Saturday, March 20, 2010

I can't wait to pop my Cave Story cherry

Yep, I've never played any version of Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya's amazing freeware game, Cave Story (aka Dōkutsu Monogatari). That will change on Monday morning, though, when I download the WiiWare version of the Metroidvania-esque title.

Until then, I'll daydream about Quote, Curly Brace and the rest of the Dōkutsu Monogatari crew while listening to Annabelle Kennedy's "Cave Story Anthem."

The WiiWare version of Cave Story will set you back 1200 Nintendo Points, by the way. For more information on what's included in this iteration of the game, check out developer Nicalis' blog and/or the title's official NeoGAF thread.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I've rarely met a rant I didn't like

The always-amazing anna anthropy recently posted "a series of rants" on her site, Hopefully she won't mind if I share a few of my favorites here.

Game-making tools: "We need more tools for people who aren’t programmers to make games with. Game Maker is a start, and it’s brought a lot of people into making games who wouldn’t otherwise be, but we aren’t quite there yet. I want to hear the voices of people who aren’t already entrenched in game culture."

Get personal: "I want to hear stories that are personal. I’m tired of epics, I’m tired of saving the world and I’m tired of masculine wish-fulfilment fantasies. If I’m tired of that shit, there’s no way it’s going to mean anything to a player."

Storytelling: "Storytelling in games does not mean cutscenes, and it does not mean reading pages and pages of static text. We have to learn to tell stories with rules, with design, and with play instead of aping other cultural forms."

A screenshot from anna anthropy's latest creation, redder.
Check it out

Sadly, I'm not sure many game designers/developers/publishers agree with the things this self-proclaimed "pixel provocateur, dot-matrix dominatrix [and] artdyke" has to say. Actually, strike that--I'm not sure many mainstream game designers/developers/publishers agree with or even understand the things she's saying.

I can't imagine she's going to stop saying them, though, so hopefully the proverbial light bulb will go off over their heads sooner or later.

Speaking of Cecil, Kain, Rosa and Rydia ...

Whenever I play a Final Fantasy game these days, I name/rename the protagonist Cecil--and I name/rename the supporting characters Kain, Rosa and Rydia.

I think it's because Final Fantasy II/IV was the first RPG to really grab me.

I'm glad I didn't know about these "Trading Arts Mini Figs"
when they were released in 2007.

Do any of you do the same thing--or something similar?

8-bit Cecil, Kain, Rosa and Rydia

I've got Final Fantasy IV on the brain these days, what with the original version of the game hitting the Wii Virtual Console earlier this week and with me (finally) downloading the last few chapters of the WiiWare sequel late last week.

I guess that explains why this eBay listing caught my attention this morning. In case you're feeling lazy: The listing is for a "Chinese original" Famicom version of Final Fantasy IV. "Chinese original" obviously means it's a fan-made bootleg (much like the Famicom "port" of Final Fantasy VII that was released in 2005), which isn't a surprise since the game was never officially ported to or released for the Famicom.

That said, I'd pick this up in a heartbeat if I had a Famicom--despite the language barrier (it uses Simplified Chinese text, whatever that means).

I have a feeling this game won't be leaving Japan

I came across the following screenshots--for a game called Baraetigemu Kameari--a few minutes ago while scanning

Sadly, I can't tell you anything about Baraetigemu Kameari. Based on the screenshots on display at, though, I'm guessing it's some sort of mini-game compilation.

Oh, well, at least we can die knowing there's a DS game that features a buff businessman who prances around in nothing more than a tie, socks and shoes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'It's also got what we in the future call buttons'

Surprise, surprise: The folks at Sony are using Kevin Butler (aka the company's fictitious "VP of realistic movements") to promote the PlayStation Move peripheral in North America.

If the following ad is any indication, the campaign will be a big hit with so-called hardcore gamers--though I'm not so sure it will resonate with the "casual" set that Sony is so obviously trying to court.

Now, to be fair, I can't imagine all of Sony's PlayStation Move ads will focus on Motion Fighter--surely some of them will focus on the company's Wii Sports rip-off, Sports Champions, for instance.

Still, I'm not sure this campaign is going to convince the masses to pick up a PS3 and a few PlayStation Move controllers. What do you think?

See also: 'PlayStation ... Move?'


If Michelangelo had been a gamer ...

... he'd have produced something like this:

I'm sure some will say artist Kordian Lewandowski's sculpture--titled "Game Over"--is sacrilegious, but to that I say, "pfft!"

For more photos of the piece, which was carved from a large block of polystyrene foam, check out the Polish artist's online portfolio.

See also: 'Turnip Murder' and 'Speaking of awesome game-inspired art...'

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How did I miss this one? (Pac-Man Battle Royale edition)

Did you know that Namco Bandai is working on a new Pac-Man arcade game? I sure didn't. I guess I should check out site that broke the news late last month--more often.

Anyway, the four-player title enjoyed its first public outing at the recent Amusement Expo. Here's what it looks like in action:

Don't you just love that cocktail cabinet? As for the game itself, I think the graphics look good (they wisely ape those seen in the amazing Pac-Man Championship Edition) but I'm not so sure about the gameplay--especially since the eating of dots and ghosts on each board seems to be a secondary goal at this point. Hopefully those elements will play a more integral role in the game when it's released in September.

I have to imagine the folks at Namco Bandai will bring Pac-Man Battle Royale to one or more of the current console download services sooner or later, though they have yet to suggest (let alone announce) it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I hereby declare March 15 'Hug Your PC Engine (or TurboGrafx-16) Day'

If you don't have a PC Engine or TurboGrafx-16, you can participate by hugging your Wii--after you purchase, say, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, which hit the Virtual Console service this morning.

You'll have to hand over 900 Nintendo points ($9) before you can download the Toru Hagihara-designed title, but if you're any sort of Castlevania fan I think you'll find it's well worth the premium price.

PS3 owners with Japanese PSN accounts can get in on the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 love, too--though they can't (yet) buy Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.

In fact, the "Game Archives" section of Sony's download service currently contains just 15 cartridge-based PC Engine titles at this point. (It'll get its first CD game--the guitar-laden Gate of Thunder--on Wednesday, according to

See also: 'Better late than never: 'The best Castlevania ever' is coming to the States'