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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 June, 2006

Gamerbytes Woofs Its Way Into Existence

June 29, 2006 5:02 PM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/gbytes.jpg Well, whaddya know? GameSetWatch has a brand new sibling, in the form of user-submitted game news site Gamerbytes, which 'soft launched' today, whatever 'soft launched' means.

Anyhow, it's "a new community site designed to link you to the best game related stories and content on the web", or so it says on the tin - and it has a cute dog logo, and basically, you can submit any video game-related story you like, and then your peers will vote it up and down. Right now, it only takes 2 votes to get onto the front page, so if you want to post your own stories to the site and you have a willing friend, please feel welcome to start gaming the system immediately!

And yes, we know you've probably seen this idea somewhere before (the site is based on the Pligg code, incidentally!), but that doesn't mean to say we can't attract a different set of people for a game-specific version of these 'power to the people' Web-centric sites. Also, the logo has a dog in it! So go poke at it a bit and submit some neat stuff, quick.

Canada's Mario Canstruction Exposed!

June 29, 2006 2:10 PM | Simon Carless

mariocan2s.jpg As we reported yesterday, relayed on from the Canadian newswires, the wondrous news debuted that "Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction [are] to build world's largest metal Super Mario in Dundas Square" in Toronto.

Wha? It's explained: "On June 29 Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction invite you to experience the world's largest Super Mario structure made entirely of canned goods. Come see this charitable event and unique tribute to Super Mario in recognition of Nintendo DS game New Super Mario Bros. becoming the fastest-selling video game in Canada."

Well, GSW reader Duane Brown actually bothered to turn up and take a couple of pictures of the wondrous canned Mario (thanks!), and we present them above and below! We can just about make out that the pipe is made of coffee, and Mario's braces of canned tuna - we leave it to you to figure out the rest.

mariocans.jpg

Of course, we'd like to point out that this is _real_ investigative journalism at work here - we're waiting for our Pulitzer! Where is it?!

Profiling 'Luigi's Coin Quest', Hacksterpieced

June 29, 2006 11:31 AM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/hackster.jpg We still love Vintage Computing's 'Hacksterpiece Theater' segments, and the latest one is up now, discussing the absolutely excellent NES ROM hack Luigi's Coin Quest from DahrkDaiz.

It's explained: "Shortly after completing his 2004 magnum opus, Mario Adventure, DahrkDaiz got straight to work on a totally new hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 which would feature Luigi in the starring role, eschewing the usual Mario vehicle cliché. Luigi’s Coin Quest, as it would be titled, would have numerous similarities with his previous SMB3 hack, but would greatly improve upon them. Over the next eight months, only one world of this epic project would be finished. And yet, despite being incomplete, the resulting work is one of the most sophisticated and highly playable examples of sheer technical mastery in the field of NES game hacking that the gaming world has never seen".

What's more: "The object of Luigi’s Coin Quest is to find a special coin in each level. Every stage has at least one rounded switch block that looks similar to the “!” switch blocks in Super Mario World. Hitting this switch will reveal the coin somewhere in the level, which you then have to find and collect to end the stage. The original idea for the game’s structure was that “boss fights” with the Koopa Kids would end each world. You’d then enter a warp pipe in the overworld — completing another extended transitional level in the process — and when you came out, you’d be at a new world map with new levels." Neeeet!

COLUMN: 'Game Rag Slapdown' - An Open Apology

June 29, 2006 9:06 AM |

I'm losing it...[The 'Game Rag Slapdown' is an exclusive bi-weekly Thursday feature written by The Game Rag's Nathan Smart that's always video game related, sometimes funny ha ha, but mostly funny hee hee (and sometimes funny, period). This week, Nathan Smart apologizes on behalf of the entire video game community for its role in this year's E3 over-attendance debacle.]

I keep having to tell people about my trip to E3 and with each telling I am asked if it was as fun as it sounds. Of course, I say that it wasn't - just like every other person that has gone to E3 has told me. It really stinks to have to admit that they are right because I imagined E3 as video game utopia.

The main reason everyone says it stinks is because of the sheer amount of people. I like people and so that didn't seem like an issue - that is, until I started my 3-day-wait-in-line experience at the LA Convention Center. I'm no stranger to waiting in line (I mean, I live about an hour away from Cedar Point) but my feet have never hurt more.

I was always angry at the "big guys" for being mad that the "little guys" got to go to E3 - but now I understand their anger. I am one of these little guys - people that don't really make a living writing about games or people that make a living writing about video games but still suck at it. I really do feel sorry for the main guys and I'm here to apologize on behalf of all my little brothers and sisters.

Nothing says "I'm sorry" like the phrase "I'm sorry" so here you go:

I'm sorry.

Now, with the apology out of the way, let's get to the people who I'm speaking for:

-Kid whose business parents got her in
-Japanese person whose fashion sense got him in
-NGage Booth
-Bloggy Bloggerton and his Video Game Round-Up Gang (all 20 of them)
-Family Guy fan who snuck into meet Adam West and quote pop culture reference after pop culture reference after pop culture reference after unfunny script joke
-Guy recording phone message from Charles Martinet
-Charles Martinet
-WoW fan who just couldn't wait to add 5 more minutes to his 100 hours of play time
-GameSetWatch columnist

Again, we're all very sorry that we ruin your E3 experience every year. We hope that you will forgive us and allow us some time to adjust to our E3-less future. We may relapse and show up next year.

[Nathan Smart is a fake news writer for The Game Rag and really enjoys the benefits of it (no facts, no research, no real interviews). He also does Bobby McFerrin versions of indie rock songs with his one man group Indie Blockedappella. He thinks things are funny.]

Shooter Making For Dummies

June 29, 2006 5:15 AM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/gglad.jpg Haven't linked to Postman's Shoot The Core shmup page for a good while, so is great to see he has a new weblog post about 'Shooter Making For Dummies', presumably endangering himself with possible lawsuits from the 'For Dummies' book guys, haw.

He notes: "Luckily there are a handful of shmup level editors that can make creating levels in shmups easy enough for simpletons like us to tackle it. These SLE's are few and far between, but I feel that creators who took the time to release such tools to the public should be acknowledged", and goes on to discuss tools such as Dezaemon Construction Kit ("These spanned many consoles from Super Nintendo to Sega Saturn, however were never released in the US. Therefore creating a game can be very difficult without understanding what exactly is going on".)

But he reveals: "My favorite of the bunch, and the only one I've spend some actual time with making levels, Galactic Gladiator Level Editor. After reading some simple directions, the GGLE makes it very easy for you to make some killer scenarios for the Gladiator game." Hey, fun DIY shmup action for all!

VGCharts Sheds Light On Mysterious Sales

June 29, 2006 2:25 AM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/vgcharts.jpg On the cavernous morass that is NeoGAF, one of the commenters has revealed a new website that he's been working on - the intriguing VGCharts.org, which attempts to compile worldwide game sales data into one place, and is doing a pretty neat job (for North America and Japan, at least).

Now, Japanese charts have always been publically disclosed by Media Create, as far as we know, so being able to easily list the top 10 for 15th October 1995 in Japan (Tokimeki Memorial: Forever With You is number one, FWIW!) is insanely awesome.

However, it's slightly unclear where the U.S. monthly charts (such as this one for January 2005) are coming from. If it's a fresh-compiled source, then there should be no problems, but if it's in any way related to the annoyingly proprietary NPD Group data, then it's not clear how long the site will be up. Which is most irksome, cos having good, trackable sales data for the game biz in a public place would be a giant boon for all. Go go VGCharts!

Cave Story Music Remix Project Debuts

June 28, 2006 11:21 PM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/cavestory.png So, we've previously covered the extremely cultish PC dojin title Cave Story, as produced by Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya.

Well, now a bunch of remix-loving fans have created a double album of Cave Story music remixes based on Pixel's original songs for the game, and ending up with 22 music tracks plus a bonus track, a result of which the Cave Story LJ fanlisting reveals that Pixel commented: "Each track thrilled me and made me smile, and every one of them impressed me. Are these professionals? I'm so glad now that I made that game. ... I feel very fortunate." Hurray!

There's plenty of love on the official forums, too, though if you don't dig OCRemix-style guitars and synths VG mixxy styles, this may not be your cup of tea, but some dig it a lot: "These tracks are awesome, and have totally rekindled my love for Cave Story. I clearly have some favorites, mostly due to the fact that some of the originals are better than others, but in terms of quality of mixing, all of you did a fantastic job." [Via Indygamer.]

Dead Man's Tale Unearths 42 Entertainment

June 28, 2006 8:20 PM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/dmtale.jpg One of the few GSW semi-obsessions (along with Gizmondo and Gametap) is innovative ARG-totin' firm 4orty 2wo Entertainment, so we're pleased to note a new ARGN.com news story announcing their latest project, an IM-centered puzzle game promoting the Johnny Depp-tastic Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

ARGN explains: "Dead Man's Tale has led us to raise the Jolly Roger and lose ourselves in the world of Billy Bones, through the magic of Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger software. A promotion for the upcoming movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the IM-based game allows you to add Billy as a friend, and starting a conversation with the skeletal character moves you further into the story with text scripts and fun games and puzzles that load within the messenger window."

What's more, they've now uncovered an article at ad site Adotas confirming the webgame/IM hybrid, which sounds like fascinating stuff: "Live Messenger allows users to play a game or open an activity in one window while having a conversation in another, creating a relationship between the activity and conversation. In Dead Man’s Tale, one aspect utilizing this feature allows players to man the ship and beat enemies with cannon fire. One player assumes the role of the lookout while a second controls the cannon, all while being at their own separate computers. Other puzzles actually pit players against each other."

Reminder: Metal Gear Saga DVD GameSetCompetition Deadline

June 28, 2006 5:21 PM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/mgssaga.jpg A reminder, in case you missed last week's pretty darn deranged announcement, courtesy of Frank, which revealed our latest excellent GameSetCompetition, thanks to our friends at Konami and Kojima Productions, we're gonna repeat it, along with the deadline:

"Would YOU like to own a brand new, slightly bloodstained copy of Metal Gear Saga: Volume 1 on DVD? Of course you would! Here's how. Simply answer the following bit of videogame trivia:

In Konami's original Metal Gear Solid, what CODEC frequency is used to contact Meryl Silverburgh? (hint: back of the case!)

Please send your answers to editors@gamesetwatch.com any time before Friday, June 30th at 12 noon PST. There will be ten winners randomly picked from the correct answers, the judges' decision is final, so don't give me no guff. You wouldn't want Secret Agent Ai Ai knocking on your door, now would you?"

Super Mario Canstruction Menaces Toronto

June 28, 2006 2:20 PM | Simon Carless

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/mscary.jpg Don't say we don't bring you all the big stories here at GSW. The latest, as released over the Canadian newswires, is that "Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction to build world's largest metal Super Mario in Dundas Square" in Toronto.

Wha? It's explained: "On June 29 Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction invite you to experience the world's largest Super Mario structure made entirely of canned goods. Come see this charitable event and unique tribute to Super Mario in recognition of Nintendo DS game New Super Mario Bros. becoming the fastest-selling video game in Canada."

But wait, there's more: "Consisting of more than 4,000 cans, weighing 2,600 lbs and reaching close to 10-feet high, the Super Mario structure will contain cans specifically selected for their colour to best replicate the Nintendo video game icon, as designed by Canstruction architects. All food used in the structure will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank." Whoa, and check out the Canstruction event winners from 2005 - Jaws and the tornado are awesome! Toronto-ites, please go take pics and mail them to us!

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