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Archive For October, 2011

Cancelled New Ghostbusters II For NES Was Planned For North American Release

October 27, 2011 3:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A recently discovered prototype version of HAL's New Ghostbusters II for the Nintendo Entertainment System reveals that the game was once considered for North American release prior to the announcement of a competing Ghostbusters II title from Activision.

New Ghostbusters II, shown above, is an overhead-view action game that was only released in Japan and PAL territories. It's not the same game as Activision's own pile of a Ghostbusters II adaptation, which no doubt ruined Christmas for many kids in 1990. The decision to cancel New Ghostbusters II likely stemmed from either licensing issues or an unwillingness to compete with Activision's offering.

While Activision's game is depressingly bad, New Ghostbusters II is quite playable. It's developed by a talented staff (including current Nintendo president Satoru Iwata), and boasts a cooperative multiplayer mode, five playable characters, and a catchy soundtrack. Though the PAL and Japanese versions of the game have been in circulation for some time, the unreleased North American version was only recently distributed, and can be found at Lost Levels.

PBS Arts Talks Importance Of Indie Games

October 27, 2011 12:00 PM | Eric Caoili

PBS Arts' Off Book series, which looks to "showcase new and under-exposed art forms and reach arts communities online", has produced this really slick episode on the importance of video games as "a storytelling medium" and "a place for self-expression"

This video features interviews with several folks from NYC's gaming community, including GameLab head Eric Zimmerman, NYU visiting assistant arts professor Jesper Juul, Gamasutra editor-at-large Leigh Alexander, and Babycastles curator Syed Salahuddin.

The group talks about the evolution of video games, the emergence and popularity of indie titles in recent years, the use of choice in marquee games like Portal and BioShock, and even Cactus/Doomlaser's immensely weird Flash game Hot Throttle.

Oh, and it also features chiptune songs by Trash80, 4mat, and one of my favorite groups lately, The Shortsleeves. Click those links, listen to their music, and make your life a million times better!

Take A Free Jetpack Joyride

October 27, 2011 9:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Apple is running a promotion that you'll want to jump on if you haven't yet bought Jetpack Joyride, the latest iOS game from Halfbrick Studios (Fruit Ninja) and GSW contributor Ryan Langley -- all you have have to do is "Like" the App Store on Facebook, and you'll get a free download code for the title!

I'm not sure how long Apple will be giving away the game, but even if you end up paying for it, you won't go broke, as it's only $0.99. You'll get a lot for your money there, as it's a really enjoyable and addictive automatic running game, that has you flying on a machine gun jetpack. Brilliant stuff.

G.rev's Shooter Under Defeat Coming To Xbox 360 And PS3 In 2012

October 27, 2011 3:00 AM | Danny Cowan

While homebrew developers like NG:Dev Team continue to supply the Dreamcast with new titles long after its demise, arcade shooter developer G.rev was supporting the console in its final moments, with a port of Under Defeat arriving as one of the Dreamcast's final three retail releases in Japan.

Fondly recalling the Dreamcast with a heavy heart and tears in its eyes (or so I'd imagine), G.rev announced the upcoming release of Under Defeat HD for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The upcoming port will be released in Japan in 2012; an overseas release has not yet been announced.

Inspired by Psikyo's Zero Gunner series, Under Defeat is a vertically scrolling shooter in which players can alter the angle of their shots to a limited extent. Depending on who you talk to, it's either a fitting end to the Dreamcast's reign or an uninspired shooter with crappy cone trees. Hopefully, the tree graphics will be tightened up during the game's transition to HD.

[via Andriasang]

Preorders Open For Ensky's Stylish Mario Towels

October 27, 2011 12:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Japanese manufacturer Ensky will launch a series of handsome Mario-themed towels in Japan in December, online retailer NCSX reports.

The designs are certainly evocative -- the title screen towel instantly triggers a jolt of recognition, and I can practically hear a repeating coin sound effect ring out as Mario swims through the sea of coins in the lower-left sample. I like these!

The towels measure 13.77" wide and 33.46" long -- not quite beach towel-sized, as NCSX notes, but they're not exactly dishrags, either. Whether they're worth an asking price of $23.90 each depends on how big of a Mario fan you are, however.

First Gun:Lord Trailer Shows Off New Turrican-style Game For NeoGeo, DreamCast

October 26, 2011 9:00 PM | Eric Caoili

It's been nearly half a year since we first glimpsed Gun-Lord, the latest from German indie NG:Dev Team (Fast Striker, Last Hope), but with the game coming out in just two months for NeoGeo MVS arcade setups -- releases for AES systems and Dreamcasts slated for 2012 -- we finally have a look of the game in motion.

It's described as a "Eurostyle Platformer", which means it takes a lot of inspiration from the Turrican series, from the morph ball function to many of the weapons you can pick up (seven types). Even the way your character holds his gun while simultaneously running and firing looks straight from Turrican.

Not that that's a problem! There are plenty of people who want to play a new 2D run 'n gun, and this one offers 9 stages, 16-bit hand-drawn grpahics, more than 45 enemy types, online rankings via code, huge bosses (check out that weird green cyborgish thing around the 7:30 mark in the trailer), and 60 FPS gameplay.

You can preorder Gun-Lord now in various bundles for your system of choice here.

Warcraft I With A CGA Palette

October 26, 2011 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili


My memories of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, mostly played from a demo disc packed in free with a PC gaming rag purchased back in the day, are eclipsed by the hundreds of hours I spent with its more popular sequel, so it's difficult for me to remember what the original looked like.

I remember that its graphics weren't nearly as nice as Warcraft II's, but it also didn't look this retro. That's because these screenshots are CGA (Color Graphics Adapter) mock-ups by João Victor G. Costa, re-imagining the real-time strategy game that started it all in four colors.

Make sure to have a look at Costa's DeviantArt gallery (a bit NSFW), which also has some neat mock-ups for a modern bro-shooter take on Blizzard's Lost Vikings games, as well as some interesting pixelart for Space Invaders, Cheetahmen, Megaman X, and plenty of classic Nintendo titles.

Capy's Super T.I.M.E. Force Is Out To 'Erase History's Dumb Mistakes'

October 26, 2011 3:00 PM | Eric Caoili

If you paged through that massive collection of nearly 600 Independent Games Festival competition submissions posted yesterday, you might have seen this gem from Capy, maker of several titles we've lauded too many times to count (Sword & Sworcery, M&M: Clash of Heroes, Critter Crunch).

The Toronto-based indie debuted this new trailer for Super T.I.M.E. Force today, and it looks like an exciting sidescrolling shooter thing with bullets everywhere and missiles you can hang onto. We also have all-caps description posted on the game's IGF page:

THE YEAR: 198X

THE PROBLEM: EVERYTHING'S GONE TO SHIT

THE MISSION: ERASE HISTORY'S DUMB MISTAKES

THE TEAM: T.I.M.E (TEMPORAL INEVITABILITY MANIPULATION EXPERTS), AN ELITE SQUAD OF TIME-TRAVELING BADASSES

QUALIFICATIONS: MAXIMUM BADASSERY

THE PLAN: JUMP THROUGH TIME AND KILL STUFF THAT NEVER SHOULD'VE HAPPENED

Some of the stuff you'll be killing include "covert alien invasions, nazis, [and] boy bands." Of course, altering events in the past could have negative consequences, such as "pissing of God, total annihilation of all matter of existence, [and] accidentally dating your mother."

I can't wait to see more of this! Well, except for the dating my mother part. Sign me up for the rest.

Elevator Action Deluxe Gets Time Gal, Arkanoid Ship As Playable Characters

October 26, 2011 12:00 PM | Eric Caoili


Square Enix's modern remake of Elevator Action on PSN is welcoming several fun characters from classic Taito games as downloadable content, starting today with Sayo from Japan-only shooter KiKi KaiKai (who would later appear as Pocky in Pocky & Rocky).

Next month, Reika Kirishima from FMV adventure game Time Gal will make her debut in Elevator Action Deluxe, followed by a sprite version of the spy hero from the original Elevator Action in December, and the Valus paddle/ship from Arkanoid in January.

That's all great news for Taito fans, but what makes it even better is that all this DLC is free! I know I'm thankful that I won't need to shell out any cash just so I could get to the bottom of how exactly the Arkanoid ship would play in Elevator Action.

[Via Game Watch]

In-Depth: PlayStation Network Analysis, September 2011

October 26, 2011 11:30 AM | Ryan Langley

[Console digital editor Ryan Langley examines PlayStation Network's debuts and successes during September 2011, using leaderboard and chart data to analyze their sales and downloads.]

This September, PlayStation Network took some well needed prerogative with a new promotion -- PSN Play, featuring four titles, alongside 17 more game releases.

But how has it stacked up alongside XBLA's Summer of Arcade promotion? We intend to find out. Thanks to the help of our friends over at PSNStores.com, we're able to give much more data than we could have done alone.

We've looked at the Leaderboards for the games we could follow (noting how they may fare against their Xbox Live Arcade cousins) and the officially released Top 20 games in North America. We've also determined how well the games have fared with reviewers using the Metacritic rating system.

Play For PSN

The PlayStation Storefront was pushing a new promotion for the majority of September -- "PSN Play", bringing four games into the limelight. Within that were two titles we could follow, The Baconing and BloodRayne Betrayal.

Unfortunately, neither title was very well received in reviews, and both only added around 15,600 players each to their Leaderboards. That's more than their Xbox Live Arcade cousins, (9,446 for The Baconing and 5,614 for BloodRayne), but it's still not a whole lot.

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