Saturday, August 21, 2010

'A Mini Metroid Adventure'

Did I suggest in my last post that I'm no longer a Metroid fan? Well, I take it back. Apparently I just like my Metroid to be of the old-school variety--you know, with sprites and chiptunes and all that jazz.

Tokinsom's Minitroid (A Mini Metroid Adventure) checks all of those boxes and then some.

Unfortunately, Tokinsom's lips have thus far been tight when it comes to talking about a release date for this title, which is being made with the open-source "game creator," Scirra Construct.


Friday, August 20, 2010

But will it get people to buy the game?

That's the question I asked myself after watching Nintendo of America's live-action TV ad for Metroid: Other M.

I'm probably not the right person to answer said question, though, as I'm not much of a Metroid fan these days. Actually, I shouldn't say I'm not a fan--I just haven't played a Metroid game since the glorious Super Metroid, and I don't see that changing with this sequel despite the fact that it seems to be taking the series back to its roots.

Who knows, though--maybe the ad above (or this 30-second version) will prompt me to change my mind before the game reaches North American store shelves on Aug. 31. (It'll be released everywhere else in the world the following week.)

Pre-order: Metroid: Other M

'I think that developers are worried about getting it right more than anything else'

The quote above--attributed to Chris Shroyer, a designer at Florida-based developer n-Space--appears in "Playing It Straight," an Edge magazine article about LGBT characters in video games.

Here's the rest of the openly gay Shroyer's quote, by the way: “I don’t think there are many on the development side that are opposed to including LGBT-related content, but I think there is a fear of offending publishers and consumers."

Also quoted in the article:'s David Edison, Jeb Havens, an openly gay designer who works at California-based developer Slide, and a number of other gay and straight "industry insiders."

Although the three-page article--which is followed by a trio of intriguing case studies of Bioshock's Sander Cohen, Bioshock 2's Brute Splicer and Fable III's Reaver--doesn't really tread new waters, it's still well worth your time. Read it here.

October 17

That's the day the proudly two-dimensional platformer, Kirby's Epic Yarn, will be released in the U.S., according to a recent piece of Nintendo of America PR.

Here's the cover art Kirby fans should search for on and after that date:

Kirby fans across the pond will have to endure a bit of a wait before they can add this cute-as-a-button game to their collections, as it won't be released in Europe until sometime early next year. (It has yet to be announced for Japan or other territories.)

Pre-order: Kirby's Epic Yarn

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And this week's 'WTF is this?' award goes to ...

... Atlus' just-announced action-adventure game, Catherine.

What's so WTF-ish about this title, which the Persona publisher is prepping for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360? Take a gander at its first teaser trailer:

A bit of a head-scratcher, ain't it?

For a bit of background on the game's main character, Vincent, and the girl of his, er, nightmares (the titular Catherine), check out this post and this post over at

Beulah, peel me a grape

Sorry, the quote above--from the 1933 Mae West film, I'm No Angel--is the first thing that popped into my mind when I came across artist Kim Roberts' (aka Kimbot1984 over at "Katamari Fun" a few days ago:

Don't you just love how Godzilla and King Kong are duking it out in the background while a pair of UFO float overhead?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My last Dragon Quest post (I promise!)

I wrote the following haiku at the same time I wrote this one, but I didn't post it because I thought it was a bit too rhyme-y.

Bright eyes, brighter grin
Red, blue and metallic skin
Beating you? A sin

Why am I posting it now? Honestly, I wanted an excuse to share the following image, which I found on a few weeks ago.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know if the slime sprites were pulled from actual Dragon Quest titles or if they were produced specifically for this image.

See also: 'A slick haiku'

Speaking of the original Dragon Quest ...

If I were filthy rich, I'd whip out my Platinum AmEx card and use it to purchase a red Famicom Twin and the following, still-sealed copy of the original Dragon Quest. (Isn't that cover art awesome?)

Sure, I could save myself about $180 if I bought a used copy of said Famicom game (like this one) instead, but in this imaginary situation I'd be filthy rich, so who cares?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dragon Quest quandary

Although I'm still hopelessly addicted to Dragon Quest IX, I know its days are numbered. What will I turn to when the bloom has fallen off the Dragon Quest IX rose? Why, more Dragon Quest, of course!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure which Dragon Quest should be my next. Although I'm leaning toward Dragon Quest VIII, that game's PlayStation predecessor (Dragon Warrior VII) is a distinct possibility, too.

I'd add the original Dragon Warrior (North American cover art to the right) to the list above, but I played it for a few hours last weekend and although I enjoyed the experience I'm going to put it on the back burner until I can pick up a copy of Nintendo Power's Dragon Warrior Strategy Guide.

Anyway, to any of you have played Dragon Warrior VII and/or Dragon Quest VIII: Which one should I turn to after I (inevitably) lose interest in the series' latest iteration?

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's OK, I guess ...

A few months ago, I penned a "Which box art is better?" post that focused on the Japanese and European versions of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light.

Well, the folks at Square Enix recently unveiled the art that will appear on the soon-to-be-released North American version (pre-order it here)--and, I have to admit, I'm underwhelmed.

That said, I think I like the North American cover more than its Japanese and European counterparts.

See also: 'Let's play: Which box art is better? (The 4 Heroes of Light edition)'

Let's play: 'Which box art is better?' (Professor Layton 3 edition)

Although European and North American gamers are still waiting for the third Professor Layton title to hit the streets in their respective territories--it'll be released on Oct. 22 in the former and on Sept. 12 in the latter--their Japanese counterparts have had access to the game since late 2008.

Have the folks in Nintendo's European and North American offices spent the ensuing years on anything other than the game's translation? If the following images are any indication, they've at least tweaked the title's cover art.

Nintendo of Europe's makeover (below) is the most extreme--especially as it accompanies a rather confounding name change.

Nintendo of America's design (below), on the other hand, is a lot less dramatic.

So, which one do I prefer? I'd go with the North American design, hands down, if screenshots didn't obscure a third of it. Of course, I'd like the European cover a lot more if it sported the logo that appears on its North American counterpart.

I guess what I'm saying, then, is "neither." Not that it matters--I'd buy the game day one even if it were sold in a plain paper sleeve.

Pre-order: Professor and the Lost Future (for European gamers) or Professor and the Unwound Future (for North Americans)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Incredibly cute? Check. Completely impractical? Check!

When I (finally) pick up a copy of Dragon Quest VIII later this year, I think I'll pick up one of Hori's slime controllers (below), too.

Sure, they're completely impractical, but they're so cute! And at $25 a pop, they're not all that expensive, either. Right? Right?!?

(This is where you politely nod and agree with me even if you think I'm crazy.)