___   ____ _  ___  __                                   
  |__ \ / __ \ |/ / |/ /   ____  ____  ____ ___  ___  _____
  __/ // / / /   /|   /   / __ `/ __ `/ __ `__ \/ _ \/ ___/
 / __// /_/ /   |/   |   / /_/ / /_/ / / / / / /  __(__  ) 
/____/\____/_/|_/_/|_|   \__, /\__,_/_/ /_/ /_/\___/____/  

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


DS/cover art from China

(more at yyjoy)

Looks like somebody got the bright idea of painting a silicone DS case instead of permanently marring their DS. And look at the results! They'd be tacky if I didn't love graffiti-style art so much. I wonder if I could print something to go between the DS and the case, like people do with the Logitech PlayGear PSP case?

Oh, and, predictably, the rest of the site seems to be about flash cards. lol Chinese people are software pirates, and all that. At least I went with that cliche, and not the "PSP is not good or popular" one, right?

[via DS Fanboy!]

Super SCARY Halloween post!

What's the scariest game ever? Not Resident Evil or Silent Hill or Condemned or System Shock or Fatal Frame or Nightmare Creatures or Phantasmagoria or Kiss Pinball. No, the horror game genre reached its peak in 1988, with the release of Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road for the NES. No other game has scared the crap out of me as much as Ikari Warriors II. I don't think it was meant to be scary, but that only added to the creep-factor.

The thing about Ikari Warriors II is that nothing in it looks like it was done on purpose. There's no way someone would draw the main characters as stacks of asses, or the background tiles as mostly huge flat expanses of a single color. The whole thing gave the impression of being generated by a glitch, or by a nightmare reality where NES graphics don't represent identifiable objects or concepts.

Even worse are the voice samples. I guess it's notable to have voice samples in an NES game at all, but these don't really impress, so much as they cross some kind of aural Uncanny Valley. When the game starts, someone (the player character? the villain? The hardware straining to break out of its cruel slavery?) gargles what I can almost identify as "Come on! Let's fight!" Later, when you enter a shop, a sample comes up that could only be "Bath time!" Wikipedia says it's "Welcome," but I think that interpretation is the result of a desperate mind trying to make sense of the inhuman noise.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Amazing Metal Gear Solid... uh... gear

eBay seller pyhod000, who I guess must be Hideo Kojima (or someone with a key to Hideo Kojima's house), is selling the most amazing Metal Gear Solid-related stuff I have ever seen. I have never even heard of a lot of this stuff, but I obviously need all of it, and always have. Some of the stuff that's causing Tactical Envy of Auction:

Metal Gear Solid wine given to Japanese shareholders after the release of the first MGS.
A special version of MGS3, again, given only to shareholders. Holy fuck. Can love bloom on the eBay auction listing? I guess it's just the Japanese version with the bad US boxart. Still, it's so... limited!

A promotional poster for MGS2 featuring Gackt holding a baby. Okay, I don't actually want this one. But it just serves as proof that the marketing for the game matched the content in that it made no damn sense. (There are a lot of non-Gacktacular posters, like this probably-fairly-common one, that I would love to have on my wall.)

This Metal Gear Solid lighter that I'm pretty sure is identical to one I could get elsewhere, but this one's almost 10 years old and from a trade show and has the logo of a video game I liked a lot, so obviously it's the best choice for lighting those cigarettes I don't smoke. And I could dump my nonexistent thought-ash into this handy Metal Gear Solid portable ashtray!

[via GameSetWatch]

More like plagiarAWESOME

I saw these Space Invaders coasters on the magical Wonderland blog and decided that I must possess one! Or, it would be pretty neat to possess one of those! However, being that I am a) a huge asshole and b) a person who happens to have a gigantic bucket of Perler beads lying about, I decided to make my own. Here are the results:

And here's my desk, sporting its new, singular decoration:

I'm kind of considering making more and tiling my desk with them, or gluing them to the walls of public places as a sort of pseudo-Invader craft-graffiti. Probably I'll just keep the one and put cola cans on it, and pick it up when a cat knocks it off.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Silent Hill 3 "You're Not Here" video

I didn't have a blog or an interest in Silent Hill when this originally came out, so it's new to me. If you want to skip it or complain about old content, then of course, you have that right as a hypothetical audience member.

Anyway, it's a video created by the Silent Hill team that features Silent Hill 3's protagonist, Heather, lip-syncing to the song "You're Not Here" from the same game. Two things stick out about this video, for me:
  1. The song is totally great. Not just "great for a song on a video game soundtrack," but "great for me to hear in any or no context."

  2. While technically quite impressive, Heather's lip-sync animations are unintentionally hell of freaky. I guess Silent Hill can't help it. All Silent Hill knows is scarin'! Of course, that might change in the brave new era of "outsourced PSP prequels that rip-off Resident Evil 4's controls and perspective." But who knows? Maybe there really is nothing scarier than a dude's right shoulder!

YouTube link

THQ is making up for Wayne's World

...by sending me Destroy All Humans 2, which by all accounts is less of a bleeding scab on the face of human civilization, and more of a 'pretty good game.'

They had a "Destroy All Competition" contest wherein gaming forums competed against each other to encourage the most members to submit alien-related pictures from the web. GAF routed the competition, and as a contributing member (I submitted like 5 pictures, mostly of Ulala and Ultraman). And, as a result of our seconds of "work," we all get free copies of the game! Mine is earmarked for Zack, who was a huge Mercenaries fan and someone I'm really happy to be able to send a free game to.

Oh, and THQ: you blowjobs still have to answer for NES Where's Waldo.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


A Game I'd Totally Play if It Didn't Not Exist

I had an idea for a game the other day that I think would be really fun: a rhythm-based brawler. I can trace the origin of this idea to two specific games I played recently: Samurai Champloo Sidetracked and Technic Beat. The Samurai Champloo game is similar to my idea in that the fighting techniques used interact with the soundtrack. However, the musical interaction is only superficial; you choose fighting styles by switching records in the soundtrack; each record changes the music as well as the combos your character can perform. Technic Beat inspired me from the other direction; it's actually a music game, but features a humanoid avatar who you can walk around in 2D space, rather than the completely abstract control methods present in other music games.

What I would like is a Final-Fight style side-scrolling game, with all the attacks constrained to the rhythm. I imagine this as a button sequence displayed over each enemy's head as the protagonist approaches; the player's task is to press the buttons in time with the soundtrack to successfully attack. Picking up weapons could change the soundtrack and the button sequences: something heavy like an oil drum could either cue a slower song or require a longer button sequence, for a slow but powerful attack.

The biggest problem I'm having with the idea is how to reconcile the rhythmic timing with an action game. If you approached someone between musical bars, for instance, would you both have to wait until the beat started? Maybe enemies could attack outside of rhythm, and you could block on-beat?

Anyway, now all I need to do is figure out how to make a game, and then make it. Really, no problem.

Coleco's redundant console!

Ever wanted to play your favorite Sega Game Gear games-- on the go?

Well, now you can, thanks to Coleco! Provided your favorite Game Gear games are on this list, that is:

* Sonic Drift 2
* Sonic Triple Trouble
* Alex Kidd in High Tech World
* Alex Kidd in Miracle World
* Altered Beast
* Assault City
* Astro Warrior
* Aztec Adventure
* Bomber Raid
* Columns
* Ecco II: The Tides of Time
* Fantasy Zone
* Fantasy Zone: The Maze
* Global Defense
* Kung Fu Kid
* The Ninja
* Penguin Land
* Quartet
* Snail Maze
* Super Columns

I'm sure some of these are Sega Master System games. I can't keep up. The Game Gear in my house belonged to my mom, and all I ever played on it was the Ren & Stimpy game.

In related news, what kind of business necromancers decided it was a good idea to bring back the Coleco name, to attach to a system that plays old Sega games? And not even Sega games that were released on the Colecovision, like Congo Bongo.

Capcom's new stock-trading adventure game

Capcom just put up a page about Stock Trader Shun, a new adventure game that looks to do for the stock market what Phoenix Wright did for law: cause me to buy a DS game about it.

Really, I know nothing about it, except that it seems to be a menu-driven adventure game. That's... kind of all I need to know. If the Gyakuten Saiban/Phoenix Wright development team is at all involved in this thing, even better. It's about time something good comes of these boring and awful professions!

Hey, I wonder if they'd like to hear my idea about an adventure game starring a linguist/librarian?

Monday, October 02, 2006


The best thing you'll read today

I promise.

This November, Burger King is going to sell 3 Xbox games starring the King (and other BK ad characters), for $4 each with a meal purchase.
The games are:

  • Big Bumpin', the game about hitting Brooke Burke with a bumper car;

  • Pocketbike Racer, which is about racing on comically undersized bikes, yes, also against Brooke Burke
  • , and (holy shit)
  • Sneak King, the description of which I'll leave to the official press release (emphasis mine):
    "Players step into the King’s royal shoes and use cunning and stealth to sneak up behind unsuspecting people and bestow them with a delicious meal. The goal of Sneak King is to surprise hungry citizens with BURGER KING® sandwiches and other menu items before they pass out from hunger. Whether in a logging yard, construction site, suburban neighborhood or downtown urban scene -- each rich with detail and hidden pathways -- players can hide out and earn points based on how elaborately the delivery is executed."

I know I'm supposed to hate commercialism and I usually really do hate in-game advertising and such, but there is absolutely no way I can feel anything but gratitude towards Burger King for this. It is a gift!

Oh, and here's something neat: these are going to be the first Xbox/Xbox 360 hybrid games. These aren't just Xbox games that are playable on the 360 (which are rare enough); the game discs contain both an Xbox and Xbox 360 version of each game. Innovation courtesy Burger King! Where is your God now?

I am absolutely buying one of each to keep, plus an extra Sneak King to open.