Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why not just stab me through the heart, Sega?

A few days ago, the person in charge of Sega of America's Twitter account was asked if the company plans on bringing the wonderfully retro DS RPG, 7th Dragon, to the States. His/her reply:

“To my knowledge there’s no plans to bring 7th Dragon westward at this present time I’m afraid. But never say never.”

Hopefully the powers that be at Sega of America will change their minds--or the folks at another company (please, Atlus--I'm begging you!) will pick it up and bring it over themselves.

If not, I may have to bite the $48.90 bullet (gulp) and import the title. And the soundtrack. And the illustration book. (Of course, buying all of that would keep me from importing this title and this title. But you can't have everything, can you?)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shigesato Itoi reiterates that he's done making Mother games

Shigesato Itoi has been saying for years that he's done making Mother (Earthbound in the States) games, but I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed when I heard that he reiterated that reality a few months ago while interviewing another writer on his website.

According to the folks over at Earthbound Central, at one point during the interview the writer mentions that he was introduced to Itoi's work through the first two Mother games. After talking about those titles--and the process of making them--for a bit, the copywriter-turned-game-designer mentions the following:

"Games demand many more lines of dialogue [than advertising text] despite the fact that the main characters don’t talk, so I couldn’t keep making them. That’s why I felt deep down after making three of them, 'Well, that was a neat experience.'"

I'm not sure if I'll play Okamiden or frame it...

I consider Clover Studio's Okami (the PS2 original, not the Wii port) to be one of the most beautiful video games ever created. As such, it shouldn't be too surprising to hear that I'm eagerly (and impatiently) awaiting the 2010 release of its DS sequel, Okamiden: Chisaki Taiyou (aka Okami Chronicles: Tiny Sun).

The folks at Capcom must know this (I'm sure someone there is reading this blog ... not!), as they recently released another teaser trailer for the game:

Although I've been a bit nervous that Hideki Kamiya (Okami's designer) and the Clover Studio crew aren't working on the sequel, the video above gives me hope that Kuniomi Matsushita and Motohide Eshiro (director and producer of Okamiden, respectively) are up to the challenge of creating the follow up to one of the most gorgeous games ever.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm guessing some of you who visit this blog don't celebrate this holiday for one reason or another, but even so I'm going to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for so many things--my health, my home, my husband and parents and other family and friends--and all of you guys and gals, of course :)

(The image above is a portion of the latest 2P START! creation. The rest of it can be found here.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lady Gaga + LittleBigPlanet = Little Bad Romance

Someone with a lot of love for Lady Gaga (and, presumably, LittleBigPlanet) and a lot of time on his/her hands has given life to what may be the best (and gayest) game-related YouTube video ever:

To fully appreciate the exactitude of the homage, check out the actual "Bad Romance" video.

Did you know that Donkey Kong started off as a Popeye game?

That's just one of the things I learned while reading the latest of Nintendo's "Iwata Asks" interviews, which focuses on Shigeru Miyamoto's comments on the development of New Super Mario Bros. Wii but also includes tons of tidbits about earlier games featuring the world's most famous plumber.

For instance, after revealing that Donkey Kong started off as a Popeye game, Miyamoto mentions that Mario's original name was "Mr. Video" (not Jumpman)--and that someone at Nintendo of America suggested what has since become the most recognizable name in the gaming world.

Miyamoto also chats about why the character wears a hat, overalls and white gloves and sports a mustache--and why series staples like turtles and pipes popped up in the original Mario Bros.

Many more secrets are revealed in the full interview, so head on over to and check it out when you have a few minutes to spare. (Other "Iwata Asks" interviews--including one where Miyamoto talks about the development of Wii Fit Plus--can be found there, too.)

Maybe I *will* do a bit of shopping on Black Friday...

I don't think I've ever gone shopping on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, for those of you who don't live in the States--it's considered the biggest shopping day of the year). Actually, scratch that--I'm pretty sure I braved the crazy crowds in 2006, the year the Wii was released. (Of course, I came away empty-handed.Curse you, Nintendo!).

Anyway, I don't plan on leaving the house this Black Friday--despite what the headline above suggests. The shopping I'm talking about will be done on line--over at, to be more specific. That's when Jeremy Parish will be putting up for sale GameSpite Quarterly 3, which promises to be an "encyclopedia of 8-bit heroes."

I guess that could go without saying, considering the hardcover version is supposed to clock in at over 300 pages. (Two paperback versions will be made available, too--a 280-page "complete paperback edition" that will sell for somewhere between $16 and $18 and a 150-page edition that will sell for $12.)

I'd love to pick up a copy of the hardcover version, but I'm guessing that won't be feasible given my current financial situation. That's OK--as long as I can buy one of the other variants.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Speaking of awesome game-inspired art...

... take a gander at this tribute to one of the best known transgender characters in all of gaming, Poison.

According to the folks at the always fabulous, this saucy piece of pin-up art was created by Daniel Vendrell Oduber, an artist at Ikari Studio (the Spanish design company responsible for Zombie BBQ's similarly good looks).

Don't worry--Vendrell didn't forget about Poisin's palette-swapped sister, Roxy. His take on that Final Fight fixture can be found here.

Orioto is back--and this time his art is in a game (instead of inspired by one)

A few months ago, I introduced you to Mikaël Aguirre (aka Orioto), the Parisian artist who, in my humble opinion, produces some of the best game-inspired art around. Today, I'm re-introducing him--as the art director of the upcoming indie game, Swimming Under Clouds.

I'd describe the game to you but, honestly, I think this video shows you all you need to know about it.

For more info on the title, check out the hands-on preview over at Also, check out that site's exclusive interview with Aguirre and the game's technical director, Yacine--a former employee of Criterion Games and Evolution Studios.

If you're as interested in Swimming Under Clouds as I am, you'll want to keep an eye on, too. (Piece of Pie Studios is the name of Yacine's company.)

Aguirre and Yacine say they want to release the game as a digital title on an unnamed console sometime next year. Hopefully that unnamed console is the PS3 or the Wii, so I can play it :)

That sound? It's the TurboGrafx-16 rising from its grave...

Fourteen years after it was discontinued in the U.S., the the TurboGrafx-16 is getting a new game. Unfortunately, it isn't Bonk RPG; it's a Berserk clone called Insanity. Here's a video that shows a bit of what it has to offer:

Although the title is a homebrew release, the folks behind it (a small team of programmers, artists and musicians that call themselves Aetherbyte Studios) haven't cut any corners. Insanity's $30 price of admission gets you a professionally packaged game that reportedly resembles the TTi-branded Turbo games that came out in the 90s.

As much as Insanity's release tickles me, I probably won't be buying it anytime soon. It looks a little too primitive to my eyes--plus, I've never been a big fan of this type game.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ninjas and shurikens and Tanooki testicles! Oh my!

I'm a sucker for games that try to take things back to the good ol' days. Which means I'm *very* interested in the game shown in this here video:

Ninja Senki Trailer from pixeltao on Vimeo.

The game, Ninja Senki, isn't a long-lost GameBoy Color ROM. It's a brand new game that's being made by Jonathan Lavigne, an artist/coder at Ubisoft Montreal. (Lavigne's previous credits: the Open Season and TMNT titles that were released for the GameBoy Advance.)

According to Eric Caoili over at, Lavigne hopes to release Ninja Senki before Christmas. Here's hoping he releases it as a GameBoy Color or GameBoy Advance ROM.