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Archive For September, 2011

Vintage Best Buy Ad Features Sweet Gaming Deals From 1996

September 29, 2011 5:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Some enterprising individual has archived a Best Buy store flyer from September of 1996, which makes for a fascinating read 15 years later, considering how far technology has advanced in the interim.

PC-wise, the ad pushes a pair of $2,000 prebuilt machines each offering 16 MB (yes, that's megabytes) of RAM, up to two gigabytes of hard drive space, and built-in 28.8k modems. A more expensive model features a 180 MHz Power PC processor -- kiss that 486SX piece of junk you call a computer goodbye and start surfing the information superhighway (via America Online) in style!

The flyer also features a number of PC, Sega Genesis, and early PlayStation games, including Madden NFL 97, which could be yours for just $43.99. Bonus: it comes with a free mini-football! I have to admit, though, that I would still be willing to pay $17 for a new-in-box copy of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. That game is great. I'd probably pass on Pitfall and Wheel of Fortune, though.

Xbox Live Arcade Sale Spotlights Niche, Co-Op Titles

September 29, 2011 3:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Microsoft's infrequent Xbox Live Arcade sales usually aren't anything to get excited about -- I didn't buy Risk: Factions the first time it went on sale, and I wasn't interested the next five times it dropped in price -- but this week's "Extreme Shopping Sale" lineup is surprisingly robust, featuring a number of lesser-known greats alongside mainstream hits.

Along with big names like Shank, Trials HD, and Monday Night Combat, the sale also includes SNK Playmore's shoot-'em-up Trouble Witches Neo, Strider director Kouichi Yotsui's side-scrolling brawler Moon Diver, and the well-received Ikaruga-ish platformer Outland. Multiplayer gaming hub Co-Optimus notes that the majority of this week's sale-priced games also feature cooperative gameplay modes, making them worthwhile buys if you have some co-op buddies around.

The sale prices will remain in effect over the next week. Cheap Ass Gamer provides this list of all price-dropped content, and notes that an additional one-day sale is planned for September 30th, though featured titles have not yet been announced.

Red Cloud Rising Gets A Third Extension

September 29, 2011 1:00 AM | Matthew Hawkins

redcloudrising.jpg

Red Cloud Rising made its debut during this year's Game Play festival, and was originally supposed to end its run this past July 31. But due to critical acclaim and popular demand, it has received a third extension. Another block of tickets have been released, meaning the combination alternative reality game/performance piece that unfolds in the heart of Manhattan's financial district will now run until October 9.

It all kicks off with the player being interviewed for a possible job within Bydder Financial. He or she are put in a small group with fellow hopefuls, and are assigned the simple task of delivering an envelope. But along the way, the players come across a number of disgruntled and disturbed former employees. And it eventually becomes clear that Bydder has its hands in assorted questionable activities, all on a grand scale.

The gist of the game involves following the clues and uncovering the truth, but making sure that your potential boss doesn't catch on as well. Perhaps it's like every other ARG; Red Cloud Rising was my very first and only. But I personally was captivated by the sharp writing, topical subjects, and performances of those who help to drive everything forward.

Furthermore, it taps into its surroundings rather brilliantly. If you're going to have a wild goose chance in Manhattan, the Wall Street area provides the perfect combination of nooks, crannies, metaphors, plus much more, To purchase tickets, simply head towards The Brick Theater homepage.

Ducktales And Mega Man 3, Done In The Tune Of Final Fantasy 6

September 28, 2011 11:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

It's funny how popular sentiments can change over time. For example, when folks were trying to figure out which was better back in the day, the SNES or Genesis, the audio capabilities of both were inevitably brought up. And many in the early 90s agreed that the synth-y sound of Nintendo's machine was undeniably superior to the harsh, thick thuds that Sega's produced.

At least in my high school (I grew up in Washington State, where Nintendo was based, so perhaps everyone was biased). But today, opinions are far more mixed, and the Genesis definitely has its fans. Especially among those who appreciate chiptunes.

But speaking as a Sega audiophile (one who actually prefers the soundtracks of Mega Man 1-3 on the Genesis, as opposed to the NES originals, in some cases at least), even I'm impressed with CakeJarey 's SNES sounding take on the moon track from Ducktales, one of the holy grails among NES audiophiles.

Granted, the key detail is how the Final Fantasy VI sound engine was utilized, but still. Furthermore, the musical prowess of Square during that era is once again proven. After the cut is more of the same, but with the main theme from Mega Man 3. Which I will admit, blows away the one heard in Mega Man: Wily Wars.

Horizon Riders Is For Fans Of Sin & Punishment That Also Own Wii Fit

September 28, 2011 9:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

Nintendo's WiiWare has been a source of frustration and disappointment for many, to put it mildly; only a relatively low number of noteworthy (or simply decent) games have been able to call it their home, largely due to technical reasons. Super Meat Boy is perhaps the most well known casualty.

Whereas others have vanished without a trace. I still want to know what the deal is with the American release of La Mulana and the localized version of Monster World 4 (though the promised PSN version is a no show as well, so it might be Sega's fault there).

Then along comes Sabarasa, who some might recall were the publishers of the Jason Rohrer anthology for DSiWare, Alt-Play. Their latest release, Horizon Riders, is due next week and is worth checking out, especially if you're into light gun games.

The key detail here is how movement of the on-screen character can be achieved via the Wii Balance Board. Also, the bosses seem to exhibit some Japanese shump boss-like patterns. Generally speaking, it's one's wrists that become casualties of bullet hell games. Now your hips might be warn out too.

The use of the Balance Board is entirely optional, as is the Wii Zapper, but most owners of those extra hunks of plastic will no doubt appreciate a semi-decent reason to blow dust off of them. And Horizon Riders looks as good as any.

[via GoNintendo]

An Adventure Time Game Is What The Creator Wants As Well

September 28, 2011 7:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

adventuretime.jpg

If you're into video games, and especially if you read this site, there's a very good chance that you're also into Adventure Time on Cartoon Network. The first two seasons just came out on DVD yesterday, by the way.

It may also be less than a shock to hear that its creator, Pendleton Ward, is a big time video game fan also (as if the Game Boy-esque character BMO wasn't a dead give away). But he mostly admires their ability to tell a tale:

"I think games are amazing for telling stories. I don't think that people do that very often. I think story isn't always the most important thing to game designers, but I wish it were. I think that the best games have stories, and when I eventually make games, story will be front and center."

Ward goes on to state that he'd be delighted to work on a game based upon his show, which might happen if it remains popular. As for what it would be like:

"If it was a small budget I'd work to make a sidescroller, but if we had the largest budget in the world I'd love to make something like Oblivion, but set in the Adventure Time universe where it's a giant free-roaming world. It might be fun to make it have Monster Hunter style gameplay with Katamari graphics."

He also tells Game Informer that the upcoming season will feature plenty of zombies, due to him playing so much Dead Island during production.

One also has to wonder if he's a fan of Kirby 64, given how one stage takes place in a post-apoaolytpic earth, which is the same setting for Adventure Time.

AAAAA!!! Sequel Coming, Creative Contest Announced

September 28, 2011 5:00 PM | Eric Caoili


Dejobaan revealed it's working on a "semi-sequel" to AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, its exciting base-jumping title that was an Independent Games Festival award finalist last year.

The indie studio hasn't revealed a release date or specific details about the follow-up, but Dejobaan boasts that it will be "gobs faster, more fun, and more gorgeous." It also announced a creative competition for its fans.

Basically, you'll have an opportunity to create a fake ad that might appear in the game. All you need to do is grab an image from Morguefile, add a caption to "create a billboard that matches the Dejobaan indie spirit", and send it in.

If the team likes your submission, they'll give you a copy of the game when it's out and include your creation in one of its cities. Just make sure to send in your entry before the end of Friday -- winners will be announced the following Monday.

The Binding of Isaac Now Out On Steam

September 28, 2011 3:00 PM | Eric Caoili

The Binding of Isaac, the latest from Super Meat Boy/Gish co-creator Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl, is out for Windows and Mac today! It's a "randomly generated action RPG shooter with heavy roguelike elements", inspired by games like The Legend of Zelda, Smash TV, Spelunky, and Desktop Dungeons.

The game also features a twisted story:

"The game's story follows Isaac, a small naked boy who has escaped into the basement in an attempt to get awa from his mother who has been instructed by god to kill him to prove her devotion.

As Isaac, the player must make his way deeper and deeper into the cellar, fighting off hordes of his lost brothers and sister, finding special items that change his form and eventually facing off with his mother!"

The Binding of Isaac features 100+ items that give your hero different powers, 50+ enemy types, 20+ bosses, four chapters spanning eight levels, multiple endings, several unlockable classes, and more. Danny Baranowsky (Canabalt, Super Meat Boy) composed the soundtrack -- check it out here.

McMillen and Himsl have released The Binding of Isaac exclusively through Steam, and pricing it with a 10 percent discount this week at $5.

R-Type SMS And Its Special Level Disappearing From Virtual Console

September 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Just as Irem's R-Type makes its way to Android devices, the Sega Master System version of the side-scrolling shoot'em up will be soon disappearing from Wii's Virtual Console. According to Sega, the SMS port will be taken off the download service on September 30.

This follows several weeks after Irem removed its titles (e.g. various R-Type releases, Irem Arcade Classics, and various PSP games) and PlayStation Home lounges from Japan's PlayStation Network, hinting at serious troubles for the Hakusan-based developer.

Earlier this year, the company cancelled two significant titles, Disaster Report 4 and Bumpy Trot 2, both for the PS3. Even more bad news, veteran designer Kazuma Kujo left Irem in May to join new studio Granzella. At least the studio has new games still coming, like a Pachinko title for 3DS.

The TurboGrafx-16 version of R-Type remains on the Virtual Console, as does the SNES Super R-Type and R-Type III games, but completionists/series fans will lose something special with the removal of the SMS edition. HG101 outlined the port's unique offerings:

"It was brought to the system courtesy of Compile, who was know for various MSX and SMS shooters such as Aleste/Power Strike, and had a closing working relationship with Sega. While the port was obviously scaled down, it looks astounding for the time period, and other than the expected flickering and slowdown, made an excellent transition to the home screen.

The Sega Master System version also had a secret exclusive level. In the fourth stage, in the part where the screen is filled with those green dots, there's an opening in the ceiling at the top. Fly in that opening and go backwards, and you'll enter the secret level, complete with weird green frog mechanisms and a uber-freaky boss."

Make Sure To Wake Up Early Tomorrow For An SQ Party

September 28, 2011 11:00 AM | Eric Caoili

In the past year and a half, Square Enix has put out a number of appreciated albums featuring new, themed arrangements of popular songs from its franchises -- there was Love SQ, Chill SQ, More SQ, most recently SQ Chips, and the upcoming Cafe SQ release.

Now the company has put together a live concert, SQ Party Level 1, at Tokyo's 2.5D venue, with artists like Sexy-Synthesizer, DJ OMKT, and others performing their songs from the aforementioned albums. For fans of Square Enix soundtracks, this seems like a crucial event!

And if you wake up early enough tomorrow, you'll be able to catch a livestream on Ustream! Just make sure you're tuned in around 7:00AM EDT or 4:00AM PDT for the start of the show. 

[Via Destructoid]

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