Saturday, April 17, 2010

A new contender for 'cutest Mario power-up ever'

At the very least, it's on par with Kuribo's Shoe and the Tanooki Suit.

So, what does this power-up--which will debut in Super Mario Galaxy 2--do? No one outside of Nintendo knows for sure, but it seems likely it'll let players create clouds that can be used as platforms.

I'm tellin' ya, May 23rd can't come quickly enough.

Buy: Super Mario Galaxy 2

See also: 'I'm guessing this was a precursor to the propeller suit?'

Apparently the first Game & Watch titles were aimed at Japanese yuppies

At least, that was my first thought after watching this commercial from 1982:

Silly/sad fact of the day: I watched the first five seconds of this ad (Announcer: "Konpakuto?" Lady in pink: "No!") about 10 times before I wrote this post.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Free for a limited time: The First *Official* Gay Gamer NinSoft Store Buyer's Guide

Yes, I, the mighty "Gay Gamer," have agreed to take time away from my busy blogging, facebooking, Flickring and gaming schedule to write up this here "Buyer's Guide" for anyone and everyone who has a copy of WarioWare D.I.Y. but isn't sure which microgames to pick up at the NinSoft Store. (Because, you know, they're expensive--with price tags ranging from free on the low end to $0 on the high end.)

Anyway, here are my thoughts on what I consider to be the five best microgames currently on display at the NinSoft Store near you.

Mr. Wario says: "Get your butt to the NinSoft Store and buy
(i.e. download for free) these microgames!"

First, the "Big Name Games" (i.e., a series of microgames created and contributed by renowned developers):

Ikachan (by Cave Story creator Pixel, aka Daisuke Amaya)--Anyone who has played Cave Story shouldn't be surprised to hear that this game features charming, well-crafted graphics. That's not to suggest it's a purely superficial experience--in fact, I'd go as far as saying Ikachan is the deepest and most difficult of the "Big Name Games" that have hit the shelves of the NinSoft Store so far.

Line Slash (by Kirby and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai)--This game makes me wish Sakurai would create (and share) more WarioWare microgames. For starters, the sprites are as magnificent as they are multifarious--what with the multitude of bombs and masks and peaches and whatnot. And then there's the gameplay, which, admittedly, is a bit disconcerting at first but quickly becomes delectable.

Metroid (by Yoshio Sakamoto)--In the mood for a Metroid-themed microgame? Series co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto is your man. Unfortunately, his creation is a bit on the monotonous side--all you're asked to do is shoot at a couple of wobbling Metroids. Still, it's miles better than the muck World of Goo co-creator Ron Carmel came up with (Suck Goo!).

Next, the store's "weekly games" (i.e., microgames made by regular Joes and Janes):

Finger Flex (by some gamer who goes by the name of OldRiver)--You know, I think this is the best microgame to hit the shelves of the NinSoft Store--and, yes, that means I think it's better than the three titles mentioned above. It's a bit of a "yin and yang" experience, to tell you the truth, with the adorable graphics contrasting wonderfully with the confounding (yet captivating) rock-paper-scissors gameplay.

Fright Light (by "ABBE")--This is the kind of microgame most WarioWare D.I.Y. users should shoot for, if you ask me. Its graphics are clean and classy, and its gameplay--which tasks players with tapping on ghostly creatures as they float in and out of a spotlight--is compelling. Oh, and I hate to beat a dead horse, but it's about 1,000 times better than the above-mentioned (and appropriately named) Suck Goo!

So, there you have it--the first *Official* Gay Gamer NinSoft Store Buyer's Guide. Should this edition sell in sufficient quantities, subsequent editions may find their way to virtual store shelves the world over (i.e., some random post on this blog).

If I weren't already married ...

... I'd seriously consider proposing to WarioWare D.I.Y.

Yep, I'm smitten. :)

It was love at first sight--er, play--really. I mean, as soon as I completed my first microgame (see below) I knew my heart belonged to this Goro Abe creation.

Now, I've only completed two of the game's tutorials so far (oh, and I've downloaded a bunch of the microgames that are "on display" at the NinSoft Store--more on those in a bit), so I've barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer, but I can already tell it's going to be a major time suck.

By the way, if any of you have this game and would like to swap microgames, send me your friend code. My friend code is 0775 6955 2080. I haven't added any microgames to my warehouse's storage crates yet, but I plan to do so soon.

Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is there any chance I'll get to be this good at Ivy the Kiwi?

Hey, for once the question mark at the end of Ivy the Kiwi? worked for me instead of against me!

Anyway, back to the point at hand: Prope's upcoming DS/DSiWare/Wii/
WiiWare title, Ivy the Kiwi? Specifically, how much I'm going to suck at said game (assuming, of course, I actually buy it).

Why do I think I'm going to suck at it? Take a gander at the following:

Now, I'm guessing the person playing the game in the video above is one of its developers, but I'd be lying if I told you that made me feel better about my own prospects with this so-cute-I-could-puke platformer.


Macaron Reversi

Now here's a game that's sure to stay in the Land of the Rising Sun: A portable rendition of Reversi played with macarons, the crispy, chewy confections made famous by French pâtisserie Ladurée.

Japanese PSP (and, likely, PS3) owners won't have to empty their piggy banks to pick up the pastel-plastered title when it's released on May 13, though--all they'll have to part ways with is ¥300 (a little over $3).

Why will it be so cheap--I mean, besides the obvious (we're talking about Reversi played with macarons, after all)? Well, Macaron Reversi is going to be one of a handful of titles that will help launch Sony's "PSP Minis" line of games in that territory.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm red with envy

I know, the actual saying is, "I'm green with envy." Considering I'm envious of the following DS, though, my version seems more appropriate, don't you think?

Note: The DS above didn't come with the "M Racing" and flame decals--they were added by the system's owner, known on Flickr as no_onions.

With that said, I'm going to go curl up on the couch with my (comparatively) boring, white DS Lite.

It's a real shame that Nintendo never released Rhythm Tengoku outside of Japan

After all, it's one of (if not the) most enjoyable and entertaining portable games I've ever played.

Don't get me wrong, its touch-screen-enabled sequel--Rhythm Tengoku Gold, aka Rhythm Heaven/Paradise--is an awesome game, too, but it's nowhere near as accessible as its predecessor, which asks players to do nothing more than press a single button in time to a piece of music.

Thankfully, the graphics and music that circumscribe that seemingly simple action are wonderfully charming and complex. Case in point, the game's first "remix" stage:

(Here's the second remix stage, if the first wasn't enough.)

Sadly, the only way for Westerners to experience Rhythm Tengoku's captivating (and, sometimes, confounding) mixture of complexity and simplicity is to take a trip to Japan--or spend between $40 and $70 on eBay. Still, I think you'll find this title's price of admission more than acceptable if you've played and fallen in love with its sequel.

See also: 'It's show and tell time!' and 'Rhythm Heaven: My favorite DS game of 2009'

Slowly but surely, the SuperGrafx is returning from the grave

OK, so that's probably a bit of wishful thinking on my part. After all, just two of the failed system's five games have found their way onto today's download services.

The first, Dai Makaimura (Ghouls 'n Ghosts), was added to the Japanese Wii Shop Channel early last year, while the second, Battle Ace, will be hitting the (as of now Japan-only) "PC Engine Archives" section of PSN sometime next week.

Yawn ... wake me when 1941 and Aldynes are available, will ya?

It'll be interesting to see how many PSP and PS3 owners buy Battle Ace, considering it's widely believed to be the SuperGrafx' worst title.


'Enemy Bait'

You know, I never really thought about all the ways meat has been depicted in video games until I saw this image (inspired by The Legend of Zelda, obviously) in artist Ashley Anderson's Flickr photostream:

Of this piece, Anderson says: "I seriously love this representation of meat on its own aesthetic merits, but I also love the universality of it."

Other entries in the artist's "Enemy Bait" series feature sprites pulled from Komani's classic arcade game, Pooyan, and SNK's Metal Slug X. (See the Pooyan piece here, and the Metal Slug piece here.)

You know which pixelated piece of meat I'd like to see in Anderson's photostream? The one that causes the protagonist to go crazy in the Bonk's Adventure/PC Genjin games.

See also: 'Dark Cake'

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Looks like it's time to get a DSi

Don't worry, David (my husband), I'm not talking about getting a DSi myself. Yet. ;)

No, this piece of news is for everyone else who has yet to buy a DSi. Basically, Nintendo of America will soon (on April 25) start selling--through "select U.S. retailers"--a new bundle that will include a white DSi and a copy of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story.

The whole shebang will set you back $169.99.

Honestly, I'd snap one up in a second if I wasn't (still) waiting for Nintendo of America to release this here DSi:

Photo courtesy of [cipher].

See also: 'I'm seeing red (or, at least, that's the color I'd like to be seeing)' and 'This is why I want a DSi'

So, is it the LaBelle version of 'Lady Marmalade' or the Christina Aguilera/Lil' Kim/Mya/Pink version?

Does it really matter? I guess not.

Anyway, "Lady Marmalade" is just one of the fabulous pop songs that will appear on Nintendo of Europe's upcoming music game, Jam with the Band. Others: "I’m A Slave 4 U," "Material Girl," "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"

The DS title--a localized version of 2008's Daigasso! Band Bros DX--will include a number of Nintendo game songs, too, including tunes from F-Zero, The Legend of Zelda and the Super Mario Bros. series.

Jam with the Band will come with 50 pre-installed songs, according to the press release Nintendo of Europe sent out this morning, while approximately 50 more will be downloadable via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Also, users will be able to upload their own tracks and download those created by other users.

The title will hit European store shelves on May 21. Hopefully Nintendo of America will announce its release soon.

See also: 'DS owners: Get ready to Jam with the Band'



A retro-styled RPG/TD title will soon hit Microsoft's Xbox LIVE Indie Games service, and of course it has me jonesing for an Xbox 360.

The name of said game is Mamotte Knight, which apparently translates to Protect Me Knight.

Here's the kicker: It's being made by Ancient, Yuzo Koshiro's development studio. (Koshiro is best known for creating the soundtracks for such 16-bit classics as ActRaiser (and its sequel), the Bare Knuckle/Streets of Rage series and The Revenge of Shinobi. More recent additions to his resume: 7th Dragon and Etrian Odyssey I, II and III.)

Here's how Mamotte Knight looks in action:

According to, Mamotte Knight will be released soon ("this spring," specifically).

Do you think Xbox 360s will be down to $99 by that time? Nah, I don't think so either.

(Via and

Monday, April 12, 2010

These tutorials will make more sense after I get the game, right?

I just watched four "advanced tutorial videos" produced by the folks at Nintendo of America to help WarioWare D.I.Y. users create better microgames.

Here's the first one:

(Here's the second, and the third and the fourth.)

Anyway, I found all of them fascinating, but they threw me for a loop, too--what with their talk of A.I. and animation and objects and switches and targets.

It'll all make a lot more sense when my copy of WarioWare D.I.Y. is delivered to my doorstep in a few days (booyah!), right?

Buy: WarioWare: D.I.Y.

See also: 'auntie pixelante + WarioWare D.I.Y. = digital sex' and 'Best WarioWare D.I.Y. microgame thus far: Localize This'

Square Enix's Shinji Hashimoto is a tease

As in, he continues to tease Final Fantasy IX's forthcoming release on PSN.

Late last week, for instance, Hashimoto posted (via Square Enix's Twitter account) a photo of the game running on a white PSP. (Take a gander at it here.)

Unfortunately, that seems to be the extent of the longtime Square Enix producer's Tweet. Hopefully he'll mention a release date in his next one.

See also: 'Great minds really *do* think alike!'


Sunday, April 11, 2010

You know, I'm kind of interested in Pokémon Black/White

The question is: Will they bring me back to the Pokémon fold?

I devoured Pokémon Red back in the day. I don't remember if I "caught them all" or if I completed the game, but I remember putting a lot of hours into the game. I put a lot fewer hours into my second Pokémon purchase, Pokémon Emerald, and I spent even less time with my third, Pokémon Pearl.

I kind of doubt "Gen 5," as the kids call it, will reverse that trend. That said, I'm intrigued by some of the changes the folks at Pokemon Company seem to be making to the series. Specifically, I'm really digging the new perspective:

More Pokemon Black/White screenshots can be seen here and here.

Still, so little is known about Pokémon Black and White at this point that it's hard to have much of an opinion about them.