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GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

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Archive For November, 2005

From Arcade Champion To... Arm Wrestler?

November 25, 2005 8:59 PM | Simon Carless

greg.jpg Sister site Gamasutra has a short write-up on Twin Galaxies' "Legends of the Golden Age: A Tribal Gathering of the Greatest Video Game Superstars of the 1980s", to be held in Humble, TX, the weekend of December 2-4, 2005. The Twin Galaxies website has more information on the '80s arcade game legends turning up, but alongside Pac-Man and former Pole Position champs making an appearance, the event reveals: "Greg Sakundiak of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who held many world records on classic arcade games during the 80s, but retired from gaming to pursue a career in professional arm wrestling, will also be present."

But where can we find out more on this button-pressing pumped-up God of a man? Well, Greg originally held the Twin Cobra world record, 1,900,450, set on 5/15/86, but more recently, participated in the 2001 Canadian Armwrestling Championships page, which has action photos of Sakundiak (on the right) placing second in the 'Men 60kg' category. Wanna bet he's preternaturally good at Track & Field?

Mario Karting Hits The U.S., Sans Banana

November 25, 2005 11:15 AM | Simon Carless

mkarcade.jpg 1UP was good enough to make the trip down to what we presume is Golfland in Sunnyvale, a little while back, and they came back with a preview and videos of Mario Kart Arcade GP, the Namco-developed arcade iteration of the classic Nintendo series, which includes cameras to take photos of participants and attach their faces to the karts, and even Pac-Man-inspired bonus track areas.

Matt Leone semi-laments: "The data cards are gone, the teenage photo booth crowd doesn't really exist over here, and the hardcore racing fans seem to be pretty well occupied by the Initial D games. It all explains the 'limited quantities' Namco mentioned in the press release when it announced the game for the U.S. market." However, Jeremy Parish definitely likes the cut of the game's jib, noting it's the "best-looking Mario Kart ever", and commenting: "Namco's interpretation of Mario Kart is dramatically different than anything that fans might be used to. The feel is definitely more arcade-like than other MK titles (which seems reasonable enough, considering). " Go, Mario, go!

Scary Walkmen Are Following Me, Again

November 25, 2005 10:59 AM | Simon Carless

sonyg.jpg The excellent Hall Of Light database of Commodore Amiga games, one of the single best-cataloged and annotated single-format info projects around, has now built up a significant list of Amiga promotional games, and some of the title in question, extremely early advergames to a tee, are fascinating.

While some of these mainly German titles, such as a Nestle promo game, Tricky-Quiky-Games, there's also The Sony Game, in which you play some kind of diseased Walkman, and even the suitably pan-global Pepsi: All Over The World. Even more interesting, the German Federal Press Office produced Der Rasende Reporter, and, although screenshots are sadly missing, there's Come Together (Around The World), a promotional game for Peter Stuyvesant Cigarettes - that's right, kids, come together to play games and smoke cigarettes - around the world.

Cool Herders DC, DreamOn Magazine

November 25, 2005 9:33 AM |

coolherders.jpgThe GOAT Store, the independent Dreamcast homebrew publisher (of Feet of Fury fame), has announced the pending release of Cool Herders, which has been available as a free one-level demo since the beginning of the Dreamcast homebrew movement. The game was originally distributed via the DC Tonic disc at E3 2001, but has since been revamped and turned into a proper full game with various levels options, and a story mode. The game retails for $19.90, and will come on professionally pressed and packaged discs.

In related enthusiast DC news, preorders are open for DreamOn, a glossy Dreamcast Zine based around the homebrew scene that will come with a demo disc, provided there is enough interest.

The Sound Of Xbox 360 Clapping

November 24, 2005 11:31 PM | Simon Carless

dubly.jpg GameSetWatch received a press release today from Audiobrain, which is the sound design company, headed by long-time gameLab composer Michael Sweet, behind the built-in sounds for the Xbox 360.

The release handily explains of Xbox 360's epic opening swooooosh: "The startup [noise], created with several layers of clear and consistent sound design, both organic and architectural in nature, starts with a rumble representing the enormous size of the world appearing over the horizon, then a swoosh for the energy and a shimmer with lower sounds colliding at the visual impact and form the X in the world, creating the sense of duality and searing, impactful energy." Yep, it sounds better in Dubly, especially after that explanation - the specially composed Xbox 360 soundtrack for the console's E3 appearance also plays on the Audiobrain homepage.

Love A Lemming, Today

November 24, 2005 11:18 PM | Simon Carless

lemmings.jpgMobile phone publisher iFone has announced that it is employing a 'twist of lemming', and switching up the classic DMA Design/Psygnosis Lemmings license to create Love A Lemming, a somewhat bizarre virtual pet game starring everyone's favorite suicidal rodent, shipping to European mobile operators in December.

Apparently: "The aim of Love a Lemming is to name, tame and train your very own Lemming so that it can be successfully released into the wild", and Jay Sharples, Product Development Manager at iFone, commented: "For some players it will be the start of a long attachment with their Lemming." Wait, will the lemmings be released into the wild to frolic and play with their lovable brethren, or released into the wild... at the edge of a jagged cliff? Oh nooooooo.

Urban Hellraisers, Inc.

November 24, 2005 8:11 PM | Simon Carless

uhr.jpg Over at Voodoo Extreme (part of the IGN/Fox conspiracy, Mulder!), they've posted a synopsis with screencaps of last night's CSI: Miami U.S. television episode, 'Urban Hellraisers', which, yes, uses the GTA/violent game furore for a 'plucked from the headlines' one-hour whodunnit.

Of course, this includes such delights as (spoiler alert!): "Caine & co. arrive to discover that the GM has "gamed himself to death" by playing for 70 hours straight", and: "Turns out [the culprit] was the head of the publishing company that distributed Urban Hell Raisers and orchestrated the crime spree to help create buzz and sell more copies of the game", though the VE3D guys argue: "It certainly wasn't a Hollywood-fuelled tirade against the games industry despite being full of stereotypes and opinions of violent titles." Fair enough, then?

Hideo Kojima's Existential Malaise

November 24, 2005 4:52 PM | Simon Carless

kojima.jpg You may have heard, a few weeks back, that Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima had opened an English-language version of his weblog. Well, although the Japanese blog has posts as recent as two days ago, the fan-made translations are still catching up, and are currently up to October 12th, encompassing some striking new entries.

Notably, the October 7th entry, as surprisingly long (1800+ words) and detailed as earlier ones, provides an interesting look into Kojima's worries as he works on Metal Gear Solid 4 for the PlayStation 3: "Our work method will be difficult to preserve when we move to the next generation consoles. Physical forms and facial expressions will need to appear in-game exactly as they appear in reality. We will need to rely upon one single actor for our four main ingredients: facial model and texture, motion acting, facial expressions, and vocal performance. I'll also need to worry more about the adaptation from a Japanese language version into English. Facial and vocal expressions always differ between the two."

But more than that, Kojima seems almost frenzied over the state of the world, and strangely at odds with someone who obsesses over military details in his games: "Terrorism and civil wars consume us. Blood and lunacy overwhelm human order. We court the ideals of national and emotional security when we should concern ourselves with political and personal inner peace. We don't work toward nuclear disarmament and anti-war diplomacy; we fetishize emergency responsiveness. Does anyone consider the panorama that exists beyond the blinders of "our personal futures"? Who can claim a personal future without creating society's future in the process?" Time to tune in and drop out, perhaps?

Left Behind... In Mouseclick Speed

November 24, 2005 12:09 PM | Simon Carless

left-behind.jpg The folks over at GameCloud grabbed a brief interview with Left Behind Games' Troy Lyndon, discussing the forthcoming PC real-time strategy game based on the Rapture-themed Christian series of 'Left Behind' novels, which have sold a staggering total of 62 million copies over the last 10 years.

The official book website reveals: "[Left Behind authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins] estimate they've heard from more than 3,000 readers who have made decisions of faith after reading Left Behind." So... can an RTS (here's a trailer) make you believe? And more to the point, can you play the bad guys, too? Lyndon explains: "In Storyline Mode, a gamer can only play the good side of the Tribution Forces. However, in Game World Mode, gamers can play either side and view more realistically how their choices are matched up with consequences. And though both sides can win against each other in Battle, no conclusion is provided regarding who wins the war. Can you guess?" Um, Satan?

Indie Xbox 360 Prospects Tunneled

November 24, 2005 4:19 AM | Simon Carless

msr.jpg Everyone can try them out on Tuesday, but last week, GameTunnel's Russell Carroll commented on some indie Xbox 360 Live Arcade titles that were playable at the 2005 IndieGamesCon in Portland, Oregon.

Of particular interest was Pom Pom's supremely psychedelic Mutant Storm Reloaded, of which Russell raved: "Seeing the game in motion was even more amazing...or was that nauseating?" Mm, the power of the Yak is strong in those ones. But the other titles, including a switched-up controls version of IGF winner Wik & The Fable Of Souls, plus a much enhanced iteration of the oft-ignored Outpost Kaloki, look equally smart, and Carroll concluded brightly: "In the end the Xbox 360 has the potential to be a big win for indie game developers and I hope it will help further increase the awareness of some of the many great indie titles available." Amen to that.

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