Saturday, January 02, 2010

I think I just found my next gaming-related t-shirt

Sprites give me a major boner, so when I came across the following image earlier today--over at The Bits, Bytes, Pixels and Sprites--I pitched a tent that would make a seasoned porn star blush. (OK, that's probably a bit more than you wanted or needed to know. Sorry about that.)

After I composed myself, I read the text below the image--and discovered that it's a t-shirt design! Go here to order one for yourself or for someone you love. (I think I'm going to get this one.)

Miley Cyrus + chip music = my current guilty pleasure

Full disclosure: I kind of like Miley Cyrus' "Party In the U.S.A." I'm also quite fond of chip music, so it should be of little surprise to hear that I'm head over heels for Luke Silas' (drummer for the chiptune punk band, Anamanaguchi) recent take on the chart-topping tune:

The video above was shot during the three-day Blip Fest 2009, held in New York City last month. For more on the event (and Anamanaguchi), head on over to

Friday, January 01, 2010

And the survey says ...

About a month ago, I added a survey to this blog--in an attempt to make it a bit more interactive. To my surprise, 11 of you took the time to share your thoughts. Here are the results:

I'll post a new survey shortly. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!

'My friend made an electric guitar that looks like a Koopa Troopa'

I don't know how to play the guitar, but if I did I'd surely be salivating over this homemade gadget:

The headline and photo above were posted in the gaming section of yesterday, by the way. (Go here for more images and information.)

I have to say I agree with the person who posted (on, of course) the following comment: "Every guitar I see from now on is going to look shitty because it's not a Koopa Troopa ... [and] every turtle I see is going to look shitty for not being a guitar."

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Should auld acquaintance be forgot? (I think not)

What a difference a year makes, eh?

If you had visited this blog on Dec. 31, 2008, you would have found yourself staring at a post from May 25, 2007. (Yikes!)

Something (I can't remember what, to tell you the truth) prompted me to start posting again in early 2009--on Jan. 26, to be exact--though I didn't hit my stride, so to speak, until early September (after someone pointed out that this blog had been included on the Lesbian & Gay Foundation's list of "The Best LGBT Blogs.")

Here's to hoping I can keep it up in 2010 and beyond.

And the 'Best Box Art of the Year' award goes to...

I'm used to gamers arguing over which title has the best graphics, but which title has the best box art? Not so much.

As such, I was intrigued when I came across this discussion on NeoGAF the other day. I can't say I agree with all of the box covers that have been "nominated" in that thread but, hey, to each his (or her) own, right?

What do I consider the best box art of 2009? I thought you'd never ask:

That's the Japanese cover of Namco's Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, by the way. Xseed is bringing the game to the States in early 2010 (March 16, to be exact--pre-order it here), and thankfully they're leaving the cover image intact (though they are changing the name ever so slightly, to Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon).

Other box covers that impressed me in the past year: 7th Dragon (DS), Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP), Dragon Age: Origins (PC/PS3/360), Dragon Quest IX (DS), Katamari Forever/Katamari Damacy Tribute (PS3), Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii), Persona 3 Portable (PSP) and Sin & Punishment 2 (Wii).

Anyway, enough about me. Which box covers caught your attention in 2009?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You don't look a day over 18, Ryo Hazuki

I know it sounds crazy, but Shenmue protagonist Ryu Hazuki turned 28 yesterday.

I'm not sure which is more disheartening--that Ryu doesn't look a day over 18 or that the Dreamcast's pièce de résistance (that would be Shemue) is a decade old. (It was released in Japan on Dec. 29, 1999.).

I know it's one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of games, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Shenmue. It was my first experience with an "open world" game, and although it didn't quite live up to the hype that preceded its release it's still a stellar example of designer/producer Yu Suzuki's abilities.

For those of you who've never been to Yokosuka (the Japanese city that serves as Shenmue's setting), here's a brief overview (courtesy of YouTube, of course):

Sadly, although I have a Dreamcast, I no longer have a copy of Shenmue. (I stupidly sold it, along with a slew of other games and my original Dreamcast, a few years ago.) Thankfully, there are plenty of copies for sale on eBay these days.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I <3 Wii Sports Resort's 'Showdown'

Of course, how could you not love this:

I actually think this game (or mode or whatever you want to call it) is the most hilariously fun--and funny--creation to come out of Nintendo's R&D labs in a long time.

(OK, so the argument could be made that New Super Mario Bros. Wii is just as fun--and funny--if not more so, but 'showdown' certainly comes out on top when originality is taken into consideration.)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Five DS games I hope to see stateside in 2010

It's hard to believe how many "must buy" games were released for the DS last year--its fifth on the market. Even harder to believe: The number of such titles that should be released stateside in its sixth.

Here are the ones I'm anticipating most:

1. 7th Dragon--As of now, this retro-styled RPG is a Japan-only affair. Thankfully, the word on the street is that someone will be bringing this imageepoch-developed and Sega-published (in Japan) title to the States in the new year. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later, but I'll take it whenever I can get it.

2. Dragon Quest IX--Truth be told, I haven't played a Dragon Quest game since the series' very first entry. I'm intrigued by the art and the online aspects of this latest entry, though, so I expect to pick it up when it's released sometime this year. It'll be interesting to see how many other Americans pick it up along with me, as it has sold more than four million copies in Japan so far.

3. Four Warriors of Light: Final Fantasy Gaiden--Ah, another retrorrific RPG. This one is a Final Fantasy spin-off that supposedly takes the series back to its roots. Square-Enix has yet to let the cat out of the bag regarding the game's release outside of Japan, but it's a good bet it'll happen at some point in 2010. I mean, when's the last time a Final Fantasy game wasn't brought to the States?

4. Friend Collection--Throw Animal Crossing and The Sims into a blender (don't forget to add a few Miis) and blitz until creamy and you'll end up with a game that's a close approximation of this one. The title has sold nearly two million copies since its Japanese release, so it's likely Nintendo will localize it in 2010--just like it localized the similarly leggy Rhythm Heaven and Style Savvy last year.

5. Okamiden--If you're anything like me--and you've played Okami--you squealed with joy when Capcom announced this chibi-fied sequel. The folks responsible for the original (especially Hideki Kamiya) aren't involved this time around, but that won't keep me from ordering a copy as soon as its available on

So, those are some of the games I hope will jump the pond in the new year. Which games do you hope will do the same?

Hey, there's a reason (or four) to visit the Wii Shop Channel again!

The Monday after Christmas usually is a bit of a downer for me, but not this year. That's because Nintendo of America offered up the best "Nintendo Download Monday" in some time by making available Pilotwings (via Wii Virtual Console), Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth (WiiWare) and The Oregon Trail (DSiWare).

Actually, those aren't the only downloadable titles that piqued my interest this morning. The Magic Obelisk, a WiiWare title, also intrigued me. Why? Well, it was developed by the folks at Game Arts--the Tokyo-based company responsible for the Grandia, Lunar and Silpheed series.

According to the press release sent out by Nintendo of America's PR department, The Magic Obelisk "is an action-adventure game in which you become Popo, a light spirit. Your mission is to guide Lukus, a tree spirit, to each stage's goal while moving only within the shadow. You can help him do this by shining your light near the mysterious magic obelisks, allowing you to create and connect shadows to solve tricks and gimmicks along the way."

Honestly, that description doesn't do much for me. This trailer, on the other hand, makes the title seem a lot more appealing: