Friday, June 24, 2011

I want a Famicom light gun

I'd love to know how many of you rolled your eyes after reading the headline above. It certainly deserves such a reaction--thanks to the ever-changing (and ever-discussed) contents of my gaming wish list (which currently includes everything from a copy of the PC Engine cute 'em up, Coryoon, to the ill-fated Sega CDX).

Anyway, you're probably wondering why I recently added the Famicom light gun--the Japanese version of the NES Zapper--to that list. To be honest, I've had at least one eye on this accessory since I came across one on eBay last year, but it didn't completely capture my attention until yesterday, when I saw the following photo over on

That tomato-red box houses the more-realistic-looking-than-the-NES-Zapper Famicom light gun, by the way, while the purple cart is a loose copy of Nintendo's Wild Gunman title.

Click on this link to read more about both of blogger Sean's recent purchases. Also, click on this link to see a fantastically retro (and regrettably fuzzy) Japanese TV commercial for this playful peripheral.

Ashley Davis' anti-Mario, pro-Hudson tumblog

I like Mario, Metroid, Pokemon and Zelda fan art as much as the next guy, but I also like fan art that looks to other, less-appreciated games and game characters for inspiration.

Which is why I'll be visiting artist Ashley Davis' new tumblog No Marios Allowed!! on the regular from here on out--or as long as she continues to update it. My visits will be especially regular as long as Davis is in a Hudson kind of mood. (She says she's going to focus on the now-defunct company's games for a while "because their games are so good but have such a small presence on Tumblr.")

Thus far, Davis has turned her attention and talent toward Hudson's Bomberman and Bonk (PC Genjin) franchises. Will we eventually see her take on Adventure Island, Milon's Secret Castle and Tengai Makyou (Far East of Eden), too? I sure hope so.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

'All you do is blow a whistle and watch them die'

The quote in the headline above is a pretty apt description of the following, rather dark piece of Pikmin-inspired fan art, produced by deviantartist Fenryk, don't you think?

Speaking of Pikmin, I don't know about you, but I was a bit disappointed when I heard that Shigeru Miyamoto said, during the recent E3 event in Los Angeles, that the much-anticipated Pikmin 3 will be released for the Wii U and not the Wii. I know the Wii is all but dead at this point (thanks in no small part to Nintendo's lack of software support), but a third Pikmin title would have made for a fine swan song for the system.

Oh, well, at least this means we'll get to see Captain Olimar and his precious, plant-like companions in HD sooner rather than later.

Buy: New Play Control! Pikmin

In case anyone cares: There *are* challenging opponents in Hot Shots Tennis PSP

Yep, you read that correctly: I just faced my first challenging opponent in Hot Shot Tennis: Get a Grip--a dropshot-obsessed wench (actually, she's more of a spoiled brat) named Amorette.

Anyway, she nearly beat me. She ran out to a 3-1 lead--the match in question was of the first-one-to-win-four-games-is-the-victor variety--before I worked my way back into the set, which ended with me winning 4-3. (Or was it 5-3? I can't remember if I had to win by one or two.)

This isn't Amorette, by the way. It's Bridget, a blond cheerleader.

I'd like to add, by the way, that I beat the little terror while wearing some sort of Elizabethan or Victorian gown. Oh, and I had rose in my hair and a giant ruby ring on my finger.

See also: 'Screw Pac-Man Championship Edition, I'm going to play Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip instead'

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

File this under 'how in the hell did I miss this announcement?': Cladun x2 is coming to the States in August

While looking for information on Cladun: This is an RPG, which was mentioned a few times in my last post, I came across a recent post (it was published in mid-May) on that suggests that game's sequel will be released stateside in August.

Sadly, it seems the creatively titled (or not) Cladun x2 will, like its predecessor, be a download-only release. Why is that sad? Well, for starters, it means North Americans won't get to own and ogle a case featuring the following, fabulous piece of cover art:

Although l'd rather see the folks at NIS America pull a What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 and release both Cladun titles on a single UMD, I understand why they decided not to go that route.

Regardless, I plan on rewarding the company for its continued support of the all-but-dead PSP with my hard-earned cash as soon as Cladun x2 arrives on the PlayStation Store in August.

Screw Pac-Man Championship Edition, I'm going to play Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip instead

Remember how I said in this post that my next PSP purchase was likely to be Cladun: This is an RPG, Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip or Patchwork Heroes? Well, I was right: Late last week, while still lamenting the $4.99 I wasted on Pac-Man Championship Edition the week before, I bought a sealed copy of Hot Shots Tennis from someone on eBay for less than $10.

It was a tough decision to make, as I've had my eye on Cladun since it hit the PlayStation Store last fall and I've really enjoyed the time I've spent with the Patchwork Heroes demo over the last few days. So, what prompted me to pick up Hot Shots Tennis rather than those other under-consideration titles? For starters, I really wanted a physical as opposed to a digital-download release. Also, I'm currently in a tennis kind of mood thanks to "The Championships" (aka Wimbledon). Oh, and of course I liked Hot Shots Tennis' cheaper-than-cheap price tag.

Anyway, I played it for a few hours last night and I can already tell this is going to be my go-to game for the next few weeks. Its graphics are great, it controls like a dream (Nintendo fans: it feels like a Mario Tennis title) and, most importantly of all, it's a lot of fun. The only issue I have with the Clap Hanz-developed Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip at the moment is that it's far too easy. (I win most matches without losing a game.) Here's hoping the title's colorful cadre of characters begin to put up more of a fight before the closing credits roll.

'Fire flowers don't always sit well'

After Mario picks up a fire flower, does he eat it or hold onto it? Also, does said flower allow him to spit fireballs or throw them?

The t-shirt design below makes me think the answers to the questions above are: 1) He holds onto it and 2) It allows him to throw them.

I bring that up because before I saw Dave Mercier's (aka MercWorks') design this morning I honestly thought Mario ate these strange little flowers and then spit fireballs at his enemies.

Anyway, if you like Mercier's design as much as I do, vote for it at before the end of the day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saucy Peach

You know I consider to be a crying shame? That Princess Peach--Princess Toadstool if you're an old-school (or simply old) gamer like me--has been a playable character in just two Nintendo-developed platformers over the years: The delicious Super Mario Bros. 2 and the dreadful (or at least disappointing) Super Princess Peach.

I bring that up because the piece of fan art above, produced by Drew Green, has me dreaming of another Peach-y platformer. I doubt such a game is going to get the green light anytime soon, but even if it does you know the folks at Nintendo won't make her royal hotness look anywhere near as saucy as she does in the Atlantan's illustration.


Video games made him gay

"A million websites explore homoerotic content in comic books. (And by 'explore,' I mean 'create boners with.') I'm looking into gay and gay-seeming elements in video games."

The quote above can be found in the "About" section of the hilarious (and kind of hot) new tumblog,

So, what can you expect to see upon visiting this site? This smokin' illustration of Street Fighter III's Alex is a pretty good example:

As is the sassy description that's posted alongside it: "I smell homoeroticism whenever I see a dude subjected to a from-behind-the-ass angle. Well, I smell that and ass, I guess."

The man behind also maintains a tumblog called "The Bow on Birdo," by the way, which he describes as a "depository for art from the Super Mario games and related series."

See also: My '10 video games that made my life gayer' series of posts

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Mario might see if he ate the wrong kind of mushroom

There's something enticingly Michael John Kricfalusi-esque about the Mario-focused illustration below, which likely is why I was so drawn to it while combing through Flickr earlier today. (I've long been a fan of The Ren & Stimpy Show, which Kricfalusi created back in 1991.)

What in the hell is going on in this piece (click on it to get a better look at it, or click on this link), you ask? I have no idea. Thankfully, Huddersfield, England-based artist/designer/illustrator James Burlinson--the man responsible for this creepy/wacky image--seems just as clueless.

"I'm not really sure what's going on in this piece," he admits on Flickr. "Maybe it has some hidden meaning? Something to do with the fact that Mario kills for coins, which in turn help Mario to kill for even more coins? Endless cycle of death by plumber? Either that or this is just what Mario would see if he ate the wrong mushrooms."

Check out Burlinson's Flickr photostream to see more of his bizarre-yet-captivating creations, by the way. (I'm especially fond of this piece of Alex Kidd fan art, which seems to be titled, "Predictable!")

It pains me to say it, but I'm kinda, sorta interested in Super Pokemon Scramble

Why? Well, for starters, there's this recently-announced 3DS game's rad (hey, I'm a child of the 1980s) box art:

And then there's this super-cute Pikachu paper craft, which will be given to folks who purchase the game--which is a sequel to the 2009 WiiWare title Melee! Pokemon Scramble (aka Pokemon Rumble in the West)--from a select group of Japanese retailers after it's released on July 28.

All that said, I'm not sure I can see myself dropping $39.99 on such a game once I finally pick up a 3DS--especially if titles like Luigi's Mansion 2, Paper Mario 3DS and Super Mario 3DS are even half as enticing as it seems they're going to be.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why didn't someone warn me that Pac-Man Championship Edition is even harder to control on the PSP than it is on the Xbox 360?

Last week I did something I've been meaning to do for a long time: I bought my first PSP game.

I know, I've talked about buying Cladun: This is an RPG, Half-Minute Hero, Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip, Patapon and quite a few other games since I picked up a PSP last year, but for various reasons I have yet to follow through and purchase any of them.

So, which game did I buy when I finally let loose last week? The PSP Minis version of Pac-Man Championship Edition. It was just $4.99 and it would allow me to play this awesome title on the go--how could I choose anything else, right?

After playing the game for a bit over the weekend, though, I'm currently asking myself a completely different question: Why in the hell didn't I choose something else?

Before I get to why I'm asking myself that question, I have to say that nearly everything about this PSP Minis release is a mirror image of its Xbox 360 counterpart. The former looks and sounds just as good as the latter, as far as I'm concerned, and the former also shares all of the latter's modes and options--well, except for the ability to compare ones high scores with those of players elsewhere in the world via an online leaderboard.

Although I can see that irking some die-hard Pac-Man Championship Edition fans, that's not my big beef with the PSP iteration. No, my big beef with the game is that it controls terribly whether you use the portable system's directional pad or analog "nub." (Basically, the former is too tight and the latter is too loose, at least in my experience.) In fact, it's so difficult to control that I doubt I'll play it more than a handful of times--which is a shame, because this is could have and should have been the perfect title for on-the-go gamers.

Oh, well, at least it only set me back $4.99. Here's hoping my next PSP purchase--which is likely to be Cladun: This is an RPGHot Shots Tennis or Patchwork Heroes--will be less of a disappointment.