"Spotless Mind" by Leeni. As far as sharing choice chiptune tracks with you, I did a pretty awful job with that in 2011. This post won’t do much to make up for that, but here’s my song of the year from the scene, a tribute to one of my favorite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, from Leeni’s excellent album The Only Now.
And here are a million links to neat chiptune releases/projects I meant to feature throughout the year:
In addition to its "Buy One, Get One 40% Off" sale, Amazon has cut at least 50 percent off 350 of its games and accessories, including a small selection of DS/3DS junk.
On the DS side, there are nice deals for Dragon Quest V and Solatorobo. For 3DS owners, you can get DualPenSports, Steel Diver, Pilotwings Resort, and the Nintendogs + Cats releases — all for under $17 each.
If no one loved you enough to leave a few quality games under your tree last weekend, Amazon has another sale that will let you snag a couple for relatively cheap.
The site has included nearly 600 3DS, DS, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PSP titles in its "Buy One, Get One 40% Off" sale. As usual, many of them have been marked at full price, but you can still get a good deal for some games.
Nano Assault, for example, is only $19.99. Cooking Mama 4, 999, and Chrono Trigger are also all pretty cheap. You can get Mario Kart 7, Devil Survivor: The OC, and Cave Story 3D at a slight discount with the deal, too.
Incredible! Takeshi’s Challenge, the impossible NES game designed, as the story goes, as a cruel prank on gamers by Takeshi Kitano, has been translated by KingMike. The ROM patch changes the text, and swaps out the graphics (like the title screen, above).
I have the Famicom game, but have never been able to make much sense of it. This translation patch should help, but I wouldn’t go so far as to expect the game to be easy. I still have to sing karaoke, for example.
If you’re not tired of reading “best-of” lists for 2011 yet, I’ve picked out and written about the top five portable games of the year over at Gamasutra. You won’t find any surprises if you’ve followed our interests these last twelve months, but maybe you’ll get enjoy reading the intro, in which I talk about handheld gaming’s non-death.
I also contributed to Gamasutra’s "Top 10 Games of the Year", offering a few spoiler-ish paragraphs on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and my honorable mentions.
When Fire Emblem 3DS (tentative title) releases in Japan next March, it will be the first title on the portable to feature paid downloadable content. You might recall that Nintendo introduced microtransaction functionality with November 3DS recent update — I was surprised Monster Hunter Tri-G doesn’t take advantaged of it — but it will be a few months before we can pay for bonus content.
Third-party publishers will begin shipping games that feature paid DLC in summer 2012, according to a report from the Nikkei business daily translated by Andriasang. Nintendo intends to offer microtransactions in Wii U titles when that console launches next year, too.
It’s an awkward time to be shopping online (you might be expecting Santa to bring you some games, for example) but if you have nothing else to do this evening, you can browse a selection of DS and 3DS games that Amazon is selling two-for-$40.
The grouping is pretty small, but you can totally get 999 and Bit.Trip Saga, or Devil Survivor and Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns!
Nintendo will stream another pre-recorded presentation right after Christmas, likely to show off its early 2012 plans for the 3DS. The consumer-targeted show begins at 12 Noon JST on the 27th (10 PM EST on the 26th).
In the first Nintendo Direct presentation in October, president and CEO Satoru Iwata debuted the pink 3DS, announced the November 3DS firmware update, and gave us our first look at eShop titles like Pushmo, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword, and ThruSpace.
For those who aren’t fond of untranslated Japanese streams, Nintendo of America followed up the last show with an English video from president Reggie Fils-Aime and his shiny chin, in which he summed up a bunch of the announcements for U.S. gamers.
Along with this week’s release of Mighty Switch Force on the eShop, composer Jake “virt” Kaufman has released a downloadable soundtrack on Bandcamp, for the price of whatever. In addition to the music from the game, the download includes remixes from surasshu, coda, cancel, xaimus, and virt himself. It’s a who’s who of musicians who don’t capitalize their names.
Proceeds from the 23-track collection will go to “SHINY NEW GEAR for the WayForward music studio, so you can directly pitch in to help us put better-sounding music into each new game.”
As for, like, the actual game, I’ve barely had two minutes to try it out…
If Pushmo's 252 puzzles aren't enough of you, there's an unofficial Daily Pushmo Twitter account curating user-created stages for the eShop game, sharing a new one every day. So far, all the stages posted are based on game sprites, like the one above of Contact's lovable pup Mochi.
Finally, after a long Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaign, the fan-supported, extensible XStylus Crayon has been produced, and is now available for purchase. Greenbulb sent a few over, and I’ve been using one exclusively on my 3DS for the past week or so.
For the most part … it’s a stylus, and I’m not sure how much I need to say about a plastic stick you use to poke a touchscreen. But, like, this is a pretty nice plastic stick.
Three things that are fab:
It gives you a “pen” sized stylus to hold, but still fits perfectly into the stylus holder on a 3DS and a DS Lite. Sorry, I didn’t have any other systems around to try it with.
Even when not folded out, it looks and feels almost exactly like a normal stylus. So if you’re too lazy to unfold it, it still works totally fine.
Each pack of four includes four colors perfectly matched to the 3DS. You’ll have to choose a “coordinating” color rather than a perfect match if you have a pink 3DS, but otherwise you can totally camouflage your stylus.
Three things that are butt:
The grips only extend in two directions. I found that I had to get used to my stylus having a particular “side” to hold, instead of being perfectly cylindrical.
You have to pay attention to make sure you’re folding it the right way. There is a tab that helps guide you, but you have to be thinking about it or looking at it.
That tab sticks out of the 3DS slightly. It’s meant to make the stylus easier to remove, but it also sticks out of the 3DS slightly.