This quaint track comes from Bud Melvin’s new album, Popular Music, a collection of songs combining chiptune, americana, and pop sensibilities. You can download or stream the release from the artist’s Bandcamp page, or purchase a vinyl copy from his personal site.
"This year’s fancies, they’re just passing fancies, but sighing sighs, holding hands, these my heart understands”
The “GB Camera” app allows users to take pictures in the classic Game Boy Camera resolution (almost) and color scheme. In addition to faithful GB Camera simulation, it features a bunch of options, like upscaling to 1600 x 1200, adjusting the brightness and contrast, and turning off dithering for an even blockier look. This totally makes me wish I could afford one of those fancy-ass phones! I’d grab a Game Boy iPhone case and the Game Boy Springboard skin and pretend that I had spent a lot less money and just bought a damn Game Boy!
Is Game Boy Camera nostalgia what’s hot right now? Did Jeremy Parish’s tutorial on GB Camera-izing your photos turn into a trend? Or do two recent Game Boy Camera things (three if you count Eric’s Photoshop Action, which I so do) not really constitute a trend?
Nine Namco arcade classics for less than $10! This also has Pac-Man Vs., the Miyamoto-designed multiplayer Pac-Man game, in which up to three players control ghosts chasing a Pac-Man player. This sale ends today (or when Amazon runs out of copies) so pick it up quick.
Oh, and as for that other deal… Much like the smiles at Merv Burger, this image is on the house:
To protect the uncorrupted eyes of children — children who came here to see Pac-Man butt albeit — I dropped in that cherry sprite to cover up the yellow guy’s dangling banana. He doesn’t look pleased about it.
In other horror game news, have you watched the trailer for Renegade Kid’s Dementium 2 yet?
The studio (or the ad agency it hired) did a great job making the title look scary! The game is a first-person shooter, though, and not a video with shots of sterile hospital rooms, so this doesn’t guarantee that Dementium 2's atmosphere will reach this same level of creepiness.
Nanashi no Game 2 turning into a creepy Retro Game Challenge
The original Nanashi no Game (The Game with No Name) — Square Enix’s survival horror DS title clearly inspired by The Ring — already had a throwback feel to it, alternating between 3D exploration segments and a cursed Dragon Quest-style RPG that the game’s protagonist needs to complete within seven days to stay alive.
Its sequel, announced in this week’s issue of Famitsu, however, takes the concept further, bringing back the 8-bit RPG (played on a “TS” system, presumably standing for Top Screen) and also introducing a platformer!:
What’s next? A haunted shoot’em up? A Spooky King racer?! Oh God, please let there be more games. Unfortunately, Square Enix has yet to announce any plans to bring even the first game to North America, so it would be a long time before we ever saw this localized.
Developers have announced a buttload of DSi games this past week, some of which unfortunately appear to have actually arrived via someone’s butt. It’s a disgusting thought, I know, but seriously — Ball Fighter and Robot Rescue for DSiWare? More like Butt Fighter and RoButt Rescue for DSbWare (the b is for butt).
Enigma Software, though a studio I’ve never heard of, has a decent DSi-enhanced retail game planned, even if its silhouette foreground art style seems ripped from Patapon or Night Game. The game features stylus-based controls, co-op and versus multiplayer for four players, and maps that you can create with drawings or photos.
Enigma is also working on Music School, a less interesting music education title that uses unspecified DSi features.
Back to DSiWare, Creat Studios just announced Alien Havoc, in which you control an alien and herd cows into your spaceship, fighting farmers along the way. Sounds like Flock, but with 2D graphics that would look at home on a mobile game, and without a cameo from Blanka.
Sega revealed the preorder bonus items for Hatsune Miku Project Diva today, and it’s basically the craziest preorder campaign I’ve ever seen. 23 retailers each have their own different item, ranging from telephone cards to DVDs (with different disc art) to fans to desktop wallpapers.
WonderGoo stores’ offer features the nice-looking art seen above. Too bad it’s on a tiny pillow.
It’s a good time for … DS games that were announced a long-ass time ago. After the shock of Puchi Puchi Virus's actual release, XSEED announced that Flower, Sun, and Rain has gone gold and will ship on June 16.
Will it actually ship on June 16? Will I actually get to play Suda 51’s Groundhog Day murder-mystery?
The theme music on the game’s original April Fools reveal page was so great that it seemed like a shame not to use it for real — and it seems SNK thought the same thing, now that a playable Star Radish will appear in Doki Majo Plus.
SNK is continuing to blend reality and the Doki Majo universe on the game’s blog, advertising an 8-bit CD of Star Radish music. Is it a real item? Who even knows? Most of the posts are written by fictional characters.
Here’s the “Nanicom” console for which Star Radish was designed, from a blog entry by Renge Oda. It’s part Famicom, part Mega Drive, and blue! I want one.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this could be the first Eastern-developed retail DS title announced with DSi-specific features (the first revealed DSi-targeted title is Ubisoft’s depressing My Cooking Coach, which takes player photos for chef profiles).
Considering the widely held belief that DSi-enhanced carts will be region-locked, I wonder if importers will have trouble playing this game on their U.S. DSis or DSes.
Project Sora, the new studio headed by Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai, just shipped its first title in Japan, Issen, a Made in Ore microgame (Sakurai says this as a joke, but it’s technically true!).
This release is part of Nintendo’s selection of celebrity-created downloadable microgames posted every week — the last of which was Takahashi Meijin’s bomb-exploding piece. In this game, which Sakurai spent around 2 hours whipping up, players slash watermelons and Tengu heads (but not bombs!). You can see bits of it scattered throughout this five minute video.
Speaking of Made in Ore, Takahashi Meijin, and watermelons, someone made this wonderful microgame based on the legend’s watermelon-splitting technique:
D3’s Simple DS Series Vol. 48 THE Saibanin, the adventure game about a ghost who haunts a judge and jury to influence the trial of his own murderer, is even more interesting than I thought.
As pointed out by a retailer sign posted on Akibablog, the game launched on May 21 — the same day as Japan’s new jury system law went into effect. Under the new law, around six jurors, called saibanin (“lay judge” as Wikipedia translates it) decide the outcome of criminal cases along with up to three professional judges.
Not only does the saibanin law make THE Saibanin more topical, it does the same for last year’s Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. The advent of a jury system is one of the major plot points in that game as well!
The AsoBitCity employee who made the retail signage for THE Saibanin was much less concerned with the topic than with the identity of the writer, Shojiro Endo. I can’t really find any good information about his game work, even on his website, so I’m just going to assume he’s amazing.
This Premium Edition system will set you back $299! That’s a crazy prize considering it doesn’t have all the extras included with the less expensive but still ridiculously priced Gyakuten Kenji e-Capcom Limited Edition ($149). The hardware bundle does, however, come with a copy of the game, and will ship on May 29th.
The first half of this track is typical “Zelda remix” fare, but at around the 3:00 mark, YMCK turns it into something magical. Seriously, they totally killed this PiCTOBiTS/PiCOPiCT remix.
By now, you should have realized that I did not exaggerate about Art Style: PiCTOBiTS’ greatness. If you’ve yet to appreciate this essential truth, then either:
You haven’t purchased the DSiWare game yet, or
You don’t have any damn sense about
I know last week was expensive for Nintendo nerds, what with Punch-Out!! and Boom Blox: Bash Party out at stores, and Majora’s Mask on VC, but if you haven’t picked up PiCTOBiTS yet, you’re really missing out! And if you’re one of those forum/blogger dudes who refuses to buy the game but loves carping on the internet about DSiWare’s selection, basically you’re a dick.
Swedish developer A Different Game announced Ghostwire this morning, a game in which you find ghosts around your home using the DSi’s built-in camera and mic. It’s a really neat idea, and there are also puzzles and riddles you can solve to help the spirits find peace.
This augmented reality game actually began its life on mobiles, as shown above. Nokia even awarded the studio €40,000 ($56,000) last October for its Mobile Games Innovation Challenge. Looks like that cash went towards bringing Ghostwire not just to handsets, but to DSi. It’s strange to think that Nokia sort of funded this project!
Screens from the Ghostwire mobile (click for more):
"1903. Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio, claims to have recorded the voice of his father. His father had been dead since eight years. 2002. Globus Electronics lab in Kobe claim that digital signal processors can communicate with ghosts."
Interestingly, JC and I came up with a very similar idea for a DSi game using the system’s cameras several weeks ago, except instead of ghosts, the title featured ninjas. In fact, we called it What Is The Deal With All These Ninjas.
The concept was that you’d use the DSi’s camera to find ninjas hidden in shadows. Once you located them, you’d throw a shuriken or engage them in some other minigame, recruiting them into your growing clan.
We attached some flimsy Suikoden-style story to it, with a quest to locate other clans online or locally, to bring together all the descendents of the disciples of the 36 chambers. It was a pretty crazy concept!
This isn’t as cheap as Best Buy’s $20 sale several weeks ago, but with free shipping (provided you push the order total above $25), it’s still a bargain.
I take forever to complete games, so I haven’t finished going through Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars yet. I did unlock this plush safehouse last night, though:
This is the crib you get after winning one of the scratch card games, or from completing the mission series from the real estate broker. Pretty swank, right? Pardon the bong, it was there when I moved in.
This DS Lite case from Morebest (my best guess for what “Moabesto” is supposed to be) features storage space for a DS Lite, five games, and a bunch of accessories. Oh, and it totally looks like a book.
A few years ago, I tried to make a DS case out of a book, but I couldn’t figure out how to effectively cut through the glued-together pages. My book didn’t look as classy as this one anyway! I’d love to rock one of these tomes at the next E3 or similar convention (basically the only social event I ever attend, and thus the only opportunity to show off a cool DS case).
It’s also available in a PSP version, which should work okay for a DSi, and really well for a PSP.
Contra 4 developer probably working on Where the Wild Things Are for DS
Wayforward, the studio behind Contra 4 and the upcoming remake for A Boy and His Blob, is likely working on a DS game based on Where the Wild Things Are, according to a resume for one of the developer’s former 3D animators.
Before you get too excited, remember that not all of Wayforward’s games are gold — the company also worked on Space Chimps and Shrek the 3rd for DS. Also, most licensed games suck, so there’s that to consider.
Still, I have higher hopes for this DS version than the PS2, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 versions, which are under development by Amaze Entertainment. I wonder if anyone’s working on a PSP edition? And I’m curious who’s going to publish it now that Brash is no longer around.
All of the games will presumably ship to stores in October when the movie adaptation hits theatres.
In addition to its two cart slots, Capdase’s Lifestyle Case for the DSi features a velcro strap with a ring on the back for attaching the pouch to bags, belts, or what have you. It’s available through select Japanese retailers for around ¥1,800 ($19) in Black, Khaki, Red, and Gold (the last of which looks more like a light brown):
Notice that the holes on the side leave room for you to plug in a pair of headphones, so you can listen to PiCTOBiTS tunes while walking around. The case also comes with a matching color/material wrist strap that you can hook into your system.
This April Fools Day, SNK announced a (fake) 8-bit shooter called Star Radish.Famitsu reveals that not only has SNK decided to actually make the “Mikadosoft” title, but it’s being included in Doki Majo Plus.
The game comes into play as a competition with Renge Oda, the retrogaming potential witch who held forth about Psycho Soldier on her blog. Star Radish is a “Nanicon” game like one of the Psycho Soldier ports — Famitsu reveals “Nanicon” to be a contraction for “Number One Ninki (Popular) Computer”.
I must now decide whether my love of new Famicom-style games can carry me through hours of text boxes and uncomfortable minigames. Retro gaming is as much a part of otaku culture as gross moe stuff — the cross-pollination of the two had to happen sometime.
I know most of you were sick of the song this is based on about a hojillion years ago, but I imagine it will be resurrected centuries from now with a remix that sounds a lot like this. The track would be ushered in by Rick Astley’s great9-grandson, a cyborg warlord ruling over the Northern Bloc of the New Americas.
Fun fact: did you know that the Rickrolling’s origins are found not in 4chan (though the community certainly played a huge part in its eventual popularity and current iteration), but in NeoGAF? It all started with a goofy image of a duck with wheels for feet photoshopped by Gamasutra’s features editor Christian Nutt. Wild.
[Update: As Afajak notes in the comments, this is a mashup remix with “Robo’s Theme” from Chrono Trigger, “which some people believe was inspired by Astley”.]
While you waste your afternoons with fantasies of one day feeling Sonic the Hedgehog’s lips pressed against yours, I’ll actually live out that dream soon, thanks to this Sega chapstick I just won from a Twitter giveaway.
Since I rarely win anything, I want to get the most out of this tube, so I need ideas on how to maximize my enjoyment of it (suggestions for putting the lip balm into my butt will be ignored).
Nintendo hasn’t formally announced this, but Amazon already has a preorder page up for Diabolical Box with a scheduled release date of August 24th! It’s about time someone revea;ed something about this sequel — Level-5 is already working on the fourth game for Japan.
Now all we need is for Level-5 to announce at E3 that its soccer RPG Inazuma Eleven is coming stateside:
Well, that and the other four to six interesting games the studio is currently developing for Japanese release.
To my delight, two of the latest posts in Magweasel’s “I ♥ the PC Engine” series highlight games that I love, but which seem to be almost universally reviled: Kato-chan Ken-chan (localized as J.J. and Jeff) and The Kung Fu (China Warrior). I admit I totally understand why people hate China Warrior, but I still enjoy it, and now I don’t have to feel so ashamed, because another person with a website said he likes it. Another person with what is rapidly becoming my favorite website.
Unlike Hudson’s Adventure Island (which came out on the Famicom less than a year before this), Kato-chan Ken-chan has a wealth of complexity to its stage design. You can jump on, kick, or fart/spray-can enemies, and stages can take place across multiple fields and even connect back and forth with each other. There are official Mario-style warp zones, tons of secret doors and such, keys to find, and so on and so forth. This takes a game that’s built to be hard from the start and makes it positively fiendish at the end.
I don’t care how finicky the controls are, or how boring the game is, or anything. As long as I know I’m The Dragon, it doesn’t matter. People need to stop thinking about the game and start feeling it instead. Even if most of the minions you fight don’t actually attack you at all, even if the bosses are half palette-switched “twins,” even if The Dragon is completely unable to execute a low kick for some reason, even if simply grabbing a box of oolong tea is enough to replenish his energy, even if I can’t stop thinking about that bastard who’s always just offscreen throwing all these plates and nunchucks and crap at me! It doesn’t matter anymore! All right, maybe a little! But being The Dragon lets you enjoy it all the same! Don’t think, feel!!!
It’s basically impossible even to defend China Warrior without mentioning how bad it is. It is, however, possible to totally enjoy the music even if you don’t like the game. Both posts feature fantastic music samples.
After several weeks of releasing nothing on DSiWare in Japan other than the free Wii no Ma application, Nintendo revealed an assortment of downloadables debuting next Wednesday. Unfortunately, the six titles are either crap or not of interest to U.S. gamers.
Chotto Magic Taizen: Psychic Camera (200 Points) - Another Master of Illusion-themed minigame, though this is likely a new one created for the system, considering its use of the camera. I believe it shows a picture of you with a bubble revealing what card you’re thinking of.
Mr. Brain (500 Points) - Square Enix’s brain training game based on a Japanese drama show.
Pocket Rurubu Tokyo, Pocket Rurubu Kyoto (800 Points each) - Tour guides for Tokyo and Kyoto produced by Nintendo and travel book company Rurubu. The software helps plan trips with maps, details for suggested attractions, and tools for organizing your schedule. You can also take photos with the DSi and attach them to locations on the maps.