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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 October, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 Ad Teaches You How To Not Survive A Zombie Attack

October 27, 2009 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Yes, more zombie news you can use! Electronic Arts and Valve are putting that $25 million marketing budget to use, producing a video guide for surviving "the L4D2 virus" outbreak. The lessons are obvious, going over undead identification and useful melee weapons, but who knows, maybe there's someone out there that hasn't already picked up these tips from hundreds of zombie films, shows, games, comics, etc.

The bumbling British actors and fart jokes give the video a Shaun of the Dead feel, but the writing and setup are far less hilarious. You'd think Valve of all developers would have no trouble producing an entertaining promotional clip. If you're looking for a better presented collection of rules for dealing with zombies, you would be better off watching Zombieland or reading Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival Guide.

[Via RPS]

Zombie Crunch: Capy Working On Undead Strategy Game

October 27, 2009 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

After receiving favorable reviews for its gorgeous PSN puzzler Critter Crunch and early praise for upcoming DS strategy/puzzle hybrid Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, indie studio Capy (or Capybara Games) is trying its hand on the popular zombie genre, according to a government funding document dug up by sister site GamerBytes.

The project description doesn't reveal a platform (presumably on a handheld or a digital download service) or an expected release date for Zombie Tactics, but it has some useful details:

"Zombie Tactics brings a mixture of strategy gameplay elements into the horror genre, dropping players into the heart of a devastating zombie apocalypse with nothing but their wits to get them out alive. As players fend for themselves, they will search for other survivors to add to their team, scavenge for weapons and supplies, and fight their way to freedom through an array of city settings."

This document was posted last February, so if Zombie Tactics is still alive (or un-alive, hur hur), Capy has already had a significant chunk of time to work on it. Another interesting interactive game in the same listing of funding recipients: DrinkBox Studios's About A Blob, a game following "an innocent little creature that grows and grows until it defeats mankind and consumes the planet."

Silent Hill, Resident Evil Amigurumi

October 27, 2009 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Definitely not as frightening as the Silent Hill cosplay we featured last May, this "amigurumi" nurse bunny is so cute, you almost forget about the blood-soaked rags wrapped around its face. Fortunately, this crocheted version doesn't have arms, so you won't have to worry about the nurse bunny pulling a scalpel from behind its back.

Craftster Moon Yen also made similar amigurumis design for Pyramid Head (with a removable helm!) and Resident Evil 4's chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador, both shown after the break. These three "Moon Bun" creations are part of the 31-piece set the artist created for October, which is filled with other creepy creations like Count Dracula and Resident Evil 2's Licker.

GameSetLinks: Mario And Reset And Luigi And Alice

October 27, 2009 12:00 AM | Simon Carless

[GameSetLinks is GameSetWatch's daily link round-up post, culling from hundreds of weblogs and outlets to compile the most interesting longform writing, links, and criticism on the art and culture of video games.]

So, this set of GameSetLinks are actually a combination of about four weeks' worth, so don't be surprised if some of them are a little ancient - but I'm doing this at least partly because almost nobody else does, so hopefully, you haven't seen most of these linked elsewhere.

Some of the neatness includes a great Nintendo localization interview, Spiderweb's Jeff Vogel on DRM, the AV Club's excellent mini alt.game reviews, a good interview with Farbs on (the pictured) Captain Forever, and more besides.

Toot toot:

Action Button Dot Net reviews 'Reset'
Just wanted to point to because it's a neat indie game and a typically avant review, which I quite enjoy.

gedblog » Blog Archive » Losing iReligion
More iPhone Gold Rush participants washing against the rocks, I'm afraid. Interesting updates and comments discussion.

The Bottom Feeder: Some Kind Words About DRM. For Once.
An interesting perspective from Spiderweb's Jeff Vogel: 'I've tried to be ethical in all the ways I want as a consumer. The result? My games get pirated like crazy, and I have to charge a lot to stay in business.'

Braid » Blog Archive » Hiring another programmer.
Full-body motion tracking, eh? Natal-icious! (I guess it could be something else...)

1UP's RPG Blog : Mario & Luigi Interview: Bihldorff's Inside Story
Treehouse is hands down the most under-rated localizers around, because people conflate them with Nintendo's 'magic' somehow.

Kill Screen - A Thank You and an Apology » Updates — Kickstarter
Ah, so Jamin and Chris reveal the full list of KillScreen contributors - looks like a blast, folks.

Sawbuck Gamers, October 12, 2009 | Games | The A.V. Club
By far the most interesting mini-review section in games, thanks to impeccable picking of titles.

We Have a Winner! Captain Forever Creator Farbs Talks to DIY [Interview] | DIYgamer
A nice interview with IGF China winner Farbs about the extremely neat Captain Forever.

GDC 2010 Reveals New Social Game, iPhone Summits, Opens Call For Submissions

October 26, 2009 6:00 PM | Simon Carless

[Just a note that GDC 2010 has just announced new summits on social gaming and iPhone games, as well as the return of the Indie Games Summit and more, and you can submit now if you have lectures suitable for any of the eligible Summits, neet.]

Game Developers Conference organizers have announced that the call for submissions is open for the 2010 event’s suite of Summits, which take place on the first two days of GDC in San Francisco, March 9th-10th 2010.

This year’s GDC Summit line-up includes two new events in the form of the Social & Online Games Summit and iPhone Games Summit, alongside the GDC Mobile/Handheld, Independent Games, and Serious Games Summits, which are all accepting submissions through November 13th.

Kongregate Launches Left 4 Dead 2-Sponsored Zombie Meta Game

October 26, 2009 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Leading up to Left 4 Dead 2's Xbox 360 and PC release on November 17th, Electronic Arts has partnered with Kongregate to launch a four-week-long 10/23 - 11/20) meta game on the social Flash gaming portal.

During Infected Fury Month, a portion of Kongregate users is turned into zombies, while another group is designated as survivors. After learning the meta game's basic mechanics on a Left 4 Dead 2 branded section of the site, the zombies can earn points by infecting other players to turn them into the undead, while the survivors pick up points by training others to become survivors.

Infecting/training new players is accomplished through chat or by visiting a player's Kongregate profile page and hitting a Left 4 Dead 2 button. Survivors will have a glowing silver shield displayed on their avatar while the zombies will have their avatar and profile pages grayed out and spattered with blood.

Through the branded Left 4 Dead 2 area, Kongregate members will also be able to read situation updates, track which chat rooms are populated with zombies, and watch the infection spread. They can also switch their avatars into Left 4 Dead 2's four survivor characters or one of the boss infected (e.g. Charger, Wandering Witch).

"Infected Fury Month demonstrates the truly effective benefits of viral branding on Kongregate. We have over six million highly engaged gamers who will love getting involved with other players this way," says Kongregate's chief revenue officer Lee Uniacke.

"As Kongregate players experience yet another fun way to interact within the community, we’re building additional consumer excitement for next month’s launch of Left 4 Dead 2 on Xbox 360 and PC. Users on our site will be deeply enmeshed in the fiction of Left 4 Dead 2 by the time it hits store shelves."

With Valve planning to spend $25 million advertising Left 4 Dead 2's launch, I expect a lot more unusual promotions like this one.

Match Four, Help A Blue Cat With Arkedo Series - 02 Swap!

October 26, 2009 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Arkedo, one of my favorite indie developers since Big Bang Mini and Nervous Brickdown for DS, released 02 Swap! over the weekend, its second Arkedo Series experimental game on Xbox Live Indie Games.

While 01 Jump, the first Arkedo series release, was a simple but very enjoyable retro-styled platformer, 02 Swap is a match-four puzzler similar to Nintendo's Puzzle League series, except it features a blue cat carrying a stick with a gloved hand on it.

According to Arkedo, this is the first of its games to actually feature a story, with the plot consisting of you helping "King Kat" get his castle back. I'm not sure how matching colored tiles accomplishes that goal, but with the game priced at $3 (a free demo is also available), I doubt anyone interested in 02 Swap will mind.

COLUMN: 'Game Mag Weaseling': Mag Roundup 10/24/09

October 26, 2009 12:00 PM |

['Game Mag Weaseling' is a weekly column by Kevin Gifford which documents the history of video game magazines, from their birth in the early '80s to the current day.]

Yipes! I take a week off and the mags just pile up on my doorstep! Let's get right to business with my take with this installment of Mag Roundup's biggest event:

Game Informer November 2009

gi-0911.jpg

Cover: Epic Mickey

Heavens be! This is quite a redesign indeed. I talked a bit about Game Informer's new website earlier, and I still like it a lot -- the sort of thing that 1UP was meant to be to Ziff's magazines back when it launched in 2003, something that didn't quite happen due to a lack of urgency and many other reasons.

With that in mind, I want to concentrate my discussion this column on the print mag itself. What I like:

- The general design now takes far more advantage of the wide-body page size than before. Feature content spreads out to the far edges all the time; those edges become a natural place for long sidebars that are interesting but not important enough to interrupt the main text with.

- Things look a lot cleaner, with white the color of choice nearly everywhere except in the main feature.

- There is no back-cover advertisement and instead the front-cover art wraps around. I hope to the heavens that this is permanent. The cover this issue is unequivocally awesome; hopefully devs will be as kind to GI with their art assets in future installments.

- The Skate 3 sub-feature is a lovely piece of clean design, although the ending ("So grab your board, get your friends together, and get ready to hit it") is a bit PR-y. The Epic Mickey piece is designed more in the old GI tradition, but that's not necessarily a bad thing -- the look still fits in with the rest of the mag, and it's killer reading, mainly thanks to Warren Spector's intelligent enthusiasm and the sheer, er, epicness of the project.

- The back-page quiz (which I am guessing was a lot of work to compose and not all that popular with readers) has been replaced with what I hope is a regular procession of "neat game trivia" -- in this month, a graphical examination of the "Nanosuit 2.0" from the upcoming Crysis sequel. This is a vast improvement on what was there before.

What I don't like:

Best Of GamerBytes - Nice Muscle!

October 26, 2009 11:00 AM | Simon Carless

squarefacedcat.jpg[We round up the top console digital download news of the last week from GamerBytes, including brand-new game announcements and scoops from the world of Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, WiiWare, PSP Minis and DSiWare.]

This week has been all about the two extremes - the casual and the hardcore. On one hand, you have games like Tower Bloxx Deluxe, Picture Books, and Domo minigames, while on the other you have Panzer Generals, Trine, Lost Winds and the Oddworld series. If you're in either of those camps, you'll be pretty happy with this week's offerings.

This week has also been a fairly big week for Xbox Live Indie Games - a lot of good, quality games have been released. So if you're one of those fellows who never wanders into those waters, we've got a handy guide or two for you to look at.

Here are the highlights for the last seven days:

GamerBytes Originals

Old XBL Indie Games Drop In Price - What You Should Pick Up?
"As of today, the 200MSP price point no longer exists on the Xbox Live Indie Games, so what should you pick up for a single dollar?"

Store Updates

XBLA Update - Tower Bloxx Deluxe, Panzer Generals, Magic TG DLC
NA PSN Store Update - Trine, Oddworld, Lumines Price Cut & DLC, Mahjongg Artifacts And Vempire
EU PSN Store Update - Red Bull X-Fighters, Cheap Everyday Shooter
NA Nintendo Update - Lost Winds 2, Shootanto, Rygar And 5 Domo-Kun DSiWare Titles
EU Nintendo Update - Picture Books, Protöthea, Shinobi, Dragons And A Little Bit of... Dr Kawashima

Demon's Souls As Played By Japanese Comedy Duo

October 26, 2009 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Playing off of Demon's Souls infamous difficulty, Japanese publisher Enterbrain recently put out a DVD of comedy duo America Zarigani (American Crayfish?) attempting to clear the PlayStation 3 game. It's a very Game Center CX-style affair, with the two comedians locking themselves in a room with just a camera, a PS3, a monitor, a copy of the From Software game, and a coffee machine to keep themselves awake while they try to plow through Demon's Souls.

Like many other similar Japanese video game shows, their playthrough is fun to watch even if you don't understand what they're saying. Comparing what's going on in their game with their reactions, I'm sure you can pick out the yells of frustration against their celebratory cheers. If you happen to live in Japan, you can grab a copy of the DVD from Enterbrain's online shop for ¥5,040 ($54.67).

[Via Eastern Mind]

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