25 May 2012
Earlier today, after several months since its release, I finally picked up the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro at GameStop after a new shipment was sent out to stores nationwide. The original shipment was sold out quickly and second-hand units were being re-sold for a higher mark-up online until just recently. Currently, they are (to my knowledge) back in stock at select GameStop stores around the country and in Nintendo's online store for $20.
For anyone who doesn't own a Nintendo 3DS, you may ask what is a Circle Pad Pro?
Last year, this peripheral was released in Japan along with the release of Capcom's "Monster Hunter Tri-G" as an alternative method to control the game. The unit is essentially an add-on to the main unit, adding a second analog circle pad, extra rear trigger buttons, and a grip similar to console controllers. Upon its release, it's gotten mixed reactions, namely why Nintendo neglected to add a 2nd circle pad in the first place and whether the eventual revision of the 3DS will have the 2nd circle pad built in.
Despite it looking like a tumor on my 3DS, the Circle Pad Pro actually feels like I'm holding a "real" controller with the contoured grips and triggers. It's not as big as the pictures make it out to be nor is it heavy. But yeah, it does look unsightly and there's no other color for this thing other than black, so if you have a blue, red, pink or purple 3DS, then colors are going to clash. If that sort of thing bothers you, then I wouldn't recommend the CPP. Also, I wouldn't recommend carrying a 3DS with the CPP attached if you wear skinny jeans; it sticks out of pockets noticeably.
Aesthetics aside, the reason people bought this thing was for the games. I have three games available that are CPP-compatible. I'll list my thoughts on each game's controls with and without the CPP below:
Resident Evil: Revelations
The game controls fine on its own without the CPP, but the extra circle pad makes for a good camera control and makes shooting easier. Recommended with or without the CPP.
Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater
The game controls poorly without the CPP and while the CPP finally offers more option to control the game, it's still poor. Stick to the console version of MGS3.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
It only leaves the game accesible to left-handed folks. I'm not very coordinated with this style, but it does work. Recommended with the CPP if it works for you.
Final thought: It's something that Nintendo should have incorporated in their initial design, but it was also created after much badgering from third-party developers like Capcom, so it's something that can be either necessary or unnecessary, depending on how you look at it. There's not much use for this thing and Nintendo did say that a small minority of games will use it (neither of those are required to play with the CPP, only supported, and remember to check the back of the game's packaging for a compatibility seal), so the entire experience just feels optional.
Recommended? Not really, since the touch screen is used for input and camera control, a second circle pad blurs between the line of necessity and redundancy. It's cheap though, so it's not a bad investment if you're looking for an alternate style of play. Just don't buy it second-hand with ridiculous markup.
Have a fun weekend,
Image source: GameStop
11 May 2012
I'm here to announce that my good friends Jose Lopez, Angel de Leon and I have decided to create a sequel to 2005's parodic doujin work "Jokémon: Drugs Version". Coming this summer: "Jokémon Black & White".
After a year's worth of discussion and many rejected ideas, we've laid a basic groundwork for this new Jokémon story. Originally the sequel was going to be a continuation of the original work called "Jokémon: Sex Version" and just two months ago I wrote some gags for an eventual story called "Jokémon FartGold & HoleSilver", but I felt it would be dated. Instead, the story is adapted from the recent "Black & White" games and it stars a new protagonist with new Jokémon in a new region. I can't say much, but it's going to be longer than the original comic and a lot more crass.
We're still ironing out details, but if I'm given the OK, I'll share some production sketches and maybe tease some of the gags. We'll make a "Japan time" out of it.
Also, please note that this will not affect the production of "Children Are Evil" and there is also another comic in the works for the publication "Candy or Medicine". I'll reveal more details on the latter comic as the time comes.
All in all, this is going to be one busy summer.
DISCLAIMER: "Jokémon Black & White" is a satirical work. It should not be confused with Nintendo's "Pokémon" series. Jokémon is a joint work by Blu Latin Artist Productions, The Ray N. Experience, & Missignos.
05 May 2012
Today is Free Comic Book Day. Go to your local comic shop and pick up some free books. And while you're at it, actually buy some. A good comic shop is rare nowadays, so do take care of them with your patronage.
PS: Go read CAE. It's free, too.