Tower of Shadow, Last Window, & Magic Obelisk desktop backgrounds
Three studios put out attractive wallpapers for their games this week, and I’ve collected them here in case you missed them. So, if you’re desperate to find something new to decorate your desktop, here you go!
Tecmo will toss two odd titles onto Japan’s DSiWare shop next week: Huh? The DS Is Upside Down? Reverse Shooting, and Huh? The DS Is Upside Down? Upside Down Drops. The latter is a puzzler and doesn’t interest me, but if you want to learn about it, head here.
Now, Reverse Shooting, this is some strange shiz. It features graphics from Tecmo’s Star Force series, which is interesting in itself as the company hasn’t really returned to the series since Final Star Force in 1992. Even more strange, though, is that the game is played upside down.
From what I can gather, it’s a two-player experience in which one gamer controls the ship with the directional pad and face buttons while an opponent directs the incoming stream of enemies and projectiles using the touchscreen. It’s not as complicated as the two-player controls for Fight With Photos: Photo Fighter X, but the system still seems weird for the person directing the ship, as your hands are positioned higher than the screen you’re watching.
For a novelty game, at least it’s cheap — 200 Points!
Music from Metroid: Other M. This tender piano composition opens up Nintendo’s teaser site for the upcoming Metroid game, accompanied by a rare Samus Aran audio clip (in Japanese): “A dream. It’s as if I was watching a playback of a tragedy that really happened.”
Metroid: Other M is slated to release in Japan this summer. Nintendo also revealed teaser sites with similarly sentimental music for two other Wii games: The Last Story from Archaic Sealed Heat developer Mistwalker; and Xenoblade (formerly Monado) from Xenosaga/Baten Kaitos studio Monolith Soft.
Mike Meyer created this tribute to the Game Boy Donkey Kong for a Mini Ludum Dare game design competition. It’s not a full game given the time-limited development, but it’s got a really nice backflip mechanic and a really awesome level structure in which the level updates one half at a time like Pac-Man Championship Edition.
I would really like Meyer to continue working on this, but in the meantime I’m so happy to just backflip over and over and over again.
Sankaku Complex posted scans from a manga about the video game console wars, depicting its combatants as three male students at Game Hard Academy. The above shot, cropped to remove the naughty bits, shows the PlayStation 3 on the bottom left, the Xbox 360 riding on top of him, and the Wii watching from a nearby window, waggling furiously. That’s the console wars for you.
How do the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable fit into this manga’s scenario? I’ve no idea, but I don’t intend to post shotacon here anytime soon.
Some time in the coming weeks, Q-Games will put out the third game from its DSiWare space trilogy, 3D Space Tank, probably showing up in Europe first. Nintendo and Q-Games haven’t disclosed much about the game beyond what you can surmise from its title, but GamerBytes notes this will likely release as X-Scape when in the U.S.
When Nintendo listed X-Scape in its early 2010 line-up a few months ago, I presumed the game was based on the defunct R&B group. Boing Boing’s Brandon Boyer, however, is a much wiser man than I and pointed out to me that this new DSiWare title could be a follow-up to another Q-Games-related release, X for Game Boy.
Since X shipped only in Japan, I’ll kick some (Wikipedia-stolen) knowledge for you about its significance:
"4h30" by Danger. Before you listen to this incredible track, you need to watch these 16-bit teaser videos the artist produced for his upcoming EP 09/17 2007 (that’s the actual title, not the date of its release):
I love Nerd Music’s analysis for why this 16-bit style, seems so much more enthralling compared to the glitzy and polished visuals in modern games:
"The rough and grimy look of early 90s beat-em-ups, Double Dragon and Streets of Rage, with its bright coloured, mohawked, and sexually-ambiguous baddies, in dank run-down urban environments, is one that doesn’t get much play anymore. Everything is too fucking slick now, from sharp high definition displays to 100% accurate digital music reproductions to every post-effect applied to every film and photograph to fix every mistake. It’s boring.
By contrast, those dirty beat-em-ups of the early 90s took their influence from the rough and weird gang-land punk films of the late 70s and early 80s, like The Warriors and Escape from New York, copied over and distorted on VHS with soundtracks on cassette and syndicated and broadcast over the airwaves to your wood-paneled giant TV with a UHF dial in your parents basement. Perfection wasn’t important, just being able to access the content was the goal. Nothing was as ubiquitous as it is now. The fringe shit took a lot of effort and doing to find.
That’s why chiptunes, and the recent trend of faux-80s retro, and cassette based underground drone releases, and lo-fi distorted disco and folk (Nite Jewel and Grouper) appeal so much. It isn’t just the nostalgic chic of the sound that they produce as much as it’s their embrace of the limits and imperfections of technology. It’s more human that way.”
The vinyl edition of Danger’s EP goes on sale this Monday, while record label Ekleroshock will release the digital version on February 1st. Grab this shit.
I loathe putting together these round-up posts because they require so much effort and no one bothers to read through them, but someone has to cover these DSiWare items, right? Sure, Nintendo Life and Go Nintendo mention this junk from time to time, but I’m kind of focused on building the audience for this site. Anyway…
This trailer for Burning Puzzle Flame Tail presents a curious concept: the game scrolls like a vertical shoot’em-up with the DSi turned on its side but has the mechanics of a puzzler. You ignite block groups by touching them with your snake-like form, and collect letters spelling out power-ups. It’s the latest from Mindware, the little known studio that produced surprise gem Maboshi’s Arcade.
“In the case of Bonk, everything has personality, from the main character to the enemies to the levels themselves. Our adorable, big-eyed caveman hero climbs walls with his teeth, waggles his tiny arms and legs comically while swimming up waterfalls, pops a head vein when doing his trademark move (a ‘bonk,’ in case you were wondering), and transforms into one of two comically monstrous forms to clash with his usually cutesy demeanor.
His iconic enemies — which, in case you couldn’t tell, are freshly-hatched dinosaurs who didn’t bother losing the whole shell — nap, catch butterflies, fish, climb poles in little alpine hats, suntan, and evoke the sense that they’re ‘living’ in a level, rather than placed arbitrarily by some programmer.”—
Bob Mackey argues the merits of the Bonk series. If you want to try a Bonk game (and you should, they’re adorable), you can download all three of the Turbografx-16 games, and the futuristic cute-em-up spinoff Air Zonk, on the Wii Virtual Console, or you can set up a Japanese PSN account and download the Bonk games to your PSP or PS3.
Or, if you want to go all out, you can buy a Turbo Duo on eBay, which has the added bonus of being absolutely gorgeous.
I just wanted to give you guys a heads-up that preorders for Infinite Space, Platinum Games and Nudemaker’s sci-fi RPG based on Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End, is now priced at $27.99 at Amazon, a slight discount from its list price of $35. The expected ship date is March 31st.
While you’re at Amazon, it’s worth noting that the online retailer also marked down the preorder price for Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (Wii) to $36.99. That’s not much of a cut from $40 but still worth mentioning.