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Oh no, Virtue’s Last Reward/999's future is in doubt ⊟
I just presumed that Spike Chunsoft was well into development for the third Zero Escape game, but series director Kotaro Uchikoshi says the next sequel is in jeopardy. The problem is that while the franchise has a bit of popularity in the West, it hasn’t made a profit in Japan. 
"I’m so sad, but all companies exist for profit-making purposes," Uchikoshi posted on Twitter earlier today. “If the profits can’t be expected, naturally, the project isn’t approved. We were not able to present a convincing reasonable basis to the managers. … I am very sorry to all the users who are expecting Zero Escape 3. I feel ashamed of my own inadequacies.”
He added that if circumstances change — say the next project he works on turns out to be a hit, or if someone generous steps in to finance Zero Escape 3's development — the game could still happen. Though his team looked into Kickstarter, they were not convinced that they would be able to pull off a successful campaign on that platform.
Uchikoshi continued, “I believe there is still hope. Zero Escape 3 will definitely be released somehow, someday! I will continue to seek a way out in cooperation with allies. So, I would appreciate it if you could wait until then. Thank you!”
GIF is via Ereje Armin.
BUY Virtue's Last Reward & 999, upcoming games

Oh no, Virtue’s Last Reward/999's future is in doubt ⊟

I just presumed that Spike Chunsoft was well into development for the third Zero Escape game, but series director Kotaro Uchikoshi says the next sequel is in jeopardy. The problem is that while the franchise has a bit of popularity in the West, it hasn’t made a profit in Japan. 

"I’m so sad, but all companies exist for profit-making purposes," Uchikoshi posted on Twitter earlier today. “If the profits can’t be expected, naturally, the project isn’t approved. We were not able to present a convincing reasonable basis to the managers. … I am very sorry to all the users who are expecting Zero Escape 3. I feel ashamed of my own inadequacies.”

He added that if circumstances change — say the next project he works on turns out to be a hit, or if someone generous steps in to finance Zero Escape 3's development — the game could still happen. Though his team looked into Kickstarter, they were not convinced that they would be able to pull off a successful campaign on that platform.

Uchikoshi continued, “I believe there is still hope. Zero Escape 3 will definitely be released somehow, someday! I will continue to seek a way out in cooperation with allies. So, I would appreciate it if you could wait until then. Thank you!”

GIF is via Ereje Armin.

BUY Virtue's Last Reward & 999, upcoming games
  • Source erejearmin
PS Vita Slim hits U.S. with Borderlands bundle ⊟
Already available in Japan and the UK, the new PS Vita model (PCH-2000) will make it to North America this spring as part of a $199 Borderlands 2 bundle. Available only in black, the handheld is 20 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter than the original model. It also features an LCD screen instead of the much-fawned-over OLED display, 1GB of internal memory, and about an hour more of battery life. The bundle will include the port of Borderlands 2 with six DLC packs, as well as an 8GB memory card.
Lots of PS Vita news today:
Here’s an image gallery of the Borderlands 2 bundle
God of War Collection coming out May 9 for $29.99
Sly Cooper Collection his May 27
Aksys releasing BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma this summer
That free-to-play Badman game that released in Japan is coming out here this spring as No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either
Invizimals: The Alliance coming to North America in 2014
Ovosonico’s Murasaki Baby coming this year, too
And here’s a trailer for the new PS Vita model! 
BUY PS Vita, Borderlands 2 bundle, upcoming games

PS Vita Slim hits U.S. with Borderlands bundle ⊟

Already available in Japan and the UK, the new PS Vita model (PCH-2000) will make it to North America this spring as part of a $199 Borderlands 2 bundle. Available only in black, the handheld is 20 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter than the original model. It also features an LCD screen instead of the much-fawned-over OLED display, 1GB of internal memory, and about an hour more of battery life. The bundle will include the port of Borderlands 2 with six DLC packs, as well as an 8GB memory card.

Lots of PS Vita news today:

And here’s a trailer for the new PS Vita model

BUY PS Vita, Borderlands 2 bundle, upcoming games
Club Tiny mystery gift pack incoming! ⊟
Last week, we introduced Club Tiny as a way for readers to support our work with a monthly pledge at Patreon. Whether you join or not, Tiny Cartridge will remain as awesome as it’s always been for free — even awesomer, actually, thanks to the extra attention we can now give the site — but Club Tiny members will receive fun bonuses for their patronage.
We’re preparing a great set of gifts we’ll deploy to our Ambassador-level members and up ($3+) this week — we’re really excited about having the chance to share these tiny rewards. If you want to get in on the fun, make sure to join soon! And if you’ve already joined and signed up to send a mystery gift to a friend, make sure to check our Activity Feed at Patreon for details on sending us their names/emails. 
Thank you all again for the generosity and support you’ve shown us so far, helping us reach our Patreon goals and spread the word. I can’t believe how much you’ve pledged already. You are the best. It would require ten thousand posts for us to come close to expressing our gratitude, but we’re trying hard not to spam the site with Patreon-related articles and our excitement.
SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!

Club Tiny mystery gift pack incoming! ⊟

Last week, we introduced Club Tiny as a way for readers to support our work with a monthly pledge at Patreon. Whether you join or not, Tiny Cartridge will remain as awesome as it’s always been for free — even awesomer, actually, thanks to the extra attention we can now give the site — but Club Tiny members will receive fun bonuses for their patronage.

We’re preparing a great set of gifts we’ll deploy to our Ambassador-level members and up ($3+) this week — we’re really excited about having the chance to share these tiny rewards. If you want to get in on the fun, make sure to join soon! And if you’ve already joined and signed up to send a mystery gift to a friend, make sure to check our Activity Feed at Patreon for details on sending us their names/emails. 

Thank you all again for the generosity and support you’ve shown us so far, helping us reach our Patreon goals and spread the word. I can’t believe how much you’ve pledged already. You are the best. It would require ten thousand posts for us to come close to expressing our gratitude, but we’re trying hard not to spam the site with Patreon-related articles and our excitement.

SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!
"Is Gengar Clefable’s shadow?" ⊟
Also, are they secretly characters from Street Fighter Alpha 2? This neat — if slightly out-of-sync — GIF comes from ChipSprites, who was inspired by the theory that Gengar is the shadow of Clefable. I’m told XY's introduction of the Fairy-type (Clefable's type) disproves one key argument for this theory, as it now allows them to damage each other, when previously they couldn't with STAB moves due to immunities.
BUY Pokemon X and Y, upcoming games

"Is Gengar Clefable’s shadow?" ⊟

Also, are they secretly characters from Street Fighter Alpha 2? This neat — if slightly out-of-sync — GIF comes from ChipSprites, who was inspired by the theory that Gengar is the shadow of Clefable. I’m told XY's introduction of the Fairy-type (Clefable's type) disproves one key argument for this theory, as it now allows them to damage each other, when previously they couldn't with STAB moves due to immunities.

BUY Pokemon X and Y, upcoming games
  • Source chipsprites
In case you forgot about Dragon Quest Monsters 2 ⊟
Here’s a GIF to remind you the 3DS remake (and its limited edition XL bundle — here’s an unboxing) released in Japan this week. The image comes from Kimimi, who posted a video showing the first half hour of her playthrough with the import at Nintendo Life.
So, again, that makes four Dragon Quest games for 3DS that have released in Japan and nowhere else. Now that Bravely Default is out in North America today, maybe we’ll hear about other plans Square Enix and Nintendo have for this side of the Pacific soon. Might as well put those trademarks to use!
BUY Dragon Quest games, upcoming games

In case you forgot about Dragon Quest Monsters 2 ⊟

Here’s a GIF to remind you the 3DS remake (and its limited edition XL bundle — here’s an unboxing) released in Japan this week. The image comes from Kimimi, who posted a video showing the first half hour of her playthrough with the import at Nintendo Life.

So, again, that makes four Dragon Quest games for 3DS that have released in Japan and nowhere else. Now that Bravely Default is out in North America today, maybe we’ll hear about other plans Square Enix and Nintendo have for this side of the Pacific soon. Might as well put those trademarks to use!

BUY Dragon Quest games, upcoming games
  • Source kimimisstuff

Breaking: Tomodachi Collection coming to the West ⊟

What is it with TinyCast predictions? They keep coming true! This report about Tomodachi Collection: New Life snuck into the end of this Wall Street Journal article published two days ago:

"The company is now working to decide what can be kept and what needs to be scrapped for its overseas launch of ‘Tomodachi Collection’ — or ‘Friend Collection’ — a 3DS life simulation game in which Miis from consoles can interact with one another and develop via mundane activities, such as exchanging food and clothing.

'It’s all about balance,' Iwata said.”

For those unfamiliar with the series, the life sim is a big hit in Japan, allowing players to follow the relationships and random experiences of the Miis living in their handhelds. We published a great article from Daniel Feit last year comparing Animal Crossing and Tomodachi Collection as hangouts. 

The situation is fluid and ongoing. We will update you with more details on the news as they come in. In the meantime, please enjoy these GIFs of Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata having a ball in Tomodachi Collection, taken from H3DS.

[Update: We contacted Nintendo for more information about the stealth reveal, but the company says it “has nothing to announce at this time.”]

BUY Tomodachi Collection games, upcoming releases
  • Source herronintendo3ds
Was there a Zelda holiday I missed today? ⊟
Because Nintendo of America just unceremoniously dumped A Link to the Past onto the Wii U eShop ($7.99), and Four Swords Anniversary Edition onto the 3DS eShop. The latter is available to download for free until February 2.
Thanks to everyone who sent us this tip, and to Go Get Good for the GIF.
BUY Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, upcoming games

Was there a Zelda holiday I missed today? ⊟

Because Nintendo of America just unceremoniously dumped A Link to the Past onto the Wii U eShop ($7.99), and Four Swords Anniversary Edition onto the 3DS eShop. The latter is available to download for free until February 2.

Thanks to everyone who sent us this tip, and to Go Get Good for the GIF.

BUY Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, upcoming games
  • Source go-get-good

Comparing movie scenes & their NES counterparts ⊟

These are part of a series John “Brother Brain” McGregor and Low Interest are running in which they contrast in-game graphics from licensed NES games with the iconic movie scenes they were based on. In these cases, the games are Sunsoft’s Batman, Bethesda’s Home Alone, and Acclaim’s Predator. If the GIFs look a little janky for those viewing this on the site with our gallery’s auto-resizer, just click the shots to see the original versions.

Related and also neat link: stolen images from games.

BUY Batman: Akham Origins/Blackgate, upcoming games
  • Source brotherbrain
Here’s Chie hopping around in Persona Q ⊟
Two new character trailers for the Etrian Odyssey-esque spin-off:
Persona 4's Chie Satonaka
Persona 3's Akihiko Sanada
Thinking of GIFpop-ing this and carrying it around with me everywhere. 
BUY Persona 4 Golden, upcoming games

Here’s Chie hopping around in Persona Q

Two new character trailers for the Etrian Odyssey-esque spin-off:

Thinking of GIFpop-ing this and carrying it around with me everywhere. 

BUY Persona 4 Golden, upcoming games
How awesome was this part in Gunstar Heroes? ⊟
I mean, every part of Gunstar Heroes is awesome, yeah. But at this point, you’ve just beaten this weird dragon-punching mini-boss made out of cubes, and now you’re sliding down a frickin’ pyramid, shooting up to let your gun track anything that pops up on the screen.
Thanks for reminding me about the scene, Pixelclash!
BUY Gunstar Heroes, upcoming games

How awesome was this part in Gunstar Heroes? ⊟

I mean, every part of Gunstar Heroes is awesome, yeah. But at this point, you’ve just beaten this weird dragon-punching mini-boss made out of cubes, and now you’re sliding down a frickin’ pyramid, shooting up to let your gun track anything that pops up on the screen.

Thanks for reminding me about the scene, Pixelclash!

BUY Gunstar Heroes, upcoming games
  • Source pixelclash.net
Rad Lorule GIF by Claire Belton ⊟
She even drew the Thief Girl from my favorite dungeon in A Link Between Worlds! Claire makes a lot of neat GIFs on her Tumblr, many game-related, so follow her there.
BUY Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, upcoming games

Rad Lorule GIF by Claire Belton ⊟

She even drew the Thief Girl from my favorite dungeon in A Link Between Worlds! Claire makes a lot of neat GIFs on her Tumblr, many game-related, so follow her there.

BUY Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, upcoming games
  • Source clairetonic
My WarioWare Life: Four years of video game snapshots ⊟
Duncan Robson’s journal documents the most interesting events in his life (attending conferences, moving across the Atlantic Ocean) as well as his day-to-day existence (going to the dentist, walking a dog). Here’s an entry from January 2013, about finding money on the street, for example.
Robson’s diary is Microcartridge, a project in which he attempted to document his life in five-second games made in WarioWare DIY, the Nintendo DS microgame creation utility. It’s a pretty unusual journal.
[[MORE]]
Events in his life are rendered as interactive microgames, in which the player actively takes part in a representation of Robson’s own life events – or part of a movie he saw, a game he played, etc. Each microgame is then recorded and archived on the site as a video. “I think it’s a good supplement to a diary,” Robson mused. “Not that I keep a diary. I kind of wanted it to be like a diary comic, but I would have had to be more prolific for that to work (and more comfortable sharing personal stuff).”
Four years after starting the effort, Microcartridge has concluded, with no grand finale but no lack of finality: “A few weeks ago I lost my DS somewhere in North Berkeley,” he said on the site’s final update. “I think it slipped out of my broken coat pocket while I was running for a bus. I was probably listening to a podcast and didn’t hear it hit the ground.” 
Sofa Surfer
Having already replaced his DS and game once, and already remade undocumented games on the replacements, Robson opted not to go through that again and ended the project, stopping before his goal of a totally full cartridge.
"I’m still sad about losing the DS and the unfinished games," Robson told me in an interview. "I wish I could have filled all the space on the cartridge, but on the whole I’m glad I stuck with it for four years." 
Robson was originally inspired by an article from researcher Ian Bogost, about personal video game “snapshots” – and further inspired by a Tiny Cartridge article tying that concept to the simplistic game creation potential of WarioWare DIY. The name “Microcartridge” is a deliberate play on our own site’s name. Full disclosure, I guess?

The project began a year after Robson’s move from the UK, where he worked on motion capture, to the U.S. (documented in the Pond Crosser series, a group of two games Robson names as favorites.). He saw WarioWare DIY at GDC that year. Since then:
“I went back to London for a while to work on a movie, started making supercut videos, moved back to San Francisco, got married, and finished an online animation course,” Robson said. “I recently started getting involved in local volunteer stuff, like artwork for this little video game museum in Oakland.”
By the way, with the exception of the last, all the links in that paragraph are Microcartridge games corresponding to the linked word. “I look back on them sometimes,” he noted. “It’s a pretty weird record of my first four years in the US.”
iPad Resistance
In turning his life into games, Robson has gained a micro-education in designing them. “I’m not sure any of them would be fun to play for more than six seconds, but I definitely want to keep making games,” Robson said. “My pixel art skills have improved, and I’ve maybe learnt some tricks for squeezing more out of limited resources. I’ve learnt that the idea for a game often comes after you start working on it.
"Also, make regular backups and don’t leave your DS on a plane."
Nothing on a handheld game platform has matched the ease of use of WarioWare DIY, as far as Robson knows. “Most people tell me to just learn Gamemaker or Unity. I find they get overwhelming very quickly. I can use Maya and other complex 3d software but I chose WarioWare DIY because the restrictions make it fun and possible to finish 50+ games.” 
A new version for 3DS or Wii U would be welcome, “but I wonder if what happened with Swapnote makes a newer version of DIY even less likely.” Swapnote, Nintendo’s animated messaging software, was recently taken offline purportedly after Nintendo discovered young users were being sent inappropriate messages.
“I feel like there is huge potential for more short expressive games. Dys4ia is a good example. There should be more games like that and more accessible, fun, handheld ways to make them.”


BUY WarioWare DIY, upcoming games

My WarioWare Life: Four years of video game snapshots ⊟

Duncan Robson’s journal documents the most interesting events in his life (attending conferences, moving across the Atlantic Ocean) as well as his day-to-day existence (going to the dentist, walking a dog). Here’s an entry from January 2013, about finding money on the street, for example.

Robson’s diary is Microcartridge, a project in which he attempted to document his life in five-second games made in WarioWare DIY, the Nintendo DS microgame creation utility. It’s a pretty unusual journal.

Read more