesn't seal up super tight (which is good and bad).  I honestly thought this would be plastic and figured the lid would thread on and off....The quality is very nice.

All you have to do to get one is collect 2 specially marked UPCs (they will mention OREO Cookie Jar Offer and can only be found on Regular OREO packages...not Double Stuffed), print off the order form, and send a check for $13.  4-6 Weeks later you will have your special OREO 100th Birthday Cookie Jar show up at your house or office.

All you need to do now is admire the piece and stock it with OREO cookies!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mario Kart Wii Playthrough

Well you wanted it, here it is...the Mario Kart Wii Playthrough!

I was shocked at how this game dominated the blog poll of what you wanted to see...granted, I wasn't surprised it won out, but the margin of victory was astounding and speaks volumes to how great of a game this is to be so popular after 4 years on the market.

That said, I played this game a ton back in late 2009 and early 2010...Some of my first videos were shot with a camera pointed at my TV to capture end scenes etc.  This game was the big reason I wanted to get into recording gameplay, mainly to capture some of the unbelievable stuff that went down in online play with my friends.

However, as fate (and/or a really lackluster ISP) would have it, I started having connectivity issues.  I went from being able to play 2 hours at full speed to connecting, starting a race, and getting tossed...or in some instances never being able to connect.

The ISP was called out, they diagnosed the problem as having "water in the line" and gave me a splitter to put in that would decrease picture quality on my TV, but make the internet closer to the speed that it should be...It took me a while to realize that was their solution...they apparently have no intention or care to dry or replace the line (or find the real reason and drop the lame excuse).  Nonetheless, if you have ever played something online with dial-up just imagine that today, but make the disconnects longer and more untimely.

So long story short, I quit playing the game religiously and kind of got into other things...As much as I'd like to swap friend codes it is pointless since I can't stay connected (before Nintendo Channel stuff with Alison and Gary was canned a 10 minute episode would take like 25-30 for me to watch...if I wasn't disconnected with an error message).  Believe me, if I could play online you'd have been seeing MKW Online matches since I started recording in June 2011.

All that aside, here is the plan...

A basically complete playthrough of Mario Kart Wii.

I plan to complete the 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc, as well as unlock all the karts and characters.  I may or may not record/upload the Mirror Mode stuff, we will just have to wait and see.

The plan of attack is to make this relate to the casual player, not someone that plays daily, has a hacked console, and owns world records.  That said, I am going Automatic and Standard Kart/Bike for the main portion of the playthrough.  I will also stick with a single character for each segment.

When we get to the Time Trials etc I will rotate characters and karts more often.

I started recording this in early June 2012, right as I was wrapping up Skylander upgrade vids etc.  I have currently (July 4th, 2012) recorded all the 50cc and 100cc races...Even have a few of the 50cc vids edited and ready to upload.  I'll start uploading a few each week as I give myself time to complete the remaining races.

As a sidenote I actually started 2 other playthroughs around that same planned, one just out of the blue...I had major game audio issues in the planned one and will probably have to re-record 2 parts...The other doesn't have major issues and I may alternate uploads to spice things up...That is all I will say about it right stay tuned!  And no, the Skylander vids are not over...have a few more to record and/or upload.

This should be a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it.

Mario Kart Wii Part 1: 50cc Mushroom Cup featuring Koopa Troopa

Mario Kart Wii Part 2: 50cc Flower Cup featuring Koopa Troopa

Mario Kart Wii Part 3: 50cc Star Cup featuring Koopa Troopa

Mario Kart Wii Part 4: Special Cup 50cc featuring Koopa Troopa

Mario Kart Wii Part 5: 50cc Shell Cup featuring Koopa Troopa

Currently Playing

  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • NBA Playgrounds
  • Minelogix-Minecraft PC
  • Stardew Valley - PC
  • Wii Fit U (Wii U)
  • Animal Crossing amiibo Festival (Wii U)
  • Yoshi's Wooly World
  • Animal Crossing New Leaf 3DS

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