Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bonk makes a comeback on Monday

According to Hudson's handy dandy Virtual Console page, the best of Bonk's three outings on the TurboGrafx-16 (Bonk's Revenge) will be available for purchase and download on Monday.

Bonk's Revenge was one of my favorite titles on the TG-16 back in the day. It was better than the original in practically every way--it bests Bonk's Adventure in graphics, audio and gameplay.

Rumor has it Bonk will be joined this week by Punch-Out!! (sans Mike Tyson) and the horrendous Genesis version of Virtua Fighter 2. Two out of three isn't bad, I guess...

Now Hudson just needs to release the previously unavailable (in the U.S.) Battle Lode Runner. Maybe next week?

1up discusses Mario's many makeovers (and more)

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade--or simply didn't grow up playing games on the NES--you've already heard how Nintendo took an obscure Famicom Disc System game called Doki Doki Panic! and transformed it into the game known and loved (in the U.S. at least) as Super Mario Bros. 2.

Well, that wasn't the first time a company swapped out a few graphics before bringing a Japanese game to the U.S., nor was it the last. One of the latest examples can be found in Nintendo's quirky rhythm-based DS game, Elite Beat Agents. The game began life in Japan as Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and was massively overhauled--new characters, new storylines and new music--before being offered up to American gamers.

For more on that story, as well as many other games that were given a face lift (or more) before making the trip across the pond, make a visit

MTV jumps on the gay gaming bandwagon

I was happily surprised when I went to yesterday and saw that some of the guys who run that great site have been featured in an article posted to about "gay gamers taking a stand."

It's an interesting read, though the information has been tackled many times before. Still, this is one of the more mainstream iterations of the story, so hopefully it will leave more of an impression on the masses than the previous versions could muster.

If you'd like to read another take on this subject, take a look at the article I wrote for late last year.

Everlasting Love embraces the DS

I have to admit I know next to nothing about the homebrew community on the DS. I knew it existed, but considering the current state of emulation on and for Nintendo's portable system, I haven't paid it much attention.

Apparently I've missed out on a few gems--including a cute little game called Everlasting Love. Based on descriptions I've read elsewhere, the game seems to be an odd but compelling mix of platforming and rhythm-based action.

Players are tasked with moving a jittery, jumping monkey from the start of each level to its end. That's not as easy as it sounds, however, as the closer your monkey's jumps are to the beat of the music, the higher her jumps are. That can be a problem when spikes aren't far from her furry little head.

Two levels currently are available on line. I'm not exactly sure how you're supposed to get them to work, though I'm sure a little Google action will help if you're interested.

Capcom goes all out for Gamer's Day

Gamers have been hyped for some time about Capcom's Gamer's Day event that took place this past Thursday. Would new games be announced for the Wii or any other of the next-gen systems? Would we see more of the recently announced Resident Evil games? What about the portables--will they see some Capcom love?

The answer to all of those questions was "yes," of course. Especially interesting to me were the new looks we got at some games that were announced some time ago, such as Treasure Island Z. The game has reminded many a critic of PC point-and-click games of old (in a good way), with up-to-date graphics to boot. I really wasn't interested in this game when I first saw it a few weeks ago (or was it longer than that), but now it is creeping up my Wii wish list.

Other Wii releases showed promise, too. We got a more in-depth look at Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles as well as Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. RE: UC especially intrigues me, with its destructible environments and amazing graphics. It'll be interesting to see if Wii owners embrace this one or give it a pass.

If you're interested in seeing all of these games and more in action--and reading hands-on impressions of them as well--go over to, where they have compiled a long list of links that will take you where you want to go.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Japan gets a date with Phantom Hourglass

According to the latest issue of Famitsu, Japan's wonderful multi-system gaming publication, Nintendo's oft-delayed The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass will be released in the Land of the Rising Sun on June 23.

No word on whether U.S. Zelda fans (especially of the DS variety) also can expect the game soon or if we'll have to wait until later in the year. If I was a betting man (and I'm not), I'd say we'll be waiting until at least fall, if not winter. Drat!

Nintendo takes a new look (or two) at Pokemon

Nintendo certainly has been quiet about upcoming Wii and DS projects lately, haven't they? Well, they broke that silence a bit today during some sort of investor meeting.

A few games in particular should have Pokemon fans jumping for joy.

The first one isn't really a Pokemon game, though it sure looks like one and seems to play a bit like one, too. It's called Kurikin Nano Island Story and it puts players in control of a student who has to collect and raise bacteria and use them in battle. So far, so Pokemon. Where this DS title differs from the competition, though, is that battles feature swarms of of your pet bacteria (seen from an overhead perspective), which you control using your trusty stylus.

For more on Kurikin Nano Island Story, which is set for Japanese release on May 24, go to (for more on the back story and how it controls) and (for pretty pictures).

The other game actually is from the Pokemon universe, though it's not for the Wii or the DS and doesn't appear to share many similarities to past entries into the series, either.

Called Pokemon Battrid, the game is an arcade-only release that seems to throw players and their favorite pocket monsters into virtual battle fields controlled by some sort of plastic chips. It looks interesting enough, I guess, though I think I'll await more details before passing judgement.

More pics of Pokemon Battrid can be found here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Phoenix Wright 3 getting ready for trial?

I feel funny writing about this one, considering I've yet to play any of the Phoenix Wright games (U.S. or Japanese versions). The game's got quite a fan base, though, and the critics seem to like it too, so who am I ignore news about a game I've never played?

Anyhoo, the word on the street (well, the street that cuts through the Internet) is that Capcom's humorous courtroom game is coming to the U.S. later this year with the title Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations. Sounds nice to me. Now let's see some screens, and maybe a bit of video showing how the darn thing plays...

Super Mario 64 goes back to its roots

Some people have too much time on their hands. Scrounge around on YouTube for a bit and you'll see what I mean.

That said, some people make the most of their time-wasting and produce some truly awesome YouTube content (Kelly, darlin', I'm talking about you. And you too, Miss Alanis). Among them is the guy or gal who somehow created today's hot YouTube find featuring a revamped Super Mario 64 that sports textures from old school Super Mario Bros games.

Sometimes the shtick works and sometimes it doesn't, but overall this video is a peach (pun intended) and more than worth a few minutes of your time.