13 June 2013

Can't Link Your 3DS To Your Club Nintendo Account? Here's How...

You're in the 3DS eShop for the first time, and it offers to link your Club Nintendo account to your 3DS, presumably to help you rack up stars and benefits. You judiciously input your email address and password, only to have an error message appear, telling you that your email address and/or password is incorrect. So you hop on your computer and login to the Club Nintendo website without issue...


According to the Troubleshooting section of Nintendo's website, this error can be caused by two things, neither of which are mentioned in the original error message, and neither of which has anything to do with an incorrect email address or password.

Here it is:

  1. Login to your Club Nintendo account via the relevant Nintendo website (on your PC, laptop, phone - basically anything other than your 3DS!).
  2. Click on the "EDIT MY PERSONAL DATA" button.
  3. Under the "User Data" section, click on the little "EDIT >" button.
  4. Click into the "Username:" field and remove any "special characters" from your username. This includes underscores ("_"), and I assume other symbols used for swearing like !@#$%^&*()-+=, etc. If you've always hated your username, here's your opportunity to change it.
  5. Check the "Date of birth:" to ensure that you are registered as being born more than 13 years ago.
 If you're under 13, or you entered a fake date of birth that's less than 13 years ago, then I'm afraid you're out of luck. Nintendo has pre-emptively "protected" you from the evils of the internet! There appears to be no method of editing the date of birth after an account has been registered.

That being the case, I would recommend trying to contact Nintendo customer service to see if they can change it on their end (which is probably more time consuming than it's worth), or failing that, give up and create a new Club Nintendo account. A date of birth greater than 21 should have you covered, but you might want to make yourself 100 years old just to be on the safe side...

I wrote this because I found Nintendo's troubleshooting instructions to be woefully low on detail and generally unhelpful. I am a trainer by day, so I thought I would try writing some instructions that were quite the opposite!

22 April 2013

Beer Pong Too Strong For Wii

By Adam Redsell on July 7, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Beer Pong fans will have to settle for the real thing, thanks to outraged parent and university groups. Beer Pong was to be released on Wii Ware last month as part of JV Games' Frat Party Games line, but those plans came to a grinding halt when the cries of hot mothers and stuffy deans reached the ears of Connecticut attorney-general Richard Blumenthal.

Blumenthal determined that the ESRB had made a grievous error in clearing the game for young teens, expressing concerns that future games in the Frat Party Games series will be approved for that age group. In what appeared to be a panic-propelled backflip, JV Games VP Jag Jaeger [hello, deed poll!] announced that the game will be renamed "Pong Toss" and all references to alcohol removed. Thing is, the game contained no alcoholic references to begin with, according to the ESRB president Patricia Vance:
"Despite being premised on a drinking game, the game's content involves essentially nothing more than tossing pingpong balls into plastic cups. We are thus unsure of the basis for the statement in your letter suggesting that this content 'glorifies alcohol abuse and binge drinking."
Touche. Blumenthal [blue menthol?] responded by pointing out that "beer" was explicitly referred to in the title, accompanied by a depiction of said beverage. He added that kegs and beer mugs were clearly visible at some of the beer pong tables, and that there was even a full bar in the background. Clearly Richard has spent a lot of time with the game.

So "Beer Pong" is now "Pong Toss" and the oldies are satisfied. Where this leaves the follow-up title, "Bong Toss", remains to be seen.

'Beer Pong' Video Game Has Controversy Brewing [Fox News]

30 December 2012

My Top 7 Games of the Year 2012

I haven't played every notable video game that released in 2012, but I have played a fair whack of them, and I wanted to highlight them here.

NUMBER SEVEN: Borderlands 2

 I tried to get into Borderlands last year, and once again this year, but it just didn't hook me the way the sequel did.  I'm not certain what was so different about Borderlands 2 that made me hunger for loot and level-ups; perhaps the smart writing and humorous dialogue greased the wheels.  All I know is that with Borderlands 2, I now care what guns I'm carrying; I now want to tick off everything on my to-do list; I now want to play a first person shooter for more than 50 hours...

NUMBER SIX: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I don't play many strategy games, but when I do, it's usually a well-crafted one by Firaxis.  XCOM: Enemy Unknown is no exception, and may well be my favourite strategy game this side of Civilisation II.  I was emotionally invested in my squad, and not wanting to see them die horribly was the key motivator to playing the game patiently and properly.

NUMBER FIVE: Mass Effect 3

Sure, Mass Effect 3's ending left a lot to be desired, but every story beat brought a Mass Effect story thread to a satisfying conclusion.  Some of these moments were among the most deeply moving experiences I've ever had playing a video game.  It's not the best Mass Effect game, but it was worth it just to see Garrus, Thane, and Mordin one last time.

NUMBER FOUR: Mark of the Ninja

Mark of the Ninja was the most mechanically satisfying game I played all year.  The controls are tight and super-smooth, the ninja's arsenal is versatile and interesting, and the game deftly transmits feedback to the player.  All of these things are paramount for a stealth game, but what's most remarkable about Mark of the Ninja is that it makes all of these things work in 2D.  2D stealth has never been done before, but this game will make you wonder why nobody tried it sooner.


Journey is one of the most beautiful games ever created, inside and out.  It is filled with the awe of discovery. Discovering another player for the first time; discovering that close proximity to that player increases your ability to fly, and keeps you warm in a snowstorm.  It's magical.  By limiting player communication to a single sound and a single button press, it manages to forge unspoken bonds between complete strangers.  So much so, my stranger-turned friend and I simply stopped and stood on top of a hill, just to look at the sky.  It was a rare moment of shared beauty.

NUMBER TWO: Hotline Miami
Hotline Miami is a horrible 80s cocaine binge in the best possible way.  Its broken-record soundtrack, hazy filter, and wavering camera put me right in the disturbed headspace of its protagonist.  In a way, the game is a systematic, stealth action game.  But its one-hit-one-kill policy rewards the brazen far more than the methodical.  The game kills you until you are a genuinely better player.  Twitch reflexes develop; muscle memory sets in.  Make no mistake, I died many times during the course of Hotline Miami, but I thought to myself, just one more try, EVERY time.  The game design really serves and encourages this with quick controls and quick restarts.  Clearing a level is satisfying because it can only be done quickly and flawlessly.  It is also harrowing because the music stops and the game forces you to reflect upon your violence as you do the walk of shame back to your car.  Hotline Miami is conceptually brilliant: the most violent statement against violence in video games.

And NUMERO UNO is...

The Walking Dead video game is not only superior to the television show; it is better than the comic book series that spawned them both.  The emotional bond with its characters is strengthened by the interactive nature of the medium.  Its high stakes plot is raised by throwing the player into heart-wrenching decision-making.  The Walking Dead treats player choice with the deepest respect, and yet there is a fatalism that propels its story.  Often those choices will be between abandoning or mercy-killing a doomed friend or family member.  At two particular points, the weight of these decisions reduced me to a weeping, sobbing mess.  By the game's conclusion, I felt like an empty shell of a man - a zombie, if you will - and it took me a long time to recover.  It's not often I can say that about a video game, let alone any form of entertainment.  Congratulations Walking Dead, you are my Game of the Year for 2012.