Those of you who followed us during the pre-Tiny Cartridge days, back when we used to push weight at DS Fanboy, might remember Motocross Challenge, and Excitebike-style 2D racing game that just couldn’t catch a break.
Montreal developer DHG Games initially created the game for a commercial GBA release but eventually gave it out as homebrew after losing its publishing deal. Two years ago, the team had another go at it and adapted Motocross Challenge for DS, but that never made it to stores either.
DHG refused to give up on the project, though, and now it’s out on the App Store for $2.99. I can’t vouch for the iPhone edition, as I don’t even own one of the devices (Palm Pre Plus all the way!), but the original was a super fun game that made you feel its speed and challenged you to perform crazy mid-air tricks after zooming off ramps.
While I don’t normally promote iPhone games, Motocross Challenge deserves your attention, as this developer tried its damndest to get its dream game out on a Nintendo platform. Maybe if the team make enough money off this, it will consider a DSiWare port?
Tiny Preview: Make Songs Monkey Band (in which monkeys sing some Morrissey)
When I started up Make Songs Monkey Band for the first time, a prompt appeared and invited me to enter Japanese text. I scrawled out my name in Katakana. Moments later, three monkeys took the stage and crooned a lovely song about my name. I didn’t understand the words coming out my DSi’s speakers, but I knew I this was for me.
Released this week in Japan for 800 Points, Monkey Band is a DSiWare “game” allowing you to create songs for a trio of primates, led by a guitar-strumming Prince Saruno, to perform in a variety of styles: punk, pop & roll, retro group, arabian pop, “serious”, enka, indo-pop (presumably indian rock, not an indie-pop typo), and many more.
It’s rare that I get to post event news that personally benefits me, so I’m happy to report this: chiptune legend Nullsleep is embarking on a US tour this summer with stops in: Portland, SF, LA, Austin (!), Nashville, NYC, and Philadelphia.
He’ll be accompanied by Starscream on many of the dates, with other artists joining for each show. And for those of you even more distant than I am from the usual NYC venues in which chiptunes events take place, European tour dates will be announced soon.
[Via OSV; video above: Nullsleep at Blip Festival 2009, recorded by Bytejacker]
In what sounds like a must-attend event for people in New York, a Babycastles event at The Silent Barn will feature three rad game-related presentations.
Matt “Fort90” Hawkins will talk about Fort90Zine (the latest issue of which features work by my favorite writer); and chiptunes artist/Graffiti Monster Mark Denardo will discuss Cream Wolf, the Adult Swim game about feeding ice cream to children, then turning into a werewolf and eating them (designed by Messhof).
Powerhead Games’ Ramiro Corbetta will talk about Glow Artisan, the IGF Mobile Game Design award-winning DSiWare game, too (I guess Powerhead managed to fool the judges into thinking it was on iPhone long enough to get them to play it). Oh, and also Blue Leader and Graffiti Monsters will perform.
The event will take place this Friday, May 1 at 8pm, and you should probably RSVP if you want to go, I guess.
“You can’t just walk in to Luida’s Bar and order. It’s not the sort of place you drop by to grab a quick midday snack. The business hours are divided up into 90-minute increments, and customers are escorted in and out. There’s a little bit of wiggle room — I showed up right after a session began, and they put me at an empty table.”—
Chris Kohler visits the Dragon Quest IX-themed Luida’s Bar, which sounds a lot more involved than I thought. “Luida” and a hostess both went around chatting with all the patrons, and a “preview item” from an upcoming menu refresh was handed out to everyone.
It kinda sounds like the best thing about Luida’s Bar is still looking at the Slime buns, which we can do right here with a new picture taken by Kohler:
While writing up an article about art prints for sale from Spicy Horse, the developer behind the American McGee’s Alice sequel, I came across this mind-blowing Formula Blood concept poster by Portuguese artist Luis Melo. There’s some undead breasts in the pic, though, so I tucked the full image after the break.
Melo dreamed up Formula Blood as “an imaginary movie or 8-bit video game”. It’s a contender for the best made-up racing game ever (up against Diesel Kiss)!
If you’d like to read about the lovely-looking X-Scape, or Q-Games, or other things with single consonants followed by hyphens and five additional letters, check out my Joystiq interview with Q-Games’ Dylan Cuthbert and Kazushi Maeta, and NCL’s Kazuyuki Gofuku.
And yes, I totally asked whether or not “Totaka’s Song” would be in the game — to which Gofuku said “I think it will live up to players’ expectations.” WINK WINK WINK.
With Monster Hunter Tri now out, I’d like to point you to an amusing parody of the “MMORPG-lite” dreamt up by popular anime series Gintama. In the episode I linked above, the show’s characters are chasing after aliens that have escaped into the game world of Kapcon’s Monkey Hunter (fast forward to 12:40 for the fun stuff).
Even if you don’t know anything about Gintama or Monster Hunter, it’s an entertaining episode with a lot of laughable bits (LOL bits). By the way, have any of you bought Monster Hunter Tri yet? What do you think? I’m tempted to pick it up some day…
“Honestly, the WiiWare version isn’t gimped at all. It is exactly what it was going to be.”—
Team Meat’s Tommy Refenes, in the same interview where he reveals Super Meat Boy's WiiWare ediiton will not include the “competitive vs modes” or “beefy co-op” initially promised when the game was announced for the download service last year. Presumably, the XBLA and PC releases will have multiplayer support, likely online.
Refenes went on to describe WiiWare’s file constraints as “frustrating” while praising the Xbox 360: “The Xbox, being the more powerful machine with no size limits, just allows us to do more.” To make up for the missing features in the WiiWare version, the developer has boosted the number of single-player levels from 100 to over 300.
When asked if he’s worried about the enhanced XBLA edition impacting sales for the less attractive WiiWare releases, Refenes danced around the question with the above statement.
"Beyond the White Storm" from Otomedius.HG101 has the full, kind of weird, story on this song: it’s a chippy arrangement of a song from Gradius Gaiden, released as DLC for the Xbox 360 shmup. Apparently Konami released alternate DLC soundtracks for the game, that swapped out the existing music for classic Konami music rearranged by one of the company’s star composers.
Not that that’s the weirdest thing about Otomedius, of course — that would either be the character designs (spacefaring young girls carrying weapons that make them look like spaceships), or the control method (joystick + touch screen).
Here’s the original:
There’s a lot more detail about Otomedius and the music at HG101. I just wanted to pass this music along, because it’s pretty much exactly what I think of as “shmup music.”
When I wrote about Tsukutte Uta Saru Band (Make Songs Monkey Band), I considered comparing it to Kuma Uta, the PS2 game about a polar bear who sings enka music, because they’re both games about animals singing user-created music with synthesized vocals. I wish I had actually mentioned that, because it would have made me seem really savvy — Andriasang noted that muu muu, the developer behind Saru Band, also made Kuma Uta!
That means it isn’t a coincidence that there are two games about singing animals, nor is it a case of being influenced by Kuma Uta. There’s just a developer that really likes to make cartoon animals sing amateur songwriters’ works.
Looking around muu muu’s website, it appears that “muu muu” is the developer once known as Sugar & Rockets, who made the second and third Jumping Flash! games for PlayStation. Recently, it also created an iPhone app (available in English) called Nukaka’s Marriage, an animated eBook about “the mysterious sex strategies of insects”. Which, I think, means that Kuma Uta is no longer the weirdest thing it’s done.
"Game Card Precautions" by BC Likes You. This is one of over two dozen tracks on Health and Safety, a DS10Forum.com compilation of songs composed with Korg DS-10 and inspired by the Health and Safety precautions in the Nintendo DS system booklet. The release is filled with titles like “Contact with Dust And Lint” and “Designed And Licensed For Use With The Nintendo DS”.
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy most of the tracks on this album, but I liked this song enough and it’s a neat concept. Also, it’s nice to hear some music people are making with the Korg DS-10 software.
With Sin & Punishment: Star Successor delayed to June 27th and Metroid: Other M not shipping until August 31st, some of you might be shopping around for other games to play until then. Fortunately, the DSiWare platform has a lot of new releases coming up to keep you entertained for the next two months — one of them is even free!
For your convenience, we put together a quick guide with dates, trailers, and our quick impressions/faces for the DSiWare titles announced for the U.S. so far:
Photo tour through Nintendo of America's new headquarters building
After a year and a half of construction, Nintendo of America’s new building complex in Redmond is finally ready to open. The 275,250 sq. ft. structure not only houses the headquarters’ offices, but offers an auditorium, a cafeteria, an exercise facility, and even a roof garden.
We have more than a dozen photos from Nintendo’s new building that will make you feel like you’re walking through the company’s halls yourself! “Look to your left; there’s the Treehouse localization team eating lunch at Cafe Mario! And over there — it’s NOA president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime playing a Nintendo 3DS prototype!”
[Update: Actually, we don’t have any of that anymore! Sorry! Please enjoy our other posts, which are usually just as awesome as this one was.]
The nerds among you who love unlicensed NES games might recognize Soap Panic as the Japanese version of Bubble Bath Babes, one of three racy (and rare) Panesian releases featuring disrobed 8-bit ladies.
If you were pervy enough to seriously research the titles, reading articles like, say, this in-depth piece at NES Player, you’ll know that while both Soap Panic and Bubble Bath Babes feature identical puzzle mechanics, the women featured in the games are different!
While graphics for the girls in Bubble Bath Babes and Soap Panic are available online, because the most commonly available ROM floating around for the latter is incomplete, anyone who’s peeked at the game or tried to rip the female portraits found several of the images corrupted, showing up as a glitched silhouette.
In an event so rare that its value can’t be expressed in monies, 1UP will broadcast gameplay of absolutely real NES game Bio Force Ape during its “Game Night” event. “It was the subject of one of the greatest hoaxes in internet history,” Frank Cifaldi said in the announcement, “is weird as hell, and is considered something of a holy grail amongst retro gaming enthusiasts.” This is an event so powerful it could disrupt NES graphics.
Check the video player embedded in this post at 5PM PST to see this completely real unreleased NES game from 1991 that is definitely not a homebrew game based on a message board joke. Although, if it were, the fact that a completely new game was made from scratch would actually be more impressive than some unreleased game from the distant past. But no, definitely not the case. Be there or eat communism!