Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Gay Gamer x Tiny Cartridge, take three

The third of the four posts I wrote for the guys at Tiny Cartridge was published this morning.

I would have mentioned it earlier, but there was a typo in said post (my fault, not theirs) until a little while ago and I didn't want to link to it until it was corrected.

Anyway, the focus of this particular post--check it out here, if you're at all interested in such things--is one of Filip Johannes Felberg's most recent LEGO Pokémon creations: A beautifully rendered Bulbasaur.

(I decided to include the photo of Felberg's Farfetch'd, right, in this post so as not to spoil the surprise that awaits at

See also: Previous 'The Gay Gamer x Tiny Cartridge' posts

Friday, May 20, 2011

'Jar of Heart Containers'

I can't say that The Legend of Zelda was the first thing that came to my mind upon hearing Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts," but after seeing the following illustration on artist Ryan Grant Long's blog last week, I'm not sure I'll be able to think of anything but that Famicom/NES classic whenever I hear the Phillie-born singer's hit single.

Unfortunately, I can't link directly to Long's blog post about his "Jar of Heart Containers" drawing at the moment, as it seems to have been a victim of "The Great Blogger Blow Up of 2011." What I can link to: Long's shop, where you can buy t-shirts bearing the design above. Also, here's a link to his blog and deviantart gallery.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Gay Gamer x Tiny Cartridge, take two

The second of four posts I wrote for Tiny Cartridge has been published on the handheld-focused site.

The headline I wrote for this post--"Three GBA imports (not Mother 3/Rhythm Tengoku) that should hit the eShop"--does a pretty good job of describing what it's all about.

Basically, I suggest that, assuming they eventually decide to sell GameBoy Advance games via their 3DS eShop, the folks at Nintendo should give Westerners access to a few first-party releases that have never seen the light of day in our neck of the woods.

Photo by Wayne McManus

To see which games were included on my list--and to hear why I selected them--check out when you have a chance.

See also: 'The Gay Gamer x Tiny Cartridge, take one'

But will the characters in Animal Crossing 3DS still look creepy?

While seemingly every other Nintendo fan the world over is looking forward to next month's E3 so he or she can finally get a glimpse of the company's next console (currently codenamed Project Café), I'm looking forward to the event, to be held June 7-9 in Los Angeles, so I can see if the characters in its upcoming Animal Crossing 3DS still look creepy.

I can't be the only person who thinks the game's more properly proportional--with the exception of their big ol' noggins--characters look a bit odd, can I? (Please share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section of this post.) For whatever reason, I find the shorter, stubbier characters seen in the series' previous iterations much more aesthetically pleasing.

Proof that Nintendo's Urban Champion has at least one redeeming quality

Serious question: Does anyone actually like Nintendo's early Famicom/ NES brawler, Urban Champion?

Now, before all of you Urban Champion junkies (yes, all three of you) jump on me, you should know that back in the day I was slightly enamored with the game. Specifically, I was enamored with the colorful packaging that it came in, which called to me in a way that most of Nintendo's Black Box titles didn't.

Then I played it. Ugh.

As I'm sure anyone who has played the game can imagine, that lone experience I had with Urban Champion (I rented it from the local grocery store) led me to believe, quite firmly, that the game lacked even a single redeeming quality.

Then I saw the piece of pixelated art to the right, titled "Flowers."

Clearly, artist Ashley Anderson has a different sort of relationship with Urban Champion than I do, as he says of his latest game-inspired illustration, which was created for an auction to benefit the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences: "I've been wanting to do some kind of treatment of these flowers for a while.

"This is the second color image I've worked on since I went to NYC for the first time a few weeks ago," he adds. "I looked at art for hours everyday for a solid week. I think hanging out at the Met looking at all those Georgia O'Keefe paintings rubbed off on this one, I'm glad to say."

To see more of Anderson's creations, check out his Flickr photostream as well as his etsy and zazzle shops.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Gay Gamer x Tiny Cartridge, take one

The first of four posts written by yours truly has been published over at Tiny Cartridge. (Here's a direct link to it.)

It's a quippy little post about how I think the folks at Nintendo may want to reconsider how they're marketing the 3DS--with a quirky ad for the GameBoy Camera (aka Pocket Camera) serving as a somewhat-tongue-in-cheek example of the direction they could take things in the future.

If you think that sounds like a fun read, head over to when you have a chance.

8-bit Jessica Fletcher

Would it surprise you to hear that I'm a fan of the oh-so-elderly Murder, She Wrote? Well, I am.

Sure, ol' Jessica Fletcher, played by the wonderful Angela Lansbury, spent most of the sleuthy series' 264 episodes stuck in goody-two-shoes-ville, but she wasn't against shanking someone with her snark stick when the situation called for it.

Another reason I enjoy watching this show, which aired for 12 seasons, when the opportunity arises: Nearly every episode ended with Fletcher frozen in mid-laugh.

What does all of this have to do with gaming? Well, someone named Peachy recently produced an 8-bit remix of the Murder, She Wrote theme song, that's what. Listen to it here.

'Pink Link'

Question: How do you make Link look even more precious than he did in his first three pixelated outings? Answer: You do what deviantartist beyx did in the image below and you give him pink hair.

To see more of beyx's wonderfully whimsical illustrations, pay a visit to her gallery or her tumblog,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Gay Gamer x Tiny Cartridge

On Friday, I received an e-mail from Eric Caoili and JC Fletcher--aka the guys behind one of my favorite gaming sites, Tiny Cartridge.

As for why Caoili and Fletcher contacted me: Well, it seems they're going to be busy this week, and as such they were wondering if I'd be interested in contributing a few posts to their handheld-focused blog.

Always willing to lend a helping hand--and promote this blog, admittedly--I happily agreed. So, expect to see my byline attached to a number of Tiny Cartridge posts in the next few days.

Don't worry if you're not a (yet) regular visitor to Tiny Cartridge; I'll mention--and share links to--each of my contributed posts here.

Let's Play: 'Which Box Art is Better?' (Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D edition)

Full disclosure: I know next to nothing about Biohazard/Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D.

Oh, I've seen all of the trailers Capcom has released for it, but other than that I can't say I know much about this upcoming 3DS release and how it differs from, say, Biohazard/Resident Evil 5 or any other entry in the series.

So why am I publishing this post about the game? Because the art that will grace the cover of the Japanese version of the game (release date: June 2) differs quite a bit from the art that will grace the cover of its North American counterpart (June 28), that's why.

Speaking of which, here's the Japanese box art:

And here's the North American box art:

Although the latter is suitably dramatic and surely will appeal to North American gamers, I prefer the former's more subtle approach to the subject matter.

Which one do you prefer?

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

Monday, May 16, 2011

Maré Odomo's Uncharted 2

I've yet to play Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2, so I can't say if artist Maré Odomo's cartoonish look at this popular PS3 game's main character (below and here) is at all accurate, but I'm more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt thanks to how cute it is.

I'm not sure which part of Odomo's comic I like best, though: Nathan Drake's scruffy "side eye" in the lower-left panel or his pursed lips in the lower-right one.

If you, too, like stubby arms and legs, you're sure to love Atlus' Nora and the Engraving Studio

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I'm a complete sucker for game characters with stubby little arms and/or legs.

As such, it should not be a surprise to hear I'm really looking forward to the upcoming DS RPG, Nora and the Engraving Studio: The Witch of the Misty Forest--an Atlus-published game that will feature the following stubby-legged girl:

Another reason I'm looking forward to this "slow-life RPG": It's being made by some of the folks responsible for the Etrian Odyssey series.

For more on the currently-Japan-only Nora and the Engraving Studio: The Witch of the Misty Forest, check out this trailer or this post over at

A somewhat gay review of Platformance: Castle Pain (Xbox Live Indie Games)

I've got to give it to the crew at Magiko Gaming: They came up with the perfect title for their maiden Xbox Live Indie Games release. After all, not only is Platformance: Castle Pain a platformer, but it's also set in and around a castle and is a complete pain in the ass to play.

Granted, the game is supposed to be a pain in the ass to play. You see, it's one of those  "extreme platformers"--like another XBLIG release, Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES, or like the infamous Sunsoft side-scroller, Atlantis no Nazo.

This is the main view you'll have while playing Platformance: Castle Pain. 

For those of you who have never played, let alone heard of, those games, both of them present players with so many obstacles and traps that it's nearly impossible to complete them without dying numerous times. Platformance: Castle Pain follows in their harrowing footsteps, with countless fireballs, spikes and other such terrors placed between the start and finish of the single-screened title. 

Thankfully, Platformance: Castle Pain eschews "lives" completely. Yes, that means you're free to die as often as you'd like. Even then, though, it's is far from a pixelated walk in the park--due, mainly, to the presence of an ambling ghost that follows the player's path and acts as a timer of sorts. (Basically, the game ends if the ghost catches up to and touches you.)

Hit the 'x' button on your Xbox 360 pad and you'll zoom out a bit.

Mr. Ghost isn't much of a problem as long as you play Platformance: Castle Pain on easy. Play the game on medium or hard, though, and he becomes an ever-present reminder that if you don't keep moving you'll soon find yourself staring at a "game over" screen.

Although that imbues the game's easiest mode with a good amount of tension, it could be argued that it adds a bit too much tension to its more difficult modes--especially when combined with the title's overabundance of obstacles and slightly slippery controls.

Hit 'x' button again and you'll see the entire stage. 

That's about the only complaint I can lodge against this uniquely constructed platformer--which, suitably enough, takes place within the confines of a picture frame. I say suitably because Platformance: Castle Pain, with its 8-bit-esque graphics, is a sight to behold. 

Just as beautiful is the game's soundtrack, which begins rather generically (not to mention regally) before transforming into something that could easily be mistaken for the best game tune you've never heard. Translation: It rocks--just like (most of) the rest of this 80 MSP ($1) game.

See also: 'A somewhat gay review of Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars'

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Belly up to the Gayme Bar, boys (and girls)

Remember how I mentioned (in this post) that I recently participated in my first podcast? Well, it's now available for your listening pleasure.

So, if you want to hear three gay guys who have had a bit too much to drink (by the end of the podcast, anyway) chat about games, check out Gayme Bar's "Function 15: Sex & Gaymes" when you have a chance.

One last thing: Please blame anything dumb I say on the (cheap) wine I was drinking during the recording of the podcast.