Friday, May 06, 2011

Don't call me a podcast virgin

So, yesterday I did something I had never done before: I participated in a podcast.

A few weeks ago, the guys at Gayme Bar approached me about joining them for a cocktail and some conversation. My first thought was to decline their invitation, as I'd much rather share my thoughts about gaming via the written rather than the spoken word.

In the end, I caved--mainly because I thought it would be fun to chat about games with a couple of fellow gays.

I'm glad I did, because we had a lot of fun. After discussing this blog for a bit, we moved on to talking about our most recent acquisitions and about the topic of sex and violence in video games.

I'm not sure I made any sense whatsoever in that final segment, thanks in part to the two glasses of (cheap boxed) wine that were sloshing around in my stomach by then, but what can you do--especially when it's your first time at the rodeo, so to speak.

Hopefully I'll redeem myself on future podcasts--assuming there are other podcasts in my future, of course.

For more information about the guys Gayme Bar, or to listen to any of their previous podcasts, pay a visit to

Unpopular opinion of the day: Pac-Man CE DX isn't as good as its predecessor

Yep, you read that correctly: I'm currently of the opinion that Pac-Man Championship Edition DX isn't as good--or, in then end, as enjoyable--as the original Pac-Man Championship Edition.

Now, that isn't to say I don't like the game. On the contrary, I like it quite a bit--or, at least I like some aspects of it quite a bit.

I like, for instance, the bevy of options and modes included in Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. Players can choose from a number of different courses, graphical styles and soundtracks, all of which make this iteration of the game feel as though it's packed with content.

I have to say, though, that only that middle option--the one that allows you to alter the game's visuals at will--really interests me. The choose-your-own-soundtrack option is nice, but it's hardly a game changer (pun intended), and the huge number of selectable courses only seems impressive at the start--once you've played through them, you realize they're all a bit interchangeable.

Those aren't the only bullet points offered up to potential Pac-Man Championship Edition DX purchasers; there's also the new "sleepy ghosts"--they remain stationary until you pass them, after which they follow you--and the slow-motion effect that kicks in whenever you get too close to a nearby baddie.

Both of those additions are enjoyable for a while, but in the end they make Pac-Man Championship Edition DX seem both easier and more straightforward than its more bare bones predecessor--which is why I'll likely continue to play the original at the expense of its more superficially enticing sequel.

See also: 'Raise your hand if you, too, think Pac-Man Championship Edition is digital crack'

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Raise your hand if you, too, think Pac-Man Championship Edition is digital crack

I've suggested as much in various posts since my Xbox 360 arrived a few weeks ago, but in case those casual remarks slipped right by you, here's the deal: I'm completely addicted to Pac-Man Championship Edition.

Specifically, I'm addicted to the five-minute "championship" mode that serves as the centerpiece of this Xbox Live Arcade follow-up to Tōru Iwatani's arcade classic. (There's also two, 10-minute "challenge" modes and three "extra" modes, one of which lasts for five minutes and two that last for 10.)

Honestly, it's impossible for me to play this mode just once. That's what I mean to do, at least on most occasions, but invariably I end up telling myself, "just one more time," as soon as the game's clock hits zero.

Despite all of the time I've put into Pac-Man Championship Edition thus far, I'd hardly call myself good at it. I improve a little each time I boot it up, though, which is part of what keeps me coming back for more. The other part? It's simply a blast to play--even when I miss my high score by a wide margin.

I'll post more in-depth impressions of the game (likely in one of my "somewhat gay" reviews) soon, but in the meantime just know that I'm enjoying the hell out of it and that I heartily recommend it to anyone who has a PSP or an Xbox 360.

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D edition)

I didn't realize until a few days ago that the art that will grace the cover of the Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will differ from what will appear on the North American version of the game.

In case you haven't seen it, here's the Japanese cover art:

And here's its North American counterpart:

This 3D-enabled update of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will hit the streets in Japan on June 16, by the way. North American 3DS owners will be able to buy the game three days later.

As for which illustration I prefer, well, I'm going to go with the North American iteration this time. The piece of art chosen for the Japanese release is undeniably beautiful, but I think the North American image works better as a cover. (Minus the rather lame "playable in 2D and 3D" reminder, of course.)

See also: Previous 'Which Box Art is Better?' posts

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My Famicom 'Pulse Line' cart collection is complete

After finally acquiring copies of Baseball and Golf, my collection of Famicom "Pulse Line" carts is complete.

Granted, not all of them are of the "complete-in-box" variety, but such copies of Donkey Kong Jr. Math and Popeye English are both hard to come by and expensive.

The photo above features 11 of the 14 "Pulse Line" carts Nintendo released at the beginning of the Famicom's lifetime: Baseball, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, Golf, Gomoku Narabe Renju, Mah-Jong, Mario Bros., Pinball, Popeye and Tennis.

I left out Devil World because its box is bigger than the others.

For another photo of my Famicom "Pulse Line" collection, go here. Also, close-up shots of Baseball and Golf can be seen here and here.

So, where's the Castle Crashers 'Pink Knight Pack' for XBLA?

One of the many Xbox Live Arcade games I've been eyeing up for some time--along with Costume Quest, Limbo, Super Meat Boy and a few others--is Castle Crashers.

I've held off on buying the colorful beat 'em up, developed by The Behemoth, for one reason and one reason only: I'm waiting for the "Pink Knight Pack," which allows gamers to play as the oh-so-fabulous Pink Knight and has been available to owners of the PS3 version since early February, to be released.

According to a moderator on The Behemoth's community forums, the company is working on it. "We warned you that it would not be a fast addition," the moderator commented on Aug. 13. "There is a lot of work to be done to do a Title Update! Rest assured ... it is coming."

And as soon as that day arrives, I'll give the folks at The Behemoth the 1,200 Microsoft Points needed to buy their game.

See also: 'I guess this means I'm going to have to get Castle Crashers soon'

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This ain't yo' mama's version of the Super Mario Bros. theme

Are these guys--the ones who make up the bluegrass group, The Cleverlys--for real? Based on their name and the bio on their website, I'm not so sure, but I don't really care.

What I do care about is that they play a mean version of the Super Mario Bros. theme song.

To hear more of their stuff, including this rather awesome cover of Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," check out their official YouTube channel.


Yet another LEGO Pokémon post

You know what really impresses me about Filip Johannes Felberg's LEGO Pokémon? I find some of them to be more attractive and interesting than their two-dimensional counterparts in Pokémon Black and White.

That's especially true when it comes to Felberg's latest batch of LEGO Pokémon. I've never been much of a fan of Ferroseed and Woobat, for instance, but I'm quite fond of their blocky, three-dimensional forms.

See also: 'More LEGO Pokémon, anyone?' and 'Man, those Pokémon are blocky!'

Monday, May 02, 2011

8-bit Bulletproof

I wouldn't say this chiptune cover--produced by someone who calls him/herself Jump-Catch-Mushroom--of English electropop duo La Roux's "Bulletproof" is better than the original, but it's still worth a few listens.

Here is the video created for the original version of the song, by the way, in case any of you want to compare and contrast.


Fabulous flash game alert: Haunt the House

Anyone looking for a lovely little time waster would do well to check out The Super Flash Bros' wonderfully charming--thanks in large part to Adam Vian's art--Haunt the House.

The premise is pretty simple: You're a ghost who wants to rid your house of a pack of (30) noisy partiers. To do that, you'll have to possess lighting fixtures, pictures, pieces of furniture and more until they're so scared they race out the front door.

Don't frighten the partiers too much, though, or they'll freak out and do something stupid--like jump out the nearest window.

Play Haunt the House here.


My Pier Solar replacement cartridge has arrived!

Actually, it arrived on Saturday, but since I rarely publish posts on the weekend this is the first chance I've had to say anything about it.

I hate to say this, but I wasn't all that sure the guys at WaterMelon were going to keep their word and send me a replacement cart. A part of me thought I had been scammed, although in retrospect I guess that was kind of a silly thought to have considering I did receive the professionally produced case and manual.

As for when I'm finally going to be able to play this homebrew RPG, well, that'll probably have to wait until I can get my parents to ship me my Genesis or until I buy a Sega CDX (a sexy little system that I've wanted for quite some time).

For more information on Pier Solar, read this post or this post--or go to the game's official site, where you can order a copy, too, if you so choose.