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Archive For December, 2005

Byte Hell Is Other People

December 25, 2005 7:24 AM | Simon Carless

byte.jpg The perceptive fellow GSW blogger GeekOnStun has spotted NCSX's summary of Byte Hell 2000 for the PSP, the Wario Ware-esque microgame compilation that just debuted in Japan.

As NCSX explains: "Before the madcap mini-games of Byte Hell 2000, musician Pierre Taki and musical collaborator Hideyuki Tanaka had other projects. The two are equal parts in the VJ team known as Prince Tongha and Taki is also part of techno band Denki Groove with partner Takkyu Ishino... With Byte Hell 2000, Pierre and Hideyuki test their video and musical sensibilities with mini-games that exhibit the spirit and verve of their video project known as "30 Minutes Around the World."" Definitely one of the most interesting PSP releases for a while, even if they did remove the psychotic Mario/Luigi bits - hope it comes to the West.

ChaosReins On The Jaguar

December 25, 2005 12:39 AM | Simon Carless

chaosreins.jpg The GOAT Store, the website 'famed' for its selling of obscure homebrew hardware and games, including titles such as the DDR-ish Feet Of Fury and the just-shipping Cool Herders for Dreamcast, has announced that it is now stocking the Jaguar ChaosReins rotary controller.

As the site explains: "Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar was meant to be played with a rotary controller, but Atari never released one. This was a blessing in disguise as it meant that third party companies have been picking up the slack, and they have done a job much better than Atari would've. At the top of the list of companies that is making controllers is ChaosReins... [which created] a standard controller for the Atari Jaguar modified with a detentless mechanical rotary encoder from CTS, is extremely accurate and easy to use." The controller is available from GOAT Store for just $59.90 - a perfect present for the Jeff Minter fan this Xmas?

To Go Boldly Go To Go Weird

December 24, 2005 6:01 PM | Simon Carless

www.jpg After his recent overview of the IGF 2006 finalists, Kieron Gillen returns to review Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, Digital Eel's outstandingly different 'short' space game, for Eurogamer.

Gillen sums it up helpfully: "In this space-strategy exploration game, the sequel to Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, you're placed as commander of an interplanetary vessel with a ten to thirty year mission to explore the nearby galaxy. Heading off, you move from system to system, seeing what's out there and being terribly Captain Kirk. Half an hour later, at most, the clock has ticked down and you either return to your home planet or you've perished in one of the systems of deep space."

The only problem? Apparently: "The problem here is that it isn't a game which, after playing, provokes the desire to rhapsodize in text. It's a game which, after playing, provokes the desire to have another game." Rich Carlson, Weird Worlds' designer, tries to explain the game's concept further on the game's website, explaining: "We... wanted the game to be easy to play, that was (and is) very important to us, and we wanted to eliminate numbers and all of the charts and stat sheets usually found in these sorts of games." Maybe Weird Worlds is so intriguing because it's a hardcore space sim hiding in swift, replayable casual game form? You can, of course, download the demo to find out.

Welcome To The World Of Sand

December 24, 2005 12:56 PM | Simon Carless

sand.jpg A forum post over at Insert Credit reveals, thanks to Kunster, a link to a Japanese in-browser Java game, 'World Of Sand' (scroll down to see it). As the translation of the info for this 'software toy' explains: "It involves playing with sand, water, salt, and oil as molecules of each fall from above. Use the mouse to draw walls for the materials to flow over and around. Ignite the play field with fire or a devastating(???) explosion. After allowing it to run for a while, I noticed that the ball of sand grew bigger as it collected the materials that poured over it."

Though not scored as a game, other Java toys by the same author include a 'destroy the slug using salt' game and an 'extinguish the fire with sand' software toy, both of which also use the mouse to draw walls and affect the game. Also, looks like all three game-toys were built with neat art/code tool Processing, which we recently mentioned as being used to create Unreal-related fine art.

OtaClock Goes Tick Tick Tick

December 24, 2005 7:58 AM | Simon Carless

otaclock.jpg We forgot to keep reading Hideo Kojima's English-translated blog, but the folks at linksite Noooz didn't, and have spotted info on 'a little gimmicky app' that Konami is about to release on the PC.

As the full blog entry explains of the Windows-compatible clock application: "The name refers to Otacon's desktop clock that he invented for use on his personal computer. It's the same clock that had a cameo on Otacon's monitor during the TGS trailer for MGS4... Soon we'll deliver the OtaClock to our audience. You'll always have Otacon around with this. Look forward to it!" We will, Hideo! Though the blog post is from November, we couldn't find the app on the Konami site - if anyone spots it, add a comment.

Wallguy, Take A Bow!

December 24, 2005 2:35 AM | Simon Carless

wallguy.jpg Over at 1UP, staff member and blogger Jared Rea has put up some typical 'X Of The Year' shenanigans. Woo? But if you skip the relatively straightforward first part, the second, more unconventional 'top list' for 2005 has some fun choices.

These would include the 'Beyond Good and Evil Award' for 'not enough consumer attention' going to the neato Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse, the 'Sin and Punishment Award' for "the title which claimed the hearts of "hardcore" fanboys around the world, despite the game in fact, being garbage or quite frankly, nothing special" going to... Shadow of the Colossus (hide, Jared, hide!), and 'Mr and Mrs. 2005' going, sweetly enough, to Wallace Guyford and Hillary Clinton. We now pause for applause.

Introversion Goes To Defcon Three

December 23, 2005 8:10 PM | Simon Carless

defcon.jpgf The chaps behind the critically snuggled Darwinia over at Introversion Software have released initial information on Defcon, their new PC RTS game, in the latest issue of the UK PC Gamer magazine. However, though the official Defcon website is pretty uninformative right now, there's information and screenshots on the new Wikipedia page for Defcon.

As explained: "Defcon is Introversion Software's third title. It is a primarily multi-player anti-war RTS based loosely on the 1983 film WarGames, where the main character played a game called 'Global Thermonuclear War'." Sound enticing? Well: "Players are given a dehumanised 1980s computer-themed world map with the objective to kill as many foreign citizens as possible with a variety of nuclear weapons. A typical game will see 'hundreds of millions' of innocent casualties." Sleek '80s-styled Cold War vector havoc with a Dr. Strangelove-ish undertone? Count us in.

Omega Men Get Wiped Out

December 23, 2005 3:19 PM | Simon Carless

wopure.jpg The folks at Edge Online make good use of their website and post an extended version of a Wipeout Pure-related magazine article, discussing the European-only (rats!) Omega Pack add-on for the excellent PSP launch title, with new tracks designed by leading visual designers.

Mark James, one of the designers brought in to craft the extremely alternative Omega Pack levels, comments: "Designing a Wipeout track, then, was great. I was a big fan of the original game and its Designers Republic graphics; that was a real crossover point for me. It seemed like the first design led game." Jon Burgerman also has pictures of his own Omega track (plus a neat print ad for the Omega Pack) on his official website. But, even for us American players, the downloads on the Wipeout Pure website have a total of 12 other bonus tracks to play, plus a multitude of audio tracks and ships - the PSP's ease of downloading being put to great use.

The Crown Prince Of Cosplay

December 23, 2005 10:14 AM |

princes.jpgKilvear, editor of Casual Fantasy, has put up a host of photos of cosplayers at the End of Year event at the Singapore Expo - which took place on the 12th of December. There are three pages of photos, and I don't recognize a number of the characters (a number are from obscure-ish manga such as Alichino), but there are the inevitable Final Fantasy types (that girl has also been a Ragnarok Hunter and Lenne from Final Fantasy X-2), Mario and Luigi, Sol and Ky from Guilty Gear, and a couple of Katamari princes molesting a cat.

RushJet1's Sounds Of The 2A03

December 23, 2005 5:14 AM | Simon Carless

rushjet1.gif Via Vorc, an awesome NES-chip retro MP3 release from key net.label 8bitpeoples, in the form of RushJet1's 'Sounds Of The 2A03'. The release txt explains: "Using [NES composition tools] MCK and MML, RushJet1 has crafted an eclectic collection spanning 8 crazy, upbeat anthems and slow, droning NES rock songs. Space battle frenzy hyper melancholy mode washing over you into overdrive with Konami flavor!"

In addition, a post by RushJet1 on the 2A03.org forums has more information on the NES chip fun, noting that 'Konamized' "took forever. it sounds like konami! sort of", and linking to the original .NSF versions of the tracks (as opposed to the MP3 versions on the 8bitpeoples website.)

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