Blogs > Yay For Video Games

Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It shouldn't surprise anyone Calvin Johnson is a Madden cover boy

To the disappointment of Detroit sports media and Madden curse believers, Calvin Johnson will be on the cover of Madden 13. The Lions superstar beat out Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers in the championship. It was announced after an hour of uncomfortable SportsNation viewing, which featured Cam and Calvin messing around and answering dumb questions.

We can now add Megatron to the list of Detroit sport athletes that have graced the cover of sports video games as of late. Former Lion Barry Sanders will be on the cover of the upcoming NCAA Football 13, and Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander graced the cover of MLB 2K12. Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings is in the running for cover boy of NHL 13.

While those hardcore Lions fans who believe in the Madden curse will freak out every time Calvin's on the field, it shouldn't surprise anyone that he would be picked for the cover. Since this was an EA fan-voted contest, it pretty much comes down to who's the most popular at the right time. Calvin no doubt was with his highlight-reel catches week after week this past season. Last season was his breakout year, which elevated his status to "superstar." It's how Verlander got on a cover after his MVP season.

This is what happens when you get a superstar on your team, he's going to be shot into the spotlight. If you're upset he's on Madden, then blame Calvin for being too awesome with all those amazing catches that helped lead the Lions to the playoffs. If he didn't have a standout year, we probably wouldn't be talking about this.

Congrats to Megatron for becoming the Madden 13 cover boy. You earned it.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Next Call of Duty game to be revealed during NBA playoffs

No surprise, another Call of Duty game is coming. On the Call of Duty website, Activision is telling us in a big way when and where the world reveal will happen: May 1 during the NBA playoffs on TNT. Will Ron Metta World Peace announce it? He's kind of known for his violent outbursts, like the brawl at the Palace and his recent elbowing incident.

Word around the Internet is this next installment — that will surely sell millions upon millions of copies — will be a sequel to Black Ops, which released in November 2010. If it releases in the fall, which would make the most sense, it will join other big game titles this holiday season like Halo 4 and Resident Evil 6.

With Microsoft and Sony mum so far on new consoles, this holiday could be the last big hurrah for the Xbox 360 and PS3. But will a Wii U version be in the works? Nintendo's follow-up to the successful Wii is likely coming this year, and the Big N needs third-party support. We'll find out soon enough.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nintendo smartly keeps up the 3DS momentum by releasing New Super Mario Bros. 2 in August

When Nintendo first launched the 3DS, the biggest complaint was lack of games. It was a big reason for pitiful hardware sales that forced the company to slash the price from $250 to $170. But since the release of big guns like Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Resident Evil: Revelations, the 3DS is climbing back up the handheld mountain, outpacing DS sales so far.

More games are on the horizon, too, like Mario Tennis Open in May, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance in July, and we're still waiting on release windows for Paper Mario, Animal Crossing and Luigi's Mansion 2. Oh, you just know a Zelda game and traditional Pokemon title will be released at some point.

Well, Nintendo dropped another bomb on the video gaming world by announcing New Super Mario Bros. 2, which will release in North America and Japan in August. This is the sequel to the multimillion smash hit that was part of the DS boom in sales in 2006.

In terms of software releases Nintendo is pushing the gas pedal all the way down, and with this announcement they're flooring it even more. The 3DS had a very successful holiday season and momentum is high. In this smartphone game obsession world we live in, where every minor bump by Nintendo is unfairly scrutinized to the highest degree, they got to keep it up. Releasing New Super Mario Bros. 2 this summer will no doubt do that and guarantee the 3DS will be on the top of millions of holiday wish lists worldwide.

People predicted the end of days for Nintendo back when the price cut happened. Now look. That little hiccup could be the best thing to happen to them.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cult classic Kid Icarus arrives on Nintendo 3DS eShop

Classic Nintendo characters like Mario and Link have seen their share of games over the years (especially Mario), but one seemed to be thrown off to the side until recently. Pit, from the classic NES Kid Icarus game, is back in the spotlight after a long, long hiatus. Despite a Game Boy sequel, Pit was featured in the popular Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl and more recently in the 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising.

Kid Icarus was never a big hit like Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda, but it gained a cult following. Now for the price of $5.99, you can purchase the NES game as part of the 3D Classics lineup on the 3DS eShop. Playable in 2D or 3D, players can control the young angel with his trusty magical bow and arrow to defeat the evil goddess Medusa, who has stolen the Three Sacred Treasures and imprisoned Palutena, the goddess of light.

This 2D action platformer is filled with all kinds of enemies and mayhem. Back in the day, it was known for its level design, but got points knocked off for high difficulty.

I'm currently playing Kid Icarus: Uprising and am enjoying blasting my way through levels with all kinds of weapons, even though the control setup puts a hurt on my hands and arms after long periods of playing. I never played the original NES game, so since I got some eShop cash in hand I may just have to buy this and see what the fuss is all about.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Calvin Johnson crushes Aaron Rodgers to make championship of Madden 13 cover contest

Calvin Johnson blew past Aaron Rodgers to make the championship of EA's Madden 13 cover contest, where he will now face off against Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. By all rights, Megatron should have this in the bag. But it is a fan-voted contest. A massive wave of Detroit Lions fans could vote against their star wide receiver, and Cam Newton is Tim Tebow-lite in terms of popularity, so anything can happen.

But I expect Megatron will be on the cover, and for all the Madden Curse believers out there: You can stop now. It's fun to joke about and we all have a good laugh about it, but in the end being on a video game cover does not determine your fate the following season. There's no evil witch hanging out at EA headquarters with voodoo dolls of all the NFL players awaiting to be plucked and messed with. Those on the cover who happened to get injured, well, this is football, people. Not exactly one of the safest sports out there.

Detroit Lions fans should embrace this opportunity. The team's been the laughing stock of the league for years and years, and finally they're in the spotlight in a good way. This will probably be your only chance to vote for a Lion for years, and once this Madden Curse nonsense is behind us, you'll regret not doing so. Vote for Megatron. He deserves the honor a lot more than some young QB who hasn't proven himself yet.

Click here to vote. Voting takes place through April 25. The winner will be announced at 5 p.m. on SportsNation on ESPN 2.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Barry Sanders, Robert Griffin III on cover of NCAA Football 13

Former Detroit Lions running back and Heisman winner Barry Sanders and 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin III will share the cover of NCAA Football 13. Sanders was selected by fans as part of the My Heisman Cover Vote contest by EA Sports.

Like how Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson is in the Final Four of the Madden 13 cover contest, eight former Heisman winners battled it out in a tournament-style format. Other players in the tournament included Michigan's Desmond Howard, Boston College's Doug Flutie and Ohio State's Eddie George.

Sanders is the second (although former) Detroit athlete to be featured on a cover as of late. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers was the cover boy of MLB 2K12 after his MVP season last year. We'll find out April 18 if Megatron beat Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers to make the championship in the Madden 13 contest. Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings is also in the running to be featured on the NHL 13 cover.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pavel Datsyuk representing Detroit Red Wings in NHL 13 cover contest

While the Madden 13 cover contest is in the Final Four, with Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson battling Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, the NHL 13 cover contest is in the beginning stages.

No surprise, Pavel Datsyuk is representing the Detroit Red Wings, receiving more votes than goalie Jimmy Howard. He is part of the field of 32 that will be split in half for an upcoming tournament. Datsyuk should have no problem cracking the top 16 to advance.

While Lions fans who believe in the Madden Curse are freaking out right now, there's no NHL curse that I know of. So let's do our duty and get Datsyuk on the cover. Click here to vote for him.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caine's Arcade: 9-year-old boy gets the surprise of his life after building elaborate cardboard arcade

During summer vacation, 9-year-old Caine Monroy built an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad's auto parts store in East Los Angeles. He thought of everything, like creating his own claw machine to get prizes. He would crawl into his contraptions and push out tickets that could be redeemed for prizes.

Unfortunately, not many people were interested in it, but it didn't discourage him. Fortunately, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick showed up looking for a door handle for his car. Caine asked him if he wanted to play, and he was happy to. It cost $1 for a few turns, and $2 would get him a Fun Pass for 500 turns. Of course, he got the Fun Pass. Who wouldn't?

Mullick decided to help Caine out by surprising him with a flash mob to bring in lots and lots of customers. A short film details how the 9-year-old created his arcade and how the big day came to be. A scholarship fund has been set up to raise money for Caine to go to college. Amazingly, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised so far.

You can read more about Caine's Arcade at We sure could use more Caines in the world.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Calvin Johnson reaches Final Four of Madden 13 cover tourney; faces Aaron Rodgers

Rob Gronkowski's little video of him spiking a Megatron toy didn't help him out after all.

Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson easily beat the New England Patriot by amassing 63 percent of the vote to advance to the Final Four of EA's Madden 13 cover tournament. Megatron will face Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In the other match-up, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers will face the Cinderella of the tournament, Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers.

Green Bay's had Detroit's number in what seems like forever. Will they again in the Madden tourney? Click here to vote. Final Four voting takes place April 11-18, with the championship April 18-25.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rob Gronkowski calls out Calvin Johnson in video about Madden 13 cover tourney; spikes Megatron toy

Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson is facing off against New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski in the Elite 8 of the Madden 13 cover contest. Gronkowski is looking for votes, so he released a video recently of him doing pushups and playing Madden against a Megatron toy. You know, Calvin's nickname.

He also scores a touchdown against the Lions and spouts off some stats. Gronk really wants to win this thing. You can vote against him by clicking here. The winner between Gronk and Megatron will be announced Wednesday.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quick thoughts on The Pinball Arcade for Xbox Live Arcade

FarSight Studios recently released The Pinball Arcade on Xbox Live Arcade. It is also available on iOS and Android. Here are my thoughts on the game so far.

Having played Black Hole, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Tales of The Arabian Nights and Theatre of Magic in real life, these four tables are accurately represented in video game form. FarSight Studios is dedicated to bringing real pinball tables to the digital world, and they didn't slack here.

The ball physics are near perfect and it feels like there's weight on the ball, unlike in Zen Studios' Pinball FX 2. But besides that, you really can't compare the two pinball titles, since Zen is focused more on flashy, fantasy tables and FarSight goes for the realistic.

I'm not a big fan of the menu design; it feels slapped together as an afterthought. But that's just a minor issue.

Check back soon at for my full review of the game.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Justin Verlander shows off acting skills after blowing perfect game in MLB 2K12

And the Oscar goes to ...

2K Sports is currently seeking entries for its $1,000,000 Perfect Game Challenge to find who can pitch the most perfect game in MLB 2K12. Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander and other MLB pitchers are shown in a video attempting to get into The Perfect Club.

Sadly, it's not easy getting a perfect game, and Verlander isn't too happy losing it.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Mario Tennis Open to be served May 20 on Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo has announced new details for its upcoming 3DS game Mario Tennis Open, which will be released May 20.

Along with the classic singles and doubles modes, Special Games mode will give fans more fun ways to play tennis. One that I have my eye on is Super Mario Tennis, where classic Super Mario Bros. levels are projected on a wall and you must hit the tennis ball at Goombas, Koopas and question mark boxes to make your way to the flag pole.

A full cast Nintendo characters can be chosen, and Miis will come into play as well. You can boost your stats with gear like Bowser's racket, a Bullet Bill shirt and Peaches shoes.

The big and must-have addition is online mode, allowing players to show off their skills to the world. Up to four players can play in online doubles matches, and there will be leaderboard standings in Open Match. It's nice to see Nintendo giving online a more serious look than in the past. Mario Kart 7 is great online, and I have faith Mario Tennis Open will be a success as well.

What I find the most interesting is the use of the touchscreen. In one screenshot, you can use either the buttons to perform a certain shot or just tap the screen with the stylus. I'm not sure I would use the touchscreen for this, since it would require me to be constantly looking down.

There's a lot of Mario sports games I've played, but tennis was always my favorite. The addition of online is a huge selling point, and hopefully there's a bunch of gimmicky courts Mario Tennis games are known for.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Square Enix announces North American release dates for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts 3D

The Nintendo 3DS is getting two Square Enix games this summer in North America.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy will drop July 3. This unique game features a blend of the role-playing and music genres. Heroes from the franchise will set out on a musical journey to take on memorable villains. Fighting them is by rhythmic taps of the stylus. More than 70 musical scores from 25 years of the Final Fantasy franchise will be available, including music from field themes, battle arrangements and key events.

Coming July 31 is Kingdom Hearts 3D (Dream Drop Distance), allowing you to play as Sora and Riku, two of the most popular characters in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Players will be able to switch between them, using the Drop Gauge for strategic battles.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson moves one step closer to being on Madden 13 cover

Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson has advanced to the Elite 8 in the Madden 13 cover tournament by EA Sports, blowing past Arian Foster in Round 2 with 73 percent of the vote. He now faces Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots.

If Megatron wins, he would face either Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers or Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens. Other match-ups are Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton against Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, and Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers against Victor Cruz of the New York Giants.

You can vote by clicking here.

Get even tinier random thoughts at

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Katy Perry gets The Sims treatment: 'Sweet Treats' coming to The Sims 3 in June

The Sims franchise is known for its bounty of expansion packs that spruce up your lives in the Sims world. Electronic Arts has announced their latest Sims project, partnering with pop superstar Katy Perry.

The Sims 3: Katy Perry's Sweet Treats will allow players to turn their world into a Candyfornica filled with cupcake-themed guitars, cotton candy trees and candy playground equipment. Don't forget the banana split sofas, candy fountains and waffle cone picnic tables. Pretty much, the crazy world of Katy Perry is all here.

I played a lot of Sims when it first came out, but got overwhelmed by the amount of expansions. I was never that into the game to keep paying for more content. I don't see a lot of guys rushing out to preorder this one. This is obviously aimed for the tween girls.

Katy Perry's Sweet Treats will release in June for PC and Mac.

Get even tinier random thoughts at