“At the late ’80s, there was only Kaga Tech, an electronics distributor that used ‘Taxan’ as their US/Europe consumer brand. Largely they worked in monitors, and I remember all the Apple IIs in the middle-school lab sporting off-brown Taxan amber-screen jobbies.
They went into the video-game biz big in 1988, taking a surprisingly hardcore approach to the console industry. Naxat released games like…well, Alien Crush; Taxan licensed classics like Star Soldier and commissioned the chronically underappreciated KID shooter Burai Fighter exclusively for America.
The Naxat label survived through the 16-bit generation before losing its way on the PlayStation and releasing everything from soccer simulations to ridiculous fighting game Killing Zone; they changed names to Kaga Tech in 1998 and gradually descended into girl-game purgatory.”— Excerpt from Magweasel’s excellent writeup of the excellent Alien Crush. Despite the fact that it was behind some of my favorite PC Engine/TG16 games, I know almost nothing about Taxan/Naxat Soft.
I have no idea what Tiny Cartridge commenter Grisser was doing at FurAffinity, where he found this track, but I will forgive him for whatever perversities or crimes he might have involved himself in, as this song that he sent in is pretty dope.
If I was an end boss, I’d make sure my castle theme was the hottest joint in the entire game, too.
So, maybe I didn’t know about this, or maybe I did and forgot, but EGG Music is a sort of online record label that sells downloadable soundtracks to old games. It’s run by D4 Enterprise, who also runs the Project EGG MSX download store, and (theoretically) publishes MSX games on Virtual Console.
EGG Music announced today that the soundtrack for Shubibinman 3 is now available. It joins stuff like Monster World, Brandish, the Princess Maker series, and Cho Aniki, which I’m about to try to buy right now. Seriously, guys, if you haven’t heard the music from Cho Aniki, listen to the samples.
One of the finest hip hop songs to come out of the West Coast, “Regulate” is more than just the early 90s classic that introduced us to Nate Dogg’s soulful voice and an easily robbed rapper named after our 29th president.
It’s the story of two friends overcoming all odds (like Frodo and Samwise). It’s a cautionary tale for those foolish enough to seek out dice games on 21st and Lewis. And if you listen to the entire track, you’ll find that it also contains an algebraic breakdown of the G-Funk equation.
Centuries from now, scholars will pore over its lyrics hoping to learn more about how our primitive culture “laid busters down” and congregated at the “Eastside Motel”.
Though you can summon tens of thousands of objects, creatures, and characters in Scribblenauts, the game won’t feature copyrighted properties like, say, Little Mac or Samus. But that hasn’t stopped NeoGAF forumers from drawing popular video game figures and celebrities using the 5th Cell title’s unique art style:
SpacePirate Ridley drew the characters in this piece, all taken from Nintendo games (except for Tiny, who I dropped in to fill a blank area, and Maxwell).
He illustrated these two from Capcom’s Phoenix Wright series, too. Notice the objection pose, sans pointing finger:
And Tobias and Simon from TV/anime shows Arrested Development and Gurren-Lagann, respectively:
How great would it be to conjure a pair of denim cut-off shorts by inputting “Never Nude” into the game? I’ll post more of these Scribblenaut-ized characters shortly…
I’m very happy with this article I wrote on Walking Meter: Unification ~ Become the Ruler of the Warring States by Walking, a pedometer-based Sengoku strategy RPG. It’s easily the raddest game I read about this week.
JC, who helped a lot translating details for the piece, and I discussed at length about our wishes to see RPGs further integrated our lives, giving us the motivation and routines we need to get so many unmanaged tasks taken care of.
Exercise RPGs, finance RPGs, and chore RPGs are just the beginning. How about a hygiene RPG? Imagine an MMO in which the high-level players were actually the least gross people. Or an RPG for dealing with social anxiety? Or an RPG about blogging about RPGs?
Would you like to have your very own Robot Ninja Haggle Man pinback button, just like this lovely piece?:
Doing his part to push Retro Game Challenge's sales and convince XSEED to localize its sequel, Benjamin White is offering to make and send out a free button to anyone (anywhere) who purchases a new U.S. copy of RGC after June 24th, when this discouraging text was posted.
It’s a cool effort but also way crazy when you consider that If enough people take advantage of this offer to persuade XSEED to bring over Game Center CX 2, Ben could end up crafting and mailing out tens of thousands of these!
For those of you who go out and pick up a copy, you’ll be able to pick from two different cross-stitch designs, regular Haggle Man and a busted version:
So, if you were one of those jerks who pirated Retro Game Challenges, here is your chance to make things right and get a free handmade button out of the deal.
Unlike the original Dreamcast Phantasy Star Online, the Japanese release of Phantasy Star Zero doesn’t have English text. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure the Japanese Dreamcast game did. Maybe I should have just left that bit out instead of mentioning it and then saying I didn’t know it was true.
In any case, this game is in Japanese, which means you may not understand why you’re poking around in dungeons or what the stuff you pick up is.
It’s on sale at Play-Asia this week for $14.90. I had a serious PSO problem back in college, and I suspect that having a similar experience with portable convenience could draw me in for a long time.
I probably won’t have the exact same experience of hanging out in the lobby over Christmas vacation, making up Pac-Man symbol chat animations with my roommate as he describes the Twilight Zone episode he’s watching on a second TV in his parents’ house, but the “playing the game a bunch and having a rad time” experience should carry over.
The latest issue of Nintendo Power has three interesting details about the upcoming No More Heroes 2 sequel, notable enough that they could be considered spoilers, so consider yourself warned.
Shinobu, the teen assassin from the original game, will return in NMH2: Desperate Struggle as a playable character. Her fighting style will significantly differ from Travis’, as she moves faster and can even jump. You can’t play as her whenever you want, though.
Suda expects NMH2 to have around 50 boss battles. He comments, “… we didn’t just want you to be fighting them as the same character again and again. By allowing the player to use a different character we can change up the tempo and offer more surprises. “
Travis’ primary reason for taking on the United Assassins Association again is to avenge the death of his best friend from the first game, Bishop.
Suda says that despite the grave setup, NMH2 won’t lose the original’s playful tone: “Travis can’t be Travis if he’s not doing all kinds of stupid stuff, too. So don’t worry; we’re going to balance the seriousness of the fight this time with the silliness of Travis.
XSEED’s publishing director Ken Berry says the company needs to sell at least 20,000 additional copies of Retro Game Challenge before it will consider localizing the acclaimed title’s sequel, Game Center CX 2.
The publisher’s president Jun Iwasaki says that still isn’t enough, though, predicting XSEED needs to see a total of 100,000 units sold. Neither disclosed how many copies the first gamehas moved since releasing last February.
Yes, I plan to relay reports every time XSEED decides to remind us that it isn’t planning to bring GCCX 2 stateside. I know it’s sad, but at least it gives me an excuse to post this awesome mashup boxart of GCCX and Feel the Magic.
The text in the middle says I Would Die For The Kacho, “kacho” referring to GCCX's Arino. Feel the Magic's title in Japan, of course, was I Would Die For You. The bottom bit reads, “The next AD is you!!!”
Taito’s new line of prizes for arcade redemption machines features Taito-branded mini electronic devices. Ever wanted a cooler for a small amount of chocolate? Or how about a tiny USB air conditioner?
The items in the T-Style line include: chocolate coolers, tiny refrigerators, USB air conditioners, speakers, digital audio players, 1seg TV receivers, mini-shredders, and solar chargers — all of which are probably totally crappy, because they’re being manufactured expressly for use as UFO catcher prizes.
I really liked Kid Dracula. I wish Konami would make another one of these games instead of something like Lords of Shadow. If you want to reboot the Castlevania franchise, don’t look to Kojima Productions to create a 3D game with Patrick Stewart and an unproven Spanish studio; just look to dancing Kid Dracula.
The biggest handheld gaming news this morning has nothing to do with GTA: Chinatown Wars migrating to PSP; it’s the North American release of Art Style: Boxlife (known as Hacolife in Japan) for DSiWare!
As I’ve previously proclaimed, I believe this addictive puzzler from Skip is the finest DSiWare experience you can purchase today (500 Points), even more so than PiCTOBiTS. Nintendo’s official product description:
"Climb the corporate ladder in the world of Boxlife using your wits and… paper? Use the Nintendo DSi stylus to cut and then manipulate the paper into a box shape. Be careful — if you’re not efficient with your cuts, you’ll waste paper and be penalized.
R&D mode teaches you new patterns and challenges you to complete various ranks, while Factory mode gives you the chance to earn money by making as many boxes as possible from an endless sheet of paper.
Success in each mode brings its own reward: Clear ranks to earn a promotion, change your character’s appearance, and use your earnings to acquire new items for your character’s miniature garden. With this game’s stylish graphics and catchy sounds, thinking inside the box isn’t such a bad thing.”
If you haven’t read it yet, here’s my enthusiastic preview of the game, in which I described Boxlife as “Japan’s interpretation of the American Dream”.
If you’re in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand, and you think you might enjoy this ridiculous Mega Man .EXE costume, head over to Capcom’s site and enter to win it! It’s a one-of-a-kind piece that allows us to see what the Battle Network Mega Man would look like if he suddenly became half-human, half-Cabbage Patch Doll.
Finally, I can link to a contest that’s exclusively for our often-left-out PALs, and it’s for a really excellent (in a way) item.
You can hear the original Super Mario Land song and see footage from the Game Boy title below (I have no idea why the video looks so blurry and jacked up):
My wife, who is a Super Mario genius, adores this game. She recently found her old cartridge, and every night afterwards for a month, she spent a half hour running through the game from start to its airplane finish before bed. She could probably school this dude’s 10-minute speedrun if she didn’t feel compelled to grab every single coin, power-up, and 1up.
“Within a dark room in the upper reaches of Shibuya, a single tear rolls down the cheek of Shotaro Otaku as he closes his DS. His time with Nene-chan is once again at an end, and the cold weight of loneliness settles once again upon his shoulders.
But tonight… something is different. As Shotaro stands he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror. And for the first time what he feels is not revulsion for his lumpy frame, nor disgust at the odd secretions it insists on producing. No, what he feels now is pride.
For Shotaro knows. He knows that, though she does not beam at him from the warming glow of twin LCD screens, Nene-chan is still smiling at him. Though she no longer courses through the DS’s twin ARM processors, still she courses through his heart. Her lips, writhing like twin escalators, curl upward in an expression of utmost beneficence.
Shotaro puffs out his chest. Tomorrow will be a new day. And Nene-chan will be there to face it with him.”—
— Imagined scene of a young gamer enamored with Love Plus, Konami’s virtual girlfriend/dating sim software.
NeoGAF has an informative post detailing the game, which releases in Japan this September. This fully voiced title (impressive!) offers three girls for you to court, and allows you to use the system mic to speak with them.
Love Plus is rated 15 and up (CERO is C!), so while the game will have mature themes, don’t expect to consummate your in-game relationships. Love Plus's trailer is actually tame, but still creepy when you remember what it's for:
“That one has been put on permanent hold. Have I given up on it? No, but unfortunately I don’t think the PSP game going to make it to North American shores.”—Natsume’s Graham Markay, talking to Siliconera about Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, the planned US version of the ruinous PSP Umihara Kawase port. He said he hadn’t seen the DS version, suggesting that Natsume had no plans to pick that one up.