Ouya Review

Ouya Video Game System

Ouya Video Game System (Photo credit: KaR]V[aN)

It has only been a week since I purchased an Ouya, and I’m actually happy to have a gaming console in my home again. I have had a very strained history with gaming consoles as of late. I loved my NES, SNES, and N64. I then moved to the PS2, which was ok, but the majority of the available games weren’t as fun as they were in Nintendo’s ecosystem, so I picked up a Wii. The Wii eventually became old news and I picked up an Xbox 360, but I had the same trouble finding a game I really liked as I did with the PS2, so I picked up a Wii U, which was just one big mistake. The Wii U suffered from buggy software, slow hardware, and a complete lack of games. It’s hard to fall in love again with the Nintendo ecosystem of games when there is simply a lack of games period. Over the years, I picked up plenty of games that I enjoyed on my iPad, so I considered my days of console gaming to be over, until I picked up an Ouya.

I instantly felt at home on the Ouya. Not only does it feature a ton of games which harken back to the pre-Wii Nintendo era that I was so fond of, but you can also grab a wealth of fully functional emulators for the Ouya, all the way from arcade to N64. Speaking as simply as possible, the Ouya is a powerful Android phone with no phone bits that uses your TV as its screen. Plus, because the Ouya doesn’t run off a battery, it can crank the maximum performance out of its hardware while running anything that can run on Android, and that’s where its charm lies.

Games that run on Android or iOS are very similar to the size/scope and design sensibilities or what ran on the pre-Wii Nintendo consoles, because that’s pretty much what the hardware supports. It may not sound like much these days, but these devices are phones, not huge blocks of hardware that sit under your TV. The Ouya itself is no bigger than a coffee mug. Take a coffee mug and place it on top of your fancy Xbox or Playstation, then think about that for a second.

Will the Ouya ever run games like Halo 4 or Battlefield 3? Of course not, but it can run Towerfall, Knightmare Tower, Shadowgun, and 350 other games, including a variety of older console emulators. Why hunt for new games when you could just play all of the games you used to love, back on your TV with a controller in your hands, just like the old days? Well, it’s still worth it to try the new games. Just take a look at Towerfall for a moment.

That’s the type of fun, stylistic, and rapid local-multiplayer game that I miss. Remember local-multiplayer? If you’re fond of it, there are quite a few local-multiplayer games available for Ouya. Are you worried about trying games you’ve never heard of before? Don’t be! The Ouya marketplace requires that developers make a portion of their games free to play with an in-app purchase to unlock the entire game (though there are plenty of 100% free games). Curious about a game? Try it for free. Don’t like it? Delete it. Like it? Pay to unlock the entire game, sometimes for as little as $0.99. No more need to buy $50 discs that you can only sell back for $20 once you realize that you made a huge mistake.

Speaking of price, the Ouya is only $99 with the controllers priced at $49 (one comes with the console), though most games in the Ouya marketplace support the current Playstation or Xbox controllers, so you could pay less for a generic one of those. With a $99 console and free-to-try games for as little as $0.99, the Ouya vastly undercuts any gaming console on the market today as far as price goes.

If you long for the games of your past, or games like the ones from your past, grab an Ouya today! You won’t be disappointed.

WakeMate Review

It’s about time for my WakeMate review. Though I was initially pleased with the device, its usefulness was soon lost in a sea of hardware failure and absent customer service, so this review is really more about my experience with the device and less about the device itself.

Continue reading

Review: Pathfinder

I seldom read and rarely enjoy graphic novel adaptations of movies, but Pathfinder is a visual feast from artist Christopher Shy and writer Laeta Kalogridis that is far superior to the film itself.

When director Marcus Nispel contacted artist Christopher Shy and expressed his interest in a film depicting a war between Vikings and Native Americans, Shy began to produce seemingly endless pages of concept art.  So much concept art in fact, that they used all of it to produce the graphic novel adaptation.

Review: The Death and Return of Superman

The Death and Return of Superman, the omnibus edition, is a colossal masterpiece from the collective minds of Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, and Gerard Jones. In 746 detailed pages, it deals directly with what it would take to kill a hero, what the world would be like without that hero, and what it would take to bring a hero back to life.

Review: Spider-Man: The Other

Spider-Man: The Other is not your typical comic book death and rebirth story. It’s an immense tale worthy of most high-caliber television series. Woven by writers Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, and J. Michael Straczynski, and illustrated by Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, and Mike Deodato, Jr., The Other is not without its faults, but it is an in-depth experience not to be missed by any Spider-Man fan.

Review: Spider-Man: Reign

Spider-Man: Reign, from writer and artist Kaare Andrews, is a powerful and emotional journey through the tortured mind of Peter Parker as he enters the last years of his life and begins to confront everything that he has ever cared for and lost.

My Mom Has an iPhone

Update: Photo now included!

I recently wrote about the iPhone not long before its release on June 29th. Well, what I haven’t said yet is that, not long after its release, my Mom left an Apple Store with an 8GB iPhone. I know, I completely missed the “buzz wave” with this report, but it’s nice to report nonetheless.

Continue reading

Review: Transformers / G.I. Joe

Transformers / G.I. Joe is not just another Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover, but rather a dark and war-torn recreation of the Transformers and G.I. Joe universes in tandem by writer John Ney Rieber and artist Jae Lee. In the twentieth century’s darkest year, a world at war will find itself caught in the middle of a titanic alien conflict that has lain dormant for the last four million years.

Review: Secret War

Secret War, a masterpiece by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Gabriele Dell’Otto, is the best graphic novel ever produced by Marvel Comics. Blinded by diplomacy and arrogance, the United States government refuses to acknowledge the imminent danger as a foreign threat continues to grow. How far will one man go to defend his country? The decisions made, and their consequences, will forever change one of Marvel’s most iconic legends.

Review: Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi is an adventurous and thought-provoking “What if?” tale by writer Adam Gallardo and artists Ryan Benjamin, Dan Norton, and Juvaun Kirby. It begins in tandem with the original Return of the Jedi script, but when a rescue mission goes terribly wrong, history is forever altered.