Friday, April 02, 2010

'Dark Cake'

Here's a little-known "fun fact" about yours truly: When I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison a decade ago, I did so with a degree in art history (as well as a degree in journalism).

As such, it shouldn't be too shocking to hear that I love it when honest-to-goodness artists turn to video games for inspiration.

That's just what Ashley Anderson has done in a recent series of works that are based on food items pulled from various games. My favorite is "Dark Cake," a 9.5-inch-by-8-inch drawing made with colored pencils.

Here's what Anderson has to say about the piece:

"This cake, despite its resemblance to my much earlier piece Kirby's Cake, is actually from the Bubble Bobble series; in fact, this is from the very first Bubble Bobble. I'm not sure how odd we can consider this resemblance in imagery between two far separate series, given the limitations of the software and hardware of the time. Maybe those limitations formed certain unofficial conventions to take hold in the construction of imagery? It's an interesting question with some significant ramifications, I believe.

"I wanted to re-examine the cupcake image with a little more sophisticated use of light and hopefully color, so I used some of Wayne Thiebaud's work for a reference. I should have pushed the values more, but that's learning for you."

Go here to see more of Anderson's work.

See also: 'Turnip Murder' and 'Your princess is in another castle'

But will it include "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Neigh)"?

According to the always-on-the-ball crew over at, Ubisoft recently registered a trademark for Horse Gaga.

Around the same time, the French developer and publisher registered the following domain name:

Is Ubisoft working on a title that will combine its Horsez franchise with the gay icon formally known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta? I sure hope so.

BTW, head over to to see a hilarious Horse Gaga cover mock-up.

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

Super Peepio Bros.

For the last four years, the Washington Post has held a "Peeps Diorama Contest" in the run up to Easter. This year's contest drew more than 1,100 entries, with Mark Rivetti's "Super Peepio Bros." creation (below) earning a semifinal berth.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based newspaper, it took Rivetti approximately 45 hours to create the diorama above, with all of the characters being crafted from chick or bunny Peeps. Also, take note of the Peep shapes included in the clouds and platforms.


It saddens me that Nintendo seemingly spent more money to promote this title than it did to promote Rhythm Heaven

"This title" being the Club Nintendo-only WiiWare offering, Grill-Off with Ultra Hand. Anyway, here's what Nintendo's promotional dollars paid for in this instance:

I'm glad that a portion of the ad is used to show people how to join Club Nintendo, but it kind of begs the question: Why hasn't the company made similar ads that show people how to use the Wii Shop Channel? After all, a lot of people still don't realize you can use said channel to purchase and download a slew of classic titles.

Buy: Rhythm Heaven

See also: 'Rhythm Heaven: My favorite DS game of 2009'


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Get a 3DS, (possibly) get some gay lovin'

At least, that's what this rather cute comic strip, created by Nathan Birch and submitted to as part of a recent contest, suggests.

Although Birch didn't win the contest, it's nice to know the crew considered it a contender.


Best WarioWare D.I.Y. microgame thus far: 'Localize This'

And it was made by none other than Wired's Chris Kohler.

Skip to the 1:00 mark to see it in action.

I take umbrage at Kohler's (likely tongue-in-cheek) suggestion that Endless Ocean isn't worthy of localization, but other than that I think his microgame is spot on.

Buy: WarioWare D.I.Y.

See also: 'Hey! You got your Cave Story in my WarioWare D.I.Y.!' and 'Another reason to add WarioWare: D.I.Y. to your DS wish list'

Zangeki no Reginleiv's European Vacation

According to, "a European Nintendo magazine" is suggesting that the Sandlot-developed, Nintendo-published Zangeki no Reginleiv will be released "on this continent" this summer.

Unfortunately, that's the extent of the rumor at this time, so be sure to take it with the largest grain of salt you can scrounge up.

See also: 'Maybe I shouldn't have gotten so excited about Zangeki no Reginleiv' and 'I'm getting really good at spelling Zangeki no Reginleiv'

Marvelous may (finally) have a hit on its hands

Marvelous Entertainment has published a number of magnificent games in the last year or so, including Little King's Story, Muramasa: The Demon Blade and Rune Factory Frontier. Unfortunately, none of those titles lit up the sales charts in any region.

Well, the Tokyo-based company may finally have a hit on its hands with the recently revealed iPad title, Followars. After all, it makes use of everyone's favorite social networking service, Twitter.

Described as an "RPG-style fighter" by the knowledgeable folks over at, Followars connects to your Twitter account and creates an in-game character based on your follow count, Tweet count and other bits of information.

"It plays out something like chess," designer Kenichi Nishi told Famitsu magazine recently. "Two players gather around a single iPad and battle each other. Depending on the results, you'll be able to earn experience points and have your characters improve their skills and such."

As of now, Followars is without a release date or price, though both are expected to be announced soon.

(Via and

Great minds really *do* think alike!

The great minds in this case being Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto and, er, myself. (I know, I'm nothing if not humble.)

How so? Well, for the past few weeks I've been thinking about picking up the PSone classic, Final Fantasy IX. I know it's tantamount to blasphemy to admit this, but I've never played this particular Final Fantasy sequel.

My first thought was to buy a brand new copy of the game at, since the online retailer is selling it for just $14.99. Before I pushed the "Add to Cart" button, though, I saw this article on details how Hashimoto has been hinting that Final Fantasy IX will soon show up on PSN. (This more recent article suggests it will happen any day now.)

Of course, it's more than likely the PSN release will have a $14.99 price tag attached to it, so maybe I should head back to Amazon and spend the same amount of money on a version of the game that I can touch and feel?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mario rocks out (ba dum tish) in new Super Mario Galaxy 2 trailer

The folks over at just made my morning by posting a fresh, new trailer for Super Mario Galaxy 2. (Watch it here.)

The trailer focuses on the title's numerous (new and old) power-ups, so if you'd like to remain blissfully unaware of such things until Super Mario Galaxy 2 hits store shelves later this spring (May 23 in North America) don't click on the link above (and, er, don't look at the image below).

By the way, is still offering a $20 video games credit to those who preorder the title. Here's a link to the online retailer's Super Mario Galaxy 2 page.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hey! You got your Cave Story in my WarioWare D.I.Y.!

Not that I'm complaining, especially when the result is as competent and compelling as the following fan-made microgame:

I have a feeling that when I finally get my grubby mits on this game, life as I know it will come to a screeching halt.

It won't be the first time, of course--the same thing happened after I brought home a copy of Animal Crossing: City Folk, for instance. I spent the next few weeks (OK, months) coming up with custom t-shirt designs for my town's fur-covered inhabitants, much to my husband's chagrin.

Buy: WarioWare D.I.Y.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm seeing red (or, at least, that's the color I'd like to be seeing)

Why? Well, it seems every gamer in the world can buy a red DSi system if he or she so chooses--unless said gamer lives in North America, that is.

Japanese gamers got the shiny, cherry-colored DSi last July (the same day they got Dragon Quest IX), for instance, while their European counterparts got the system in late October.

Even South Koreans--who have yet to experience the camera-enhanced, dual-screened system--will be getting it before me and my fellow North Americans. (It'll be released in that territory alongside MapleStory DS on April 15.)

Will Nintendo of America ever bring this candy-apple-esque system to the States? I sure hope so--though I wouldn't mind if they waited until I can actually afford it.


Super Mario Kart's secret song

Did you know that some gamer (with too much money in his wallet, I'm sure) got his hands on a prototype version of Super Mario Kart a while back? I sure didn't.

Said prototype isn't radically different from the version that showed up on store shelves in late 1992 and early 1993, with one exception: The tune that plays on the Vanilla Lake track.

Here's the song that appears in the released version of the game, and here's the song that appears in the prototype:

After a few listens, I think I prefer the final track to the one that appears in the prototype. The former is bubbly and charming, while the latter is a bit too melancholy for my liking.

In related news: Super Mario Kart will hit the European Wii Shop Channel with an 800-Nintendo-point price tag on Friday. Hopefully it'll hit the channel's North American counterpart next Monday.