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Archive For February, 2006

Tales From YouTube: De La Soul's Parappa 2 Belief

February 19, 2006 12:29 AM | Simon Carless

delaparappa.jpg We'll try to check in on insane video-hoarding site YouTube semi-regularly here on GSW, because the amount of game-related clips is rapidly increasing. Our pick for this time is the De La Soul ft. Double 'U Gotta Believe' music video, which was released in Japan alongside Parappa The Rapper 2 for the PS2, and features Pos and friends getting goofy with Masaya Matsuura's underrated sequel.

Of course, the recent live-action Swedish student Parappa project is another great example of a Parappa cooking-related music vid, but we like De La Soul's chef hats more, so there.

[Oh, and YouTube also has the intro to the short-lived Japanese Parappa anime series, which was apparently not such a happy experience for American artist and Parappa co-creator Rodney Greenblat, as GSW sister site Gamasutra documented a few months back.]

Was ABC's PictochatGate Preventable?

February 18, 2006 6:04 PM | Simon Carless

chatplz.gif Premiere site of gaming parenthood GamerDad has posted a very interesting 'LongShot' column following up on the recent GSW story about the dangers of PictoChat - or rather, Philadelphia ABC-6 Action News' impressions of those dangers.

GamerDad's Dave Long reveals: "What's not in the story is anything explained by the GamerDad this reporter consulted before going to air. On Monday morning, I received a call from Nydia Han of Channel 6 Action News, asking me about this exact story, the workings of the Nintendo DS, Pictochat and Wi-Fi." In fact: "When contacted for the story, I talked for a good fifteen minutes about the possibility of this situation occurring and what might have to take place to facilitate it. I specifically explained that turning on the DS in a public place has never turned up a Pictochatter."

Nonetheless, as Long notes: "Unfortunately, the story is written in such a way that nothing I said is made clear at all. The story essentially makes it sound like your kids can be contacted on the DS by anyone at any time and that you should beware of predators with Nintendo DS lurking on every corner and on the Internet." Ack, doubly annoying.

Pogo Sticker Jumps Around, Jumps Around

February 18, 2006 12:04 PM | Simon Carless

pogosticker.jpg Jump up, jump up, and get down? Matt Wegner's physics-related game blog Fun-Motion has a review of Jetro Lauha's fun PC freeware title Pogo Sticker, which, incidentally, was the very final game entered into the IGF this year (though it didn't get into the finals, aw!)

As Matt explains: "Jetro is most known for his Dismount games, although he has long been involved in the demo scene and currently works for Sulake Corporation (developers of the famed Habbo Hotel)."

The concept is simple but fiendish enough: "In Pogo Sticker, you control a rather abstract-looking pogo man. Clicking the mouse increases your jump height, and moving the mouse to the left or right of your little dude will steer him in that direction on his next jump. Your power meter slowly reduces over time. You need to be sure to keep increasing it, although be careful: Hitting your head too many times will fail the level, as will coming to a complete standstill." Well, for us, it's frustrating, but borderline good frustrating - we still like flinging people down stairs more, though!

Mario Adventure Author Talks Glorious Sequel

February 18, 2006 6:09 AM | Simon Carless

marioa.gif Following up on a recent GSW post about the majestic 'Mario Adventure' homebrew mod of Super Mario Bros. 3, the Vintage Computing website has interviewed hack author DahrkDaiz on his retro modding past, present, and future.

Unfortunately, it turns out Mario Adventure will never function 100% correctly on a real NES, as DD explains: "I reprogrammed the game to take advantage of a bug most emulators have, however, I did not realize at the time that it was a bug. The hack would work on a real NES, but not properly all time. The main bug being the status bar moving up over the screen at certain times."

But we do get exciting news on DahrkDaiz' next hack, as he explains of his forthcoming SMB3 hack: "It makes Luigi and Mario be separate characters with each having special powers of their own for different gameplay, including Luigi’s floaty jump and slippery control and a new item box for Mario found in Mario Adventure. Each character has their own separate 8 worlds to play through, so this is literally two hacks in one." Roll on, new hackness!

UK Resistance Goes OutRun 2006 Crazy

February 18, 2006 12:15 AM | Simon Carless

outrun2006.jpg Former Sega fansite and current distended monstrosity UK Resistance appears to have invented an employee of OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast adapter Sumo Digital, and then conducted an interview with said person.

Some of the fun, informal answers include the differences between the Xbox and PS2 versions of the game, which is OutRun 2 plus the SP tracks plus FUN ("Biggest difference is the controllers, but we've tweaked them with the help of AM2 to keep the right feel and control"), and info on the expanded Mission Mode ("We hope to divide opinion once again on the mission mode. We've split the missions into Heart Attack type stuff and Racing missions, as we know not everyone likes the same things as us. We've added kittens and lions as well as the obligatory fruit and there's even a beach ball to dribble.")

Finally, UKR would not be UKR without a little Richard Jacques worship, but unfortunately Sumo's Steven Lycett hasn't met him. Still, he does a good job of guessing: "I imagine he's really smartly dressed but with pop star hair. I bet he hangs round with top models and smokes fags with a cigarette holder. In fact I think I hate him for that."

Schadenfreude's Dung Ho! - The New Katamari?

February 17, 2006 6:21 PM | Simon Carless

dung_ho.jpg Our sister website Gamasutra has a new star columnist, in the form of German wunderkinds Schadenfreude Interactive. For last month's Gamasutra column they presented a postmortem of their avian RTS Age Of Ornithology - this month, they're explaining the history of the Black Forest-based studio in some charming detail.

Firstly, CEO Karsden Mörderhäschen explains the genesis of the firm: "After some success in the 1980s with my Commodore 64 arcade clone Wurstzeit (Sausage Time), I founded Schadenfreude Interactive with my best friend and fellow programmer, Bruno Schwartzritter. Bruno is the author of Mutantkameleschlagen, a delightful game inspired by Jeff Minter's Attack of the Mutant Camels. We are all very proud of Bruno, as he is here considered to be the Alexei Pajitnov of the Black Forest."

But the biggest revelation is perhaps of a precursor to the Keita Takahashi classic: "Two years ago we had a console game in pre-production entitled Dung Ho!, which allowed one to play as a dung beetle rolling a giant ball of -- the name says it all, ja? I got this idea while watching an Animal Planet special on dung beetles in the wee hours of the morning (I was perhaps delirious, having eaten some bad sauerbraten)... Dung Ho!'s game mechanics were indeed very similar to Katamari Damacy, and so we could not continue development for fear of legal repercussions."

Aw, what a shame. Why not console yourself with the new Katamari Damacy webgame, and a slice of bratwurst?

Bionic 20,000 X360 Achievements Man Speaks!

February 17, 2006 12:02 PM | Simon Carless

stking.jpg The absolutely excellent Xbox 360 Gamerscore-related site Achieve360Points has just posted a mini-interview with crazy-obsessive X360 gamer ST TheKing, who has, unbelievably, already exceeded 20,000 Gamer Points for the Xbox 360.

Given that there's only about 35 games released for the Xbox 360 so far, and about half of these are Xbox Live Arcade titles (which only have a maximum score of 200 points, whereas retail titles have a 1000 max score), ST's current score of 20,350 shows awesome power, and the Quebec native notes of himself: "I'm a single, 20 year old guy. I go to college and play games. I have been a gamer since I was 7, when I got the NES; since then gaming has been in my blood. I like to think I'm a perfectionist, hence my determination to get every single achievement in every game."

He also comments on the hardest achievement he's got ("the No Crash Victory: Single Races achievement from Ridge Racer 6 because it's both really hard and time consuming"), and the hardest that he hasn't yet got ("That would be the 100 wins in survival in Dead or Alive 4. One of my friends has been able to pull it off, but I don't like this game enough to put the time in to get it and I'm not that good at it either.") Admire, and worship.

Monk Gets Compulsively Game-Picky

February 17, 2006 6:08 AM | Simon Carless

monk.jpg Reliable web game sensei JayIsGames has put up a mini-review of the free 'Monk's Mind Game' Flash game, a particularly neat web browser game find.

As Jay explains: "Monk is a detective with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) in a show of the same name on the USA network. To increase exposure for the show, and to generate traffic to the show's website, a new game has been launched that focuses on the trivial and repetitive tasks that Monk might face on a daily basis."

Turns out that "Monk's Mind game features 32 Wario Ware-style mini-games that a player must complete, three (3) times of increasing difficulty, to win" - we particularly enjoy the cutlery straightening, but we were never cool in school, like Tony Shalhoub.

Xbox 360 Gets More Little Blog Helpers

February 17, 2006 12:01 AM | Simon Carless

x36.jpg Over at the weblog of Jason 'Loonyboi' Bergman, he's been rather handy and pointed out some new-ish official Xbox 360-related blogs, as posted by real Microsoft employees about real X360-related shenanigans.

As Jason explains: "Major Nelson's blog has been required reading for a while now, but Microsoft has done A Good Thing and expanded their outreach to include two more blogs...Gamerscore is entertaining for me, as it's actually from the Xbox PR team, but the most interesting of the three Xbox journals is the new Xbox Team blog. This is just all kinds of fun."

We actually particularly enjoyed a somewhat lengthy PR mini-rant against a recent Next-Gen article that was headlined 'Xbox Live Arcade GM Jabs Nintendo, Sony'. The Microsoft PR person, John Porcaro, notes testily: "Take a look at the summary. The context of the story is [Greg Canessa] comparing Nintendo’s future Virtual Console with Xbox Live Arcade, and how classic games are just a subset of what we’re doing online, but the summary implies that Greg is dismissing the entire back catalog of Nintendo games." And thereby invoking fanboooy wraaaaaath.

Capcom Conference Reveals Karting, Fashion Gems!

February 16, 2006 3:51 PM | Simon Carless

re4ada.jpg As always, the seething piranha waters of the Gaming-Age Forums are dangerously frenzied at this time of year, with plenty of press days and game announcements going on, but a particularly funny thread based around today's Capcom Gamers Day press event in Las Vegas has a lot of forum ooze-dwellers pretty confused.

According to 'well-placed' posters Amir0x and Duckroll, some of the newly announced titles from Vegas include Breath of Fire: Dragon Sin for DS ("From the developers of Megaman EXE... all new story featuring Ryu and Nina), Resident Evil DS 2 ("RE3 on the DS (but it's called DS 2)"), and Devil May Cry: Virgil Kart Tournament for PSP ("Characters from DMC1-3... Darkest and more mature kart racer ever.")

But perhaps the coup de grace? Resident Evil 4: Ada's New Dress for PSP ("Brand new adventure in the RE world... Help Ada explore the jungles of Peru in search of her new dress... Over 150 different clothing pieces to collect... Find Fashion Magazine hidden around the game as "recipes" to combine clothing into dresses.") These titles sound pretty darn smart, especially the RE4 side-story, and we're really looking forward to more cleverly made-up but actually plausible game announcements in the near future.

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