Saturday, March 13, 2010

A mixture of Ico, Lost Vikings and Metroid, eh?

While perusing NeoGAF yesterday, I came across a thread with the following title: "Alice in Wonderland DS is an amazing little game."

I saw some screenshots of the Etrangeres Libellules-developed title a few months ago and was impressed with its Patapon-ishness, so I dove into said thread.

According to a gamer who calls him/herself El Pescado, Alice in Wonderland DS "feels like a mixture of Ico, Lost Vikings and Metroid."

Also, "you don't play as Alice; you guide her through the world using either The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, Chessur or Absolem," he/she added. "Each character has special traits that help them get around Underland. The White Rabbit is an excellent fighter who can control time, Chessur can materialize and dematerialize parts of the environment [and] Absolem can alter gravity and form a bridge to cross long gaps," for instance.

Here's a trailer for the title and here's a bit of gameplay:

You know, I'd probably pick it up if it was cheaper ($19.99 instead of $29.99) and if I actually had some cash. I'll go ahead and add it to my Amazon wish list just in case...

Buy: Alice in Wonderland

Speaking of box art ...

Someone just started a blog (called "coverstudies") that's devoted to the "comparison of video game covers and box arts from different regions."

Although it's only compared the box arts of a few games so far--LittleBigPlanet Portable, Red Steel 2 and Samurai Showdown Sen (below) among them--I can already tell it's going to become one of my go-to blogs.

Be sure to check it out if you've enjoyed my "which box art is better?" posts.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Let's play: 'Which box art is better?' (Heavy Rain edition)

I've mentioned Quantic Dream's "interactive drama," Heavy Rain, a few times in the past month or so, but one thing I haven't mentioned about the just-released PS3 title is that it sports different cover art in each region.

You know what that means: Another round of "which box art is better?" (Normally I'd put an exclamation point at the end of a statement like this, but it's just awkward here--you now, with the question mark and all. So, just try to imagine me saying the sentence in an excited tone.)

Anyway, the image below includes the box art for the European, Japanese and North American versions of the game, respectively. (Oh, and click on it to see a larger version.)

So, which one do you like best?

If was forced to do so, I'd probably rank them in the following order (with the first being the best): North American, Japanese, European.

Buy: Heavy Rain

See also: 'Let's play: 'Which box art is better?' (Sin & Punishment 2 edition)'

Huzzah! I just passed the 30-hour mark in Wii Fit

It's taken me nearly two years, but I finally passed the 30-hour mark in Wii Fit. Woo hoo!

I think we should celebrate by watching this ancient NSFW-ish video of Nicholas Ryan (aka gay porn star Reese Rideout) giving Wii Fit's hula hoop game a whirl:

I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed that his thong and wrist bands aren't color-coordinated.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Are any of you still using Wii Fit? If so, what kind of results have you seen so far?

Buy: Wii Fit Plus

See also: 'Waiting for Wii Fit Plus'

More proof that I'm a pathetic geek

Late last year, I purchased (via eBay) the UK versions of the first two Professor Layton titles.

Why, you ask? Honestly, I prefer the artwork used on the European versions of the games to the artwork used on the American/Japanese versions of the games.

Also, I prefer the clear plastic boxes used to house European DS games to the black boxes used elsewhere in the world.

Thankfully, I picked up both for about the same amount of money I would have spent on their American counterparts.

By the way, if you consider yourself a Layton fan, be sure to check out this awesome piece of fan art from Shitekudasai.

See also: 'Raise your hand if you own games you've yet to play' and 'To open or not to open, that is the question ...' and 'It's show-and-tell time!'

Raise your hand if you own games you have yet to play

I have both arms raised right now, actually. One is raised to signify that, yes, I'm guilty of buying games and then not playing them, and the other is raised so it can smack the back of my head for being so stupid.

I'm also smacking myself because not only do I own games I've never played--hell, I've never opened a number of them--but I own a few games that I couldn't play even if I wanted to do so.

Case in point: My copy of the Japan-only PS2 remake of Nights into Dreams.

Now, before you jump onto my back--I intended to buy a Japanese PS2 system shortly after I bought Nights into Dreams (and a few other PS2 imports) but, well, it never happened.

No worries; I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually. In the meantime, maybe I'll crack open a few of the other PS2 games I've yet to play--like Chulip or Romancing SaGa or We Love Katamari.

Why can't a rainbow trail behind me when I run?

I meant to post this trailer for Gaijin Games' forthcoming WiiWare release, Bit.Trip Runner, earlier in the week, but it got lost in the shuffle. Sorry about that.

My favorite part of this trailer: The Pitfall-esque levels. Duh! I think I teared up a bit when CommanderVideo raced into that old-school environment with a rainbow emanating from his rear.

Bit.Trip Runner is supposed to hit Nintendo's Wii Shop Channel "this spring," so I'm guessing we'll see it in the next few weeks.

See also: 'Pitfall + Rez = Bit.Trip Runner?'

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You don't say: New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a 'homosexual recruiting tool'

Did you know that New Super Mario Bros. Wii isn't just a game? According to Rev. Jim Osborne of the Landover Baptist Church, it's also a "homosexual recruiting tool."

What prompted Rev, Osbourne to point his pastoral finger at the platforming plumber's latest outing (pun intended)? For starters, posted photos of some of its readers attending a launch party for the game. Also, I hyped its release in a post titled, "The headline says it all: 'New Super Mario Bros. Wii is as hard as Contra.'"

More evidence that Mario is trying to recruit the gays? I think so...

"I think 'hard' is a double entendre that doesn't just mean 'difficulty,' if you catch my drift," Rev. Osbourne opined in this post. (He also believes Contra is a homosexual recruiting tool, BTW.)

Rev. Osbourne isn't the first member of the Freehold, Iowa-based church to rant and rave about the Mario series' subliminal gayness. A few years ago, a certain Jeb Thurmond wrote the following about Super Mario Galaxy: "This game is just another homosexual recruiting tool made by the neo-sodomites of Ninendo."

Note: The Landover Baptist Church is a fictional Baptist church based in the fictional town of Freehold, Iowa, and Rev. Jim Osborne is its fictional director of fundraising and tithing.

PlayStation ... Move?

The day everyone (OK, maybe just PS3 owners) has been waiting for has arrived: The folks at Sony have decided on a name for their forthcoming motion controller.

Sadly, they didn't choose "Gem." Nor did they choose "Arc." What did they choose, you ask? "PlayStation Move."


I can't say the name gives me the tingles--at least, not in a good way.

I know I was one of the lone champions of "Gem," which I'm guessing the powers that be at Sony considered "too girly," but at least that name had character. "PlayStation Move" just seems so ... blah. Boring. Pedestrian.

Who cares about the name as long as the games are great, right? Yeah, about that... Sony showed off a handful of in-the-works titles that will make use of the peripheral during its GDC 2010 press conference yesterday afternoon, and all of them look pretty horrid, if you ask me. (Actually, I take that back: Sony's Wii Sports ripoff, Sports Champions, doesn't look too bad.)

Here, for instance, is an image from a game called TV SuperStars:

Another game, Move Party!, looks just as bad--if not worse.

(Go here to see additional images of Move Party!, TV SuperStars and Sony's other in-the-works games. Also, see them in action in this video.)

Sony has yet to announce a release date (or a price) for the peripheral or any of the games that will make use of it, so maybe things will improve before any of them hit store shelves.

See also: 'Truly outrageous: Sony to call its PS3 motion controller 'Gem'?' and 'Sony's PS3 motion controller no longer truly outrageous'

Why, Godric (and Aidan, Anwen, Fiona and Nadia), you've never looked so good!

Sadly, I've yet to experience Capybara Games' critically acclaimed RPG-esque puzzler, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes. Unlike some gamers, though, I can't blame it on the fact that I don't have a DS.

If that describes you--and if you own a PS3 or an Xbox 360--you'd do well to keep an eye out for the release of the Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes remake that will hit the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade later this year.

As evidenced in the image above, the game's graphics are being redrawn for this "HD remake." That's not the only change that's being made, of course. Chief among them: Online battles will now be possible, with co-operative and four-player versus modes currently being planned.

For more information on (and images of) this surefire hit, check out IGN's hands-on impressions from GDC 2010.

Buy: Magic & Magic: Clash of Heroes (DS)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

At last! A trailer for Squishy Tank ...

Unfortunately, I'm still clueless as to the point of this awww-inspiringly cute puzzler.

Have a look for yourself--just make sure you let me know if you figure out how it works (and if it seems fun), OK?

Squishy Tank will hit store shelves on March 23 for $19.99. Pre-order it here.

See also: 'Squishy Tank: Already in the running for most 'awww-inspiring' title of 2010'

You know that yellow SNES sitting in your closet?

Well, according to this rather excellent article over at, there's a reason it now looks like a loaf of moldy bread--and it isn't because you're a filthy pig or a smoker.

According to Benj Edwards, the reason is best summed up by this message from one of Nintendo of America's customer service representatives:

"The Super NES, as well as our other systems, are made with a plastic containing flame-retardant chemicals to meet safety guidelines. Over time, the plastic will age and discolor both because of these chemicals as well as from the normal heat generated from the product or exposure to light. Because of the light color of the plastic of the SNES and NES, this discoloration is more easily seen than with other darker plastics such as on the N64 and the Nintendo GameCube."

Before coming to that conclusion, though, Edwards contacted an expert in the field--namely, Dr. Rudolph D. Deanin, founder of the graduate program in Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell--and conducted quite a bit of research.

Anyway, if you're like me and you have a yellow SNES sitting in your closet--and you'd like to know more about why it now looks like a loaf of moldy bread--head on over to and read Edwards' article.

Let's play: 'Which box art is better?' (Sin & Punishment 2 edition)

Nintendo of America unveiled the cover art for Sin & Punishment: Star Successor earlier today.

I'm a big fan of the art that appeared on the cover of the Japanese version of the game, so I had my fingers crossed that Nintendo's American arm would use it as well.

As you can see in the image below, all of my finger-crossing was for naught.

The Japanese box cover is on the left, while the American box cover is on the right.

Do I still wish Nintendo of America had used the art that appeared on the Japanese version of the game? Sure, but that doesn't mean I dislike the art it decided to use instead. In fact, I think I like both images equally at this point.

Anyway, enough of my vocal vomiting--which piece of cover art do you prefer?

See also: 'Let's play: Which box art is better? (Fragile Dreams edition)'

After 30 minutes of tinkering, my PSP is on line

And after 30 more minutes of tinkering, said PSP is connected to a PlayStation Network account (online ID: gay4play).

After I was done with all of that, I downloaded a number of demos: Echochrome, Half-Minute Hero, LocoRoco Midnight Carnival, Patapon and Patchwork Heroes.

I've already played through the first two levels of Patchwork Heroes, and although I enjoyed them I'm not sure they lived up to my expectations. The game, although drop-dead gorgeous and laugh-out-loud humorous, is a bit more frantic than I thought it would be. Also, I'm not yet accustomed to using the PSP's analog "nub," which made the aforementioned franticness a bigger problem than it probably should have been.

I've played the Patchwork Heroes demo about five times so far and
I've seen this screen twice. Man, I suck.

I've also spent a bit of time with the Half-Minute Hero and LocoRoco Midnight Carnival demos. So far, the former is falling into the same category as Patchwork Heroes--i.e., it's funny as hell and looks heavenly, but has yet to "click" with me. The latter, on the other hand, has completely captivated me. As such, I've just added the original LocoRoco and the download-only LocoRoco Midnight Carnival to my ever-growing gaming "wish list."

See also: 'I guess it's time to get my PSP on line' and 'Guess what magically appeared on my doorstep yesterday afternoon?'

Reason #127 I wish I was at GDC 2010

Yesterday morning (I know, I'm a bit behind), the folks over at posted the following photo from their perch at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco:

I'm guessing they got the playful papercraft from someone at Nintendo of America, as the company's WarioWare D.I.Y. will hit store shelves (in the States) in just a few weeks.

See also: 'Another reason to add WarioWare: D.I.Y. to your DS wish list' and 'More evidence that WarioWare D.I.Y. is going to be awesomely magnificent'

So, when will we get Beyonce, Britney, Christina, Janet and Madonna packs?

Get those credit cards ready, girls, 'cause a four-pack of Lady Gaga songs is going to hit the Rock Band Music Store sometime next week.

PS3 and Xbox 360 owners will be able to buy "Lady Gaga Pack 01," which will include "Bad Romance," "Just Dance,” "Monster" and "Poker Face," while Wii owners will be able to buy the tracks individually. (Don't get your aussieBums in a bundle, PS3 and Xbox 360 owners: You'll be able to buy the tracks individually, too.)

So, Harmonix and MTV Games, when are we going to get Beyonce, Britney, Christina, Janet and Madonna packs?

See also: 'Lady Gaga + LittleBigPlanet = Little Bad Romance'

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I guess it's time to get my PSP on line

Unbeknownst to me, Sony put a demo of its Potemkinesque puzzler, Patchwork Heroes (aka Million Ton Bara Bara), on the PlayStation Store late last week.

A portable puzzler with style and substance? Sign me up!

I have yet to connect my PSP to the PS Store, though, so I guess I'd better do that tout de suite.

In the meantime, here's a morsel for all of you Patchwork Heroes fans to munch on: Sony's Eric Fong has confirmed that when the title hits the PS Store ("soon" is all he'll say at this point), it'll do so with $9.99 price tag.

See also: 'Guess what magically appeared on my doorstep yesterday afternoon?' and 'Oh snap! Million Ton Bara Bara coming stateside this spring' and 'OK, it's settled ...'

Monday, March 08, 2010

I don't get off to naked characters in video games

... but I have to admit I got a kick out of seeing Heavy Rain's Ethan Mars in the buff over the weekend.

The image above is just a teaser, of course. To see more of Ethan's, er, equipment, go here and click on the last two screenshots. (FYI: Two screenshots of the game's female protagonist, Madison Paige, in the shower can be seen there, too.)

Don't expect to experience either scene in retail copies of the just-released PS3 title. Instead, expect "clever camera angles and well-placed objects to protect [your] eyes from the beauty of the naked form," as the folks at so eloquently put it.

Buy: Heavy Rain

I'm a sucker with a capital 's'

Or maybe I should say "with a capital 'f.'"

After all, I just purchased the last chapter of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years--which means I spent $37 ($8 for the first chapter, $21 for the next seven chapters and $8 for the last chapter) on the game when all was said and done.

Although I've enjoyed the journey so far (I just started Yang's tale), I'm not sure it's worth $37--especially when the original can be picked up (via the Wii Shop Channel) for the bargain-basement price of $8.

Have any of you given Final Fantasy IV: The After Years a go? If so, what do you think about it?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Well, I opened it ...

"It" being the sealed copy of Game & Watch Collection I mentioned last week.

I spent a few minutes playing each of the games included on this Club Nintendo-exclusive title yesterday, and although I enjoyed them (Donkey Kong especially) I doubt the cartridge will spend much time in my DS.

Oh, well, at least it was free.

See also: 'To open or not to open, that is the question ...'