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Consoleation: The not so noble intentions of abandoning instruction manuals

Fight Night Champion Screenshot

I came out pretty strong on Twitter recently, decrying the loss of instruction manuals as publishers such as Ubisoft and EA Sports have made moves to abolish print manuals in exchange for digital manuals that can be found as extra content on the game disc. While publishers are reasoning that eliminating such manuals is better for the environment, it seems evident to me that there are more significant factors at work here.

Video: Brothers Mario 2: Kong Country

The GameStation is back with a sequel to its clever Mario Brothers/Grand Theft Auto mash up. This time, there is a new Don, a Don-Key Kong, stepping on Bowser's turf. Who does he call for help? The Brothers Mario of course.

At first I couldn't see Donkey Kong and Mario as enemies going up against Bowser. That was until I realized that, historically speaking, Donkey Kong and Mario have been enemies from Nintendo's beginning. I guess years of watching them pal around in Super Mario Kart, Mario Tennis and Super Smash Bros. skewed my view.

Video: Brothers Mario 2: Kong Country

Four-year old gets Mario-themed birthday party

Four-year old gets Mario-themed birthday party

Some kids get parties where they get to dress up as their favorite super hero or game character and their Mom and Dad throws around some related paraphernalia (mostly store-bought shlock).

This four-year-old's parents went above the call to create something so authentic and detailed that its a shame the four-year-old won't remember it when he or she is older.

How to create a life-sized paper verison of No More Heroes' Travis Touchdown

Life-sized papercraft of No More Heroes' Travis Touchdown

A user named ddi7i4d on the instructables website has created a full-size model of No More Heroes' Travis Touchdown out of paper. Why would he do such a thing? Who knows? Maybe because someone told him he couldn't. Whatever the reason, the world now has a 1.86 meter (whatever that is in feet and inches) papercraft figure that watches over ddi7i4d's apartment.

Video: "Mario" Movie

It seems anyone with a camera and fellow film students with free time has made a Super Mario Bros. movie. This latest one goes at the Mario story from perhaps a more realistic angle. The story of Mario seems the result of a series of hallucinogenic experiences by the lead character. Are those really power-up blocks he sees? Is Bowser really a lizard? Maybe Mario just has a substance abuse problem.

Video: Mario Movie

PAX East 2011 Roundup

Hunted: The Demon's Forge Screenshot

I attended PAX East, checking out upcoming games and meeting great people. That last one was a bit more difficult thanks to the enormous size of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), but that size made panels much easier to get into and allowed for an expanded and much nicer exposition floor. In case you weren't there, here are some impressions.

Cozy Fire Review

Not for Kindling

Cozy Fire Screenshot

HIGH Look at those realistic flames! And all the different kinds of wood to burn!

LOW You can't stack the fire to insane proportions—no raging bonfires allowed.

WTF This is the Wii's second fireplace simulator. Is this actually a thing?

Lost in Shadow Review

Weightless

Lost in Shadow Screenshot

HIGH The beginning of the housing area, when playing as a shadow is well-realized.

LOW Tedious, repetitive levels—and far, far too many of them.

WTF Did the devs really think this much switch-flipping was good gameplay?

Lost in Shadow, Ghost Trick and Being Human

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Screenshot

Being the immense Phoenix Wright fan that I am, I had high hopes that Shu Takumi's new work would be of a similar quality, and I was not disappointed. While the concept of playing a ghost that can possess inanimate objects has been done before (anyone remember Geist on the GameCube?) it's never been done as well or as stylishly as it is here.

Lost in shadow

Lost in Shadow Screenshot

I started up Lost in Shadow, a recently released art-house platformer on the Wii. (And wow, I can't remember the last time I turned the thing on.) Early impressions are good. The aesthetic and art design is appealing, although there is no question that the quality of the game shares more than a little in common with Fumito Ueda's ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since I'm a huge fan of both of those titles, but the similarity in tone and vibe is a bit eyebrow-raising.

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