Friday, December 04, 2009

I'm dreaming of an 8-bit Christmas

It's the holiday season, y'all, and you know what that means: It's time to pull out the chip-tune Christmas albums!

What? You say you don't have any chip-tune Christmas albums? Well, dry those tears, little ones--The Gay Gamer (standing in for good ol' Saint Nick 'cause, you know, he's busy finalizing those "naughty" and "nice" lists) has a gift for you!

Actually, Doctor Octoroc has a gift for you: A free (downloadable) copy of his 2008 album, "8-bit Jesus." Yes, it was released around this time last year, but since it's still available for download (as a .rar. or. zip) from his site, I thought I'd mention it.

Hell, I downloaded the album last year simply because of its awesome cover:

The tunes contained within--which have titles like "We Three Konami" and "Little Drummer Nemo"--are just as awesome, though--as I'm sure you'll find after you download the album for yourself (or your loved ones--remember, this is the season of giving!).

"8-bit Jesus" isn't the only chip-tune Christmas album coming down the chimney this year. Rush Coil (who I wasn't aware of until yesterday, sadly) also has put out a holiday-themed album, "8-bit Christmas."

This one isn't free, unfortunately--a digital copy costs $3, while a "limited run" CD costs $10--but a quick listen confirms that it's well worth your cash. I particularly like his/her/its/their (??) shimmering rendition of "O Holy Night."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

'This-a game-a sucks!'

I swear, you can't find better gaming t-shirts than the ones on sale at Threadless. Case in point: "This Game Sucks" by David Creighton-Pester:

I actually bought this one for myself a few months ago. Unfortunately, the sizes I ordered just didn't fit me, so I had to return them :(

You can handle one more trailer, right?

The folks at GoodbyeGalaxyGames actually posted this trailer--for the upcoming DSi game, Flipper--to their YouTube channel about a month ago, but I'm a bit slow on the uptake these days and didn't know about it until today.

I don't know about you, but I'm really digging the look of this game. It looks like those bright and blocky games we loved back in the 8-bit days, but in 3D. Now I just have to get me a DSi...

Another trailer for you

Sorry to throw so many trailers at you today. I just couldn't help myself after I saw this one over at GoNintendo:

Some good games are shown off in that trailer--namely BurgerTime and Caveman Ninja--but I'm a bit disappointed by the distinct lack of Peter Pepper's Ice Cream Factory footage.

Hopefully it'll be among the 15 "classic" games promised to folks who purchase the final product (which supposedly will be released in January)?

First Classic Dungeon (PSP) footage looks ... classic

That's it. Sometime early next year I'm going to buy myself a PSP. Too many appealing games have been released (or are going to be released) for Sony's portly-yet-portable system for me to ignore it anymore.

Case in point, Nippon Ichi's soon-to-be-released (in Japan, at least) Classic Dungeon:

I mean, really, what's not to love? There's even an option to choose 8-bit-ified (that's a technical term) music to go along with the 8-bit-ish (another technical term) graphics.

Count me in for a copy should some brave company decide to bring it to our shores :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Namco Bandai *finally* announces an American release for Muscle March

My prayers have been answered!

The folks over at just posted an "announcement trailer" that touts the American release of Namco Bandai's bizarrely homoerotic WiiWare title, Muscle March.

The trailer doesn't mention when the game will be hitting our shores, but G4TV's Stephen Johnson mentions in an article about the much-anticipated announcement that it will arrive sometime "this winter." (He also mentions 2010, so I'm guessing it will be released within the first few months of next year.)

I've already saved up my 800-1000 Nintendo points (I can't imagine it'll cost any more than that). How about you?

Now playing: Order Up! (Wii)

You know how I said that I bought a copy of Chulip as a birthday present for myself? Well, I bought another game at the same time: Order Up! for the Wii.

I know it seems like a random purchase, but it isn't. I've been interested in the game ever since I read a review that compared it favorably to the Japanese PSone classic, Ore no Ryouri.

Anyway, the mailman delivered the game a few hours ago and I just finished playing through the tutorial.

My early impressions: I already like it better than the two Cooking Mama games that have been released for the Wii. It uses an art style that is easy on the eyes and well suited to the Wii, it controls well (better than Cooking Mama, certainly) and it features lots of well done voice work.

I'll spend some more time with it this weekend (after I finish New Super Mario Bros. Wii, of course), but I can tell already that my $20 were well spent.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

If you own a DS, get your ass to Amazon NOW!

I just discovered, thanks to a post over at, that Rhythm Heaven--one of the best games released for the DS this year, in my not-so-humble opinion--is on sale for $9.98 at

So, if you have a DS and you don't yet have this game, get your ass over to everyone's favorite online retailer and buy it NOW! I promise, you won't be disappointed--unless, of course, you hate having fun.

(While you're there, you may want to pick up a copy of the similarly wonderful Elite Beat Agents, too, as it's on sale for just $5.75.)

Surprise, surprise: Conservatives up in arms over 'dirty gay sex' scenes in Dragon Age: Origins

Actually, it isn't surprising at all. What is surprising is that it's taken them this long to make a stink about it.

Anyway, various conservative news sites (such as WorldNetDaily) are warning their readers that BioWare's recently released (for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) Dragon Age: Origins features "graphic homosexual sex between a man and an elf."

Click through to the WorldNetDaily article for more information on the "secret scene of homosexual seduction" that is causing a stir, or just watch this YouTube clip:

I don't know which scene the WorldNetDaily writer watched, but I'd hardly describe the one above as "graphic." Of course, I'd hardly describe it as "hot," either, given that the man and elf in question look more like mannequins than real people.

Oh, well, to each his own. Right? :)

My 300th post!

Honestly, I can't believe this blog has lasted as long as it has. I have no idea how long I'll be able to keep it going, but I can assure you I'll do my best to keep it going as long as possible. Thanks to everyone who has visited!

From interviewer to interviewee

I've interviewed a lot of people in the past 10 or so years, but I've rarely been interviewed myself. Which is why I was a bit tickled when, just before Thanksgiving, I received an e-mail from a student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

The student said he was working on an article about the changing attitudes toward LGBT characters in video games and, because of the articles I've written for The Advocate and other publications, he'd like to ask me a few questions related to the subject.

I know how difficult it can be to get people on the phone, especially when you're a student, so I agreed to talk with him whenever he's free. Of course, I have yet to receive a response so it may never happen. If it does, I'll see if he'll let me post the final product--or least the portions that include my quotes :)

Happy birthday to me :)

I've been eyeing up (virtually, via Amazon) the quirky PS2 title, Chulip, for some time, so when my birthday came around last week I bought a copy as a gift to myself. It arrived yesterday, but I won't be playing it--or even opening it--until I wrap up New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

I'll share some impressions here after I've spent some time with the title, which may be the weirdest game to hit the PS2 (or any system, really). Don't believe me? Check out this description, taken from Natsume's official Chulip site:

"You and your father have just moved into a rural town famous for an ancient legend. It's been said that whoever kisses underneath the old tree on the hill will be destined to live happily ever after. With your eyes set on a girl living in a nearby pipe, you set out on your quest. Filled with a new determination, you've sworn to yourself that you'll do whatever it takes to kiss this charming little girl underneath the ancient tree and spend the rest of your life with her."

Please note that the object of the main character's affection lives in a pipe. Oh, and he gets her to return his affection by kissing everyone else in town.

Anyone interested in learning more about Chulip should check out the interview (with director Yoshirou Kimura) and review posted to around the time of the title's Stateside release in 2007.

Monday, November 30, 2009

What's it like to work in the games industry?

Nick Doerr, a script editor at NIS America, recently answered that question over at As I've always wanted to work in the industry, and I'm guessing some of you have had the same dream, I thought I'd post his response.

"It’s been a lifelong goal and I’m absolutely thrilled I’ve finally been able to attain it," he said. "I’ve written for most of my life; a few novels, short stories, and even gaming blogs. I guess, coupled with my love for games, this was a sort of destined outcome. Might sound cheesy, but never give up on your dreams. They really can come true if you give it your best effort!"

Doerr also addressed whether his day job keeps him from playing games when he's off the clock.

"Does this alter my gaming habits or my outlook on games? Nope, not really," he said. "I might not play NIS titles as often in my free time, since I’ll be surrounded by them daily, but I still give ample time to my consoles when I’ve got nothing else to do.

"I’ve gained a deeper understanding to the business side of the industry and that’s special, but it isn’t what I’m focused on," he added. "I play games to have fun. It’s just that now I can have fun at work, too, with like-minded people who are an endless source of joy to be around."

Of course, I have to buy a DSi, too ...

In my last post, I mentioned how I've been chomping at the bit to buy a PSP. The problem is, I've also been chomping the bit to buy a DSi.

I want a DSi for three reasons: 1) I love the idea of taking wacky photos of myself, altering them and posting them on my facebook page (I know, I need to get out more), 2) I desperately want to play the DSi Art Style games (especially Boxlife and Pictobits) and 3) I don't want to die without experiencing Flipnote Studio.

I mean, just look at this video:

Can a person have more fun with a portable gaming system? I think not.

I'm a sucker for sprites ...

... especially when they're of the blocky, 8-bit variety. As such, it should be no surprise to hear me say that retro-tinged titles like Half-Minute Hero and Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! (and the latter's upcoming sequel) have me chomping at the bit to buy a PSP.

That chomping isn't going away anytime soon thanks to the imminent release of yet another retro-styled and sprite-filled PSP game, Classic Dungeon.

According to Anoop Gantayat over at, the title's story "centers on a forbidden land known as Manoakazu. In the center of this world is a mysterious door which takes you to dungeons. Nine (and possibly more) heroes have visited Minoakazu to challenge the dungeon in hopes of having their dreams fulfilled."

Gantayat adds that "combat options include direct attacks with your sword, dash moves, skills and magic. Each character has a job--like knight, mage and so forth--offering different skills and magical abilities.You also have access to jumps, which can be used in order to avoid traps."

That's all I needed to know, really, but if you're the curious sort and want to learn about the game's cool character-customization options, click on this link. (Someone has started a NeoGAF thread about the title, too. You might want to keep an eye on it if you're a dork like I am.)

The official site for Classic Dungeon suggests it will hit Japanese store shelves on Feb. 18. I have no idea when (or even if) it'll be brought to the States--by the folks at Atlus, NIS America or Xseed, maybe?--but I'm hopeful we'll hear something soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

You're busy playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii, right?

I mean, I know that's what I'm doing--when I'm not blogging. Or eating. Or sleeping.

Honestly, I can't get enough of this game. I can't go so far as to say it has taken over my life, but it certainly has done so more than any other game I can think of in the past few years. Everything about it takes me back to my teens, when my friends and I played the proverbial hell out of Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 and World.

BTW, all of my favorite moments in New Super Mario Bros. Wii feature this track:

What are your favorite stages and tunes?