"Subarashiki Shin Sekai" by Flair, remade for Rockman No Constancy (Rockman 2 hack).
Grisser pointed out that this track is not an original composition from RNC developer AKI as I presumed yesterday, but a chiptune remake of Namco X Capcom's theme song, which I was oblivious to due to Namco never bringing the ARPG/SRPG stateside.
Here’s the original song and NXC's intro movie:
It’s very catchy! My wife has been humming the chorus all day after hearing me play it more than a few times.
Much appreciation to Grisser, who pointed out the song’s origins, and to George, who went through the trouble of converting the NSF soundtrack rip to the above MP3. You are both wonderful commenters, and I would be happy to play Rock N’ Roll Racing with either of you sometime.
When Game Center CX: Arino no Chousenjou 2 comes out on February 26 of next year, it will come in both a regular edition and a limited special edition that includes a Bandai Namco episode of the Game Center CX show on DVD. The DVD will feature Shinya Arino’s attempts to play through Ultraman and Ultra Seven games.
As for the actual DS game, new information on the official site (and on the GAME Watch article linked above, which has a ton of screens) reveals that three of the made-up retrogames were released for fake systems other than the Famicom-like Game Computer.
The black-and-white Toriotosu, a Tetris clone, is obviously not a Famicom game; in the alternate history of Game Center CX, it was released for the Game Computer Mini. Kugure! Girijan MAX, the game training device is, of course, a standalone unit.
The Karateka riff, Mutekiken Kung-Fu, was released in 1985 by GEISYA GAMES on the Enter-M2000, whose real-world counterpart I can’t identify based on the name and cartridge design. Is it supposed to be an SG-1000 game? I’ll feel really stupid when one of you tells me the obvious answer.
Reader Lord Toon sent in an interesting Pokemon D/P hack, which led me to discover a whole world of “cheats” for Nintendo DS games.
I’ll share some of the more compelling cheats with you, not the ones that just award you with infinite ammo or 999 credits, but the ones that actually change or improve the way you play a game, like that Game Genie code for the original SNES Street Fighter II that enabled you to cancel and perform mid-air special moves.
You will need either an Action Replay DS or a flashcart with a ROM for the game to try these out.
In case you haven’t played it, Star Fox Command only allows you to maneuver your ship with the touchscreen, the DS’s buttons used to fire your weapons. With this hack, you can now used the directional pad to move around and the A/B buttons to boost/brake. According to one gamer who tried this out, “It breathes new life into the game.”
Most fans of the Shiren series will argue that this hack ruins the spirit of the game, taking away from its famous unforgiving difficulty.
In its intended state, Shiren forces you to live with and learn from every mistake. Any attempts to bail out of an unfortunate situation and return to a prior saved state sends you back to the starting town without any of your gear, money, or experience. With this code, you can play recklessly, death’s consequences forgotten.
Because this cheat changes the feel of the game so much, it seems worth trying out just to see how it affects your experience, enjoyment, and interpretation.
No more stressing out over whether you’ll reach your objective in the Temple of the Ocean King in time! Some had no problem dashing through the Temple’s halls and puzzles long before the last grain of sand trickled down the hourglass, but that wasn’t the case for me. Unfortunately, there’s no cheat for skipping the tedious Temple back-tracking entirely.
I haven’t played these games, so I can’t really comment on this hack’s usefulness, but I like the experiment of tilting the camera behind your character, exploring towns and environments from his or her level/perspective.
Contact's costume system, among other flaws, was a common complaint with players who dreaded having to return to their ship just to change outfits and access different special abilities. With this cheat, you can change outfits anytime by hitting Start or Select.
Please keep in mind that I haven’t actually tried out any of these cheats, so they might not work as advertised, if they work at all!
Since we’re already talking about game sales (and since we’re in a shopping mood, what with Black Friday madness sweeping the internet), we thought it prudent to mention Rising Stuff’s Christmas Special — a Famicom system with five random games for only $49!
I’m not familiar with traditional Famicom pricing, so I consulted JC to see if this is a bargain, and he replied, “That’s a huuuuuuuuge deal, even if it’s just five copies of Bases Loaded.” I wonder if the plastic on the consoles will be as yellowed as the image above.
If you already have a Famicom, or if you’re looking for more games to throw in with this sale, check out Rising Stuff’s other deal: Ten Famicom games for $25.
I would jump on this, but I’m going to see if I can convince my wife to buy me a Sharp Twin Famicom for Christmas.
Update: Now out of stock! Great job buying them all!
Important info: I am an English major and the world’s biggest book nerd. That’s why I experienced a major squee-gasm at the news that we’re actually going to see an English-language version of DS Novel. Since I am too incredibly excited to formulate a real post on this subject, I will offer up several random factoids.
Sadly, none of the books in the Japanese version will be in the version set for release in the UK. Check out the full list at Amazon UK.
I will probably import this title, even though I expect this means it will probably be released in the U.S. later, just as the Cooking Guide was.
I will still do this, even though I own many of these books already. In some cases, I own very elaborate, expensive editions, and I will still spend extra money to import this title, despite the crappy exchange rate of dollars for anything, because my nerdosity knows no bounds.
Why yes, I do realize that the books I already own are portable, thank you. They’re also all probably around for me to put on my DS via the powers of homebrew. I know these things, and will still import this title, because not only am I a nerd, I am a lazy nerd who likes the idea of one hundred easily-accessible great books in one place. Other people doing all the work = yay.
Yes, I did quite literally squeal when I saw this, and I’m not ashamed.
No, I don’t care if you think this is the death knell of the games industry or whatever. I am rolling my eyes at you right now if you feel this way.
This is the greatest day ever.
nGOTY. I’m calling it now. (That’s non-game of the year, folks. You heard the acronym here first. Maybe.)
100 Classic Book Collection will be released in the UK on December 26th. Look, facts made it in here after all!
[Via GoNintendo, NoE, JC, all that is good and holy in the universe]
Though Turkey Day has now passed, Zombiegiving still wanders the site, shuffling towards the promise of brains and seeking out a commenter to attack with a free copy of Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ.
To win the game, all you need to do is leave your thoughts in our posts before 11:59 CST Tuesday, December 2nd. Check out our contest post for the full details!
Jeremiah Johnson (Nullsleep), one of the bigger names in the chiptune scene, just released a new EP titled Unconditional Acceleration:
"[It’s] an exploration of romance and tragedy in the 21st century. Five songs, limitless intensity. Ecstatic bursts of cascading waveforms race toward uncertainty. A feeling of ever increasing separation develops. Unattainable distances are approached and sheets of white noise issue forth from the fissures of an obsessively restructured reality.
The sound surrenders in memory of another time and place, to which we can never return.”
Akihabara’s Sofmap Main Branch has a section of DS and Wii games that it’s trying to get rid of with discount prices, just like any other video game retailer, but this store’s stock of unsold copies numbers in the thousands.
AkibaBlog counted 1,900 DS games (from about 24 titles) and 600 Wii games (from about 13 titles). Here are the numbers and prices for some of the DS games:
Another Code: Two Memories - 200 copies, $10.50
Chōsōjū Mecha MG - 120 copies, $10.30
Shaberu! DS Oryouri Navi - 80 copies, $10.30
LOZ: Phantom Hourglass - 70 copies, $20.80
Picross DS - 75 copies, $10.30
Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! Duo - 75 copies, $26.00
No wonder Play Asia has so many Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! Duo sales!
Right after posting that My Pet Shop thing, I noticed something else interesting on the ESRB search page. New ratings have been submitted for Koei’s Nobunaga’s Ambition and Uncharted Waters: New Horizons, suggesting that two more insane Koei strategy games will be available on the Virtual Console soon.
Nobunaga’s Ambition came out on the NES, SNES, and Genesis (to name the VC-supported systems), and New Horizons came out on the SNES and Genesis. I’m guessing the SNES versions will be the ones offered, just because the only Koei game currently on the VC is a Super Nintendo game, Romance of the The Three Kingdoms IV: Wall of Fire.
Maybe I’ll try one of these. I’ve been too scared to figure out how to play one of these things since I rented Nobunaga’s Ambition as a youngster.
“This is a pet simulation game in which players search for wild animals throughout various environments and turn them into pets. Players can groom, feed, and play with their pets, as well as let them compete in racing and jump-rope competitions.”—
ESRB summary for My Pet Shop. Looks like Square Enix/Taito picked that title rather than Pet Shop Mama for what is definitely the localization of Pet Shop Monogatari DS.
There might have been some kind of tricky rights issue with tying it into the Cooking Mama series, since Majesco has those rights over here. The good news is that if Square Enix is publishing it, it’ll probably be $20, like other Taito games. Good news for me and probably nobody else!
When Hudson released Wonder Boy on the Famicom, they replaced the Wonder Boy character with a well-known PR staffer, that guy we talk about all the time. Now the tradition continues with a new mobile release of Adventure Island for Hudson’s Chaku App game subscription service.
Chaku App Girls no Bouken Jima (Chaku App Girls’ Adventure Island) replaces Takahashi Meijin/Master Higgins and… the snail enemy with the Chaku App Girls, Hudson’s newest public faces.
[Note: I’ve probably screwed up every possible detail due to my stellar Japanese comprehension.]
This week’s most depressing news: Chunsoft’s 428: The World Doesn’t Change Even So, which looks and sounds completely awesome, and which we will never, ever see, has apparently received perfect scores across the board at Famitsu. If you needed a reason to crack the label on some holiday booze, this could be it.
(Uh, if you happen to be a crazy drinker who goes on a bender now, don’t blame me, man. I’s just kidd’n.)
A trailer for the visual novel game:
It’s worth noting that this is the first Sega game to pick up a 40/40 from Famitsu — for whatever that’s worth — and also the first perfectly scored game on a Nintendo platform that wasn’t published by Nintendo. Fascinating!
[Source is actually GameFront (errrr, Famitsu), but since they hate permalinks, go visit GoNintendo instead.]
The second special-edition DSi bundle is also coming from Square Enix. In addition to the Kingdom Hearts: Tetsuya Nomura’s Self-Insert Disney Fanfic DS bundle, the company has now announced a special hardware package for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time. This one is coming out January 29, so technically it will be the first DSi bundle.
The bundle contains the game and a white DSi with the same cat artwork found in the logo above. A Crystal Chronicles soundtrack sampler will also be available as a preorder bonus with the game or bundle.
The best part of this story is that it gave me a use for that ridiculous Echoes of Time wallpaper, or at least the logo part.
Did you know that centuries ago, Pilgrims and local Ninja Americans celebrated their harvest by tearing zombies apart with machine gun fire and giant shuriken? It’s true, go ahead and ask anyone.
To celebrate this week’s holiday and honor those settlers’ decision, we’re giving away a free copy of Gammick Entertainment’s excellent shoot’em-up Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ. I guess you could also say this is a “thank you present” for our readers who make this site possible, but we would probably write all this junk even if you didn’t come around.
To win, all you need to do is contribute non-crap comments to any posts starting now until 11:59 CST Tuesday, December 2nd. Commenting on this post counts as one entry, and on any post after this counts as two. And while Thanksgiving is primarily an American holiday, all of our international readers are welcome to enter.
CycloDS update adds useful in-game text reading feature
Along with game compatibility fixes that should help kids play pirated ROMs like Chrono Trigger, the latest CycloDS flashcart update includes a new in-game text reader.
It’s a small addition, but for people like me who can’t play RPGs without a GameFAQs window open nearby, something like this would be tremendously useful.
Here’s how it works:
When you’re stuck in a game, hit A+B+X+Y+L+R to enter the CycloDS’s Enhanced Mode menu
Load a walkthrough that you previously downloaded
Continue where you left off in the game
Though this feature requires a commercial ROM and will be used primarily by pirates, it still seems like a very handy utility. The SuperCard DS One has a similar text reader, I’m told, but I’ve never messed with that cart.
I’ve been waiting for a long time to play the episodic Space Invaders Get Even, a shooter about directing piles of blocky Invaders to destroy cities. Square Enix has finally announced a North American release date — not that I ever expect advance notice of WiiWare releases (or expect said notice to be accurate). Next week!
Between this and Space Invaders Extreme, this is the best 30th anniversary any video game has had.
TGS attendees reported mostlydisappointment in Taito’s Space Puzzle Bobble, due to the lack of new content (and also crummy touchscreen controls). However, the full game features online play and paddle controller support, neither of which were on display at TGS, and both of which make for a more than sufficient upgrade.
This demo doesn’t include any of that new stuff either, but it’s five levels of Puzzle Bobble for free, so yay. Also it reminded us that the game is coming out, and that we need to find a paddle controller.
There aren’t many things that stand out as well in the crowded space of my RSS as a title like “Bad Writing About Games.” That one basically has my name on it. Not because I write badly (though, of course, sometimes I do, and more often than I’d like), but because I passionately hate bad writing. I hate the “meh, good enough” attitude that so many people who are in a position to write about games promote.
Listen, I’m all for voice and attitude, particularly in blogging; in games writing, I think it should probably be our foremost concern. But we shouldn’t stop there. We should also focus on little things like fact, substance, and, oh, hey—grammar and usage.
But at the same time, I can almost forgive it. After all, most games themselves are rife with tiny flaws, like errors in scripting and poor choices in interface design, so maybe we’re just learning from our medium. It would take a better mind than mine to figure these things out. But even if that is the case, we should still proofread, and maybe get that whole homophone thing figured out.
My ranting and rambling pulled me off track. This link? It’s not new, but apparently it was new to Ollie at Insert Credit, and it’s new to me. Maybe it will be new to some of you, too. It’s just a few posts on bad examples of game writing. They’re not the worst examples, nor the best. They’re just some examples, and I’m sharing them with you.
Gamasutra news director and SVGL blogger Leigh Alexander has just started Sexy Videogame Developerland, a site featuring submitted profiles for a variety of people involved in creating games, from programmers to artists.
An excerpt from the site’s manifesto:
"This is intended to be a place where gamers can see the real, live people behind the games they love. It’s populated entirely by submissions from video game professionals and their friends.
… The creation of games tends often to be credited to faceless corporate entities, when in fact there’s a rich culture of people behind them. We seem to have a little bit of a recognition problem in the industry, where very accomplished people go unsung, but starting a little corner where everyone is a star is supposed to be a fun way to rectify that, even a little.”
It’s a cool idea with a noble purpose, so check it out if you’re at all curious about these usually faceless people. Even with a short list of starting profiles, there are already developers from notable companies, like Nintendo of America and Sabarasa Entertainment (Mazes of Fate).
Smash Ping Pong, coming to the Japanese Virtual Console next week, is actually a Nintendo-published version of a Konami arcade game, Konami’s Ping Pong.
Rather than directly port the arcade game to the Famicom Disk System, Nintendo made sure to put their own stamp on the game. An early version of Konami’s mascot Pentarou the penguin has been replaced in the audience by Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. In addition, the Disk System mascot, Disk-kun, cheers for you when you pause and dances on the table between matches.
“At first, it was eight and 15 shots per second — and I made a conscious decision not to make it 16 because I didn’t want anybody to play better than I was playing!”—
Hudson PR executive and gaming celebrity Takahashi Meijin talking about the Sansui Joycard Famicom controller’s autofire function, in an interview with 1UP’s Ray Barnholt.
I actually got to speak with the Meijin as well during the same Deca Sports promotional trip, but a) it was in a conference call, and b) I consider it a humiliating failure. This one’s really fantastic, though. I want to quote the whole thing.
The screen below comes from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. According to Maj, “interceptable beam supers are incredibly uncommon in the Marvel series.” Even if they weren’t, this image would still be pretty cool!
Apparently, at least one Nintendo of America representative is willing to accept foreign DS systems for repair, free of charge. The Consumerist reports that one exchange student returned to the US from Japan and got free repairs on his busted Japanese DS Lite. Neat!
Every day, I wake up and wish that I could write about video games (or about anything) as poignantly as Simon Parkin. Here’s an excerpt from his latest Chewing Pixels column at GameSetWatch:
"All gamers of my generation knew a video game store like that, a dealership they visited in youth with wide eyes and a fistful of pocket money. These were the places where dreams were met, the escapism dealers.
Everyone who has ever bought a video game at a shop knows how long the walk home can be. But that time between when a purchase has been made and before it’s played is never unpleasant.
Rather, it is in these delicious moments that you hold in your hands the perfect video game: one which has been invested in but which is yet to let you down. Unknown games are always the best ones because they are played in our imaginations, free of budgetary restraints, deadlines and the ten thousand other pressures that bear down upon the games of reality.
They are always stronger, funnier, cleverer and better-executed than their realities, and so that walk home from the store, when the game is tangible in your hands but still imagined in your mind, is oftentimes the most potent moment in the videogame experience.”
I had these childhood moments more with comic books than with video games, as I had a habit of picking up issues based on their covers.
I remember this same feeling whenever I’d wait until I was in my bedroom — door closed and E 1999 Eternal playing on the stereo — to open the latest pack of Magic: The Gathering cards I’d bought (“Dancing Scimitar?! Bah!”). I have a long history of wasting money, you could say.
But I also remember the times when I brought home marked-down Genesis games that I’d never seen commercials for or that I’d never read about in the EGM pages I thumbed through at B. Dalton, only to find that these were the games I enjoyed the most for the system — like Populous, Green Dog, and yes, Gunstar Heroes.
Nowadays, I almost never have this feeling, driving home with the latest random thing I’ve wasted my money on.
“QJ: When a Prinny explodes, where does it go? Prinny: To the hospital, dood!
QJ: I’m afraid to ask, but where does Prinny Juice come from? Prinny: From the most flavorful and delicious parts of our fresh, vine-grown Prinnies, dood!”—In which Chris Coker at QJ sits down with a Prinny for a little interview and promotion for the PSP’s hilariously-titled Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?
If it seems like there are fewer updates here than usual, it’s because I’m temporarily maintaining Finger Gaming, a somewhat suggestively named iPhone gaming blog from the Gamasutra network.
It’s a fun gig! Hopefully, Jeremy Parish won’t put my coverage to shame when 1UP launches its own iPhone site.
On a related note, I’ve read a couple articles lately arguing that the iPhone could eventually usurp the Nintendo DS’s handheld gaming throne through hardware superiority, a belief shared by Apple’s Greg Joswiak, who says that the iPhone’s significantly greater computer power and 3D graphic power will lead to better games than the DS’s.
I won’t say that the iPhone will never oust the DS — who knows, we might see a Castle Vidcons comic about the DS’s downfall in a few months — but I’ll contend that Apple won’t do it through better graphics and sound, or even through features like the iPhone’s multi-touch display and built-in accelerometer.
As the PSP learned, competing against the DS isn’t about besting the system’s hardware, which already seemed outdated before it even hit stores; taking on the DS means beating Animal Crossing, Brain Age, Nintendogs, New Super Mario Bros., and of course, Pokemon.
What developer is going to do that on the iPhone? EA Mobile? THQ Wireless? Sega Mobile? Gameloft?
That’s not to say that there aren’t great games coming to or already on the App Store, or that smaller studios aren’t working on creative titles. I’m really looking forward to Dr. Awesome, Microsurgeon M.D., a Qix clone with a Trauma Center-esque premise.
To be honest, though, I’m more excited about the N-Gage’s upcoming titles — Yamake and Ghostwire both seem like they could be really fun.
[Disclaimer: Both N-Gage and Dr. Awesome developer ngmoco sponsor Gamasutra sites.]
I’m not sure why it even needs to be asked, but MTV Multiplayer’s Stephen Totilo posed the following question: “Can a small game be Game of the Year?”
He describes small games as titles for the Nintendo DS, web browsers, iPhones, and XBLA games. Presumably, he also includes games for WiiWare, PSN, mobiles, PSP, Tiger Handhelds, and other portable devices in that category.
I doubt Totilo thinks small titles should be banned from GOTY lists — after all, he picked a Tower Defense game as his 2007 GOTY — but he does suggest that there’s “no way” something like WarioWare could stand against console games like Resident Evil or Grand Theft Auto.
I’m not going to go into all the reasons why handheld titles or small games have every right to be considered as Game of the Year material, as I have to update one of the four “small games” sites I manage in a few minutes (really, I should have just tigga-plz’d this post).
Instead, I’ll ask, “Why should we exclude any kind of game at all when deciding what we feel is the best game of the year?” And if you’re going to exclude small titles to get a list that best fits your idea of what an enjoyable game is, why stop there?
Why not exclude 2D games? Or non-Western games? Or independently developed games? Or games without video cut-scenes? Or games created with a budget less than a million dollars? Or games that aren’t sequels?
Eventually, if you add enough restrictions, you can get a Game of the Year list that looks just like Spike TV’s!*