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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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DS

Tingle's Rupee Land Probed Mysteriously

September 4, 2006 8:06 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/tingo.jpg Over at Game|Life, Chris Kohler has presented impressions of Tingle's Rupee Land, the insane new DS title from Nintendo starring the very scary Zelda incidental character

The Wikipedia page on the character is hilarious: "Tingle is a short, paunchy 35-year-old man who is obsessed with "forest fairies" and dresses up in a green costume which slightly resembles that of the main character, Link" - but, as Kohler notes, in the game it's just as crazed: "Old Man Rupee tells you how to achieve your dream of going to Rupee Land, a land of plenty where you don't have to work, can eat all the food you want, and will be surrounded by beautiful women."

Kohler notes entirely sensibly: "I'm a little surprised that Tingle, who prances around in green tights and pointy green hat, wants to be surrounded by beautiful women, but I think that scene is honestly supposed to be ironic", and concludes: "It's a fun game thus far. It's not exactly packed with jokes -- the comedy just comes from the fact that it's all just so weird." A North American release is presumably pretty damn unlikely, though you never know.

Rocket Slime, Platypus Boss

August 26, 2006 7:05 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/sliime.jpg Over at 1UP, J.Parish has posted an extremely readable preview of Squenix's Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, which includes an interview with the game's director Yoshiki Watabe.

Of the action-adventure almost Zelda-like DS game's insane name, Watabe explains: "One of the biggest things we were worried about was the image of a slime. In Japan, [the smiling Dragon Quest monster] is what people think of when they hear 'slime,' but in the West if you'd never played Dragon Quest you'd think slime was just a blob."

He continues: "We wanted to give the idea that he's more solid than just a pool of bubbles and that he can actually snap around like a slingshot. That's why we gave him the name Rocket. The juxtaposition of 'rocket' and 'slime' makes you think, 'Well, why did they call it that?' and when you see the game you realize right away that he shoots around like a rocket."" Don't get it, but I love the justification.

And really, when the plot for the game is like this, who cares? "Rocket's mission is to rescue 100 of his slime friends from the Plob, a mafia-like mob of platypuses whose rank is determined by the number of tails they wear. The lowest ranks wear a single tail, while the Plobfather himself wears seven." I'm actually sold - there's relatively few good DS games in this genre (the multi-tail platypus boss one, of course!), for some weird reason.

Final Fantasy III Price Gouging, Impressions

August 25, 2006 12:03 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/dsffiii.jpg Square's much-awaited Final Fantasy III remake for Nintendo DS was released in Japan this week, and NCSX has impressions of the game alongside some startling prices for the DS hardware FFIII bundle.

The site reveals: "Speculative vendors got gouge-happy again this week and shot for the stars by boosting the price of the FFIII DS bundle to ¥41,921 or US$362.22. Against our advisement, customers still confirmed their preorders and we are shipping those orders today. Everyone who confirmed as of 5:55PM EST yesterday will ship this afternoon." Yep, so almost $400, and a bunch of people still paid up - youch.

It's further noted: "We are aware of sizable supplies of the FFIII DS Lite Bundle being hoarded by traders. If sellers can't get their asking price within the next week or two, lofty valuations will get dumped as the speculative froth dies down. We've seen it many times before and we'll see it again in the future." Oh, and IGN has impressions of the game, too, for the interested - looks like it could be a big DS hit in the West, too.

Contact Hits Etc For Massive Etc!

July 30, 2006 9:22 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/massdam.jpg Jetlagged on my return from China and trying to get back into the swing of things (look for a mini-announcement on GameSetWatch posting frequency soon!), but in the meantime, here's a gem courtesy of Jeremy 'Toastyfrog' Parish - an awesome localization tidbit from the upcoming Grasshopper Manufacture-developed Contact for Nintendo DS.

Yes, the game says: "Try to hit his weakpoint for massive damage", and it's all totally Genji 2 E3 demo, and this has all the makings of a tragically inbred joke that everyone who gets will _adore_. Of course, we're a fan of inbreeding (duhh!), so we like it a lot.

Also, teh Parish adds to the end of his post: "Given the general sense of "Wow I've never heard of this but suddenly I am interested!" that seems to be accompanying links to this image, may I recommend you learn all about the game with the world's greatest Contact preview?" And it is!

Contact Atlus, Receive Grasshopper Manufacture Game

July 23, 2006 12:10 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/contact.jpg Over at Siliconera, they've got an interview with Atlus' Tomm Hulett about DS title Contact, as created by Suda51's company Grasshopper Manufacture, and previously mentioned on GSW.

Hulett hasn't actually played the game (which is created by Akira Ueda, currently working on a sequel), in that much detail yet, has just translated it, heh, but has some notable words on why the U.S. might dig the title more than Japan: "I’m not sure why it didn’t do well in Japan, though I do suspect its release just before the highly anticipated Mother 3 had something to do with it. However, Contact’s US release will be the only wackiness infusion American Earthbound fans get for a while, so we can at least corner that demographic."

He adds: "I also think most of the DS users in this country are still gamers (as opposed to Japan, where a large majority are non-gamers), so there should be more people who will appreciate the humor featured in Contact. Which isn’t to say non-gamers won’t enjoy Contact; they totally would. They should go preorder it RIGHT NOW." So, covering all bases, then!

Iwai's Futuresonic Keynote, Captured

July 22, 2006 1:02 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/elek.jpg We previously ran a note about Electroplankton creator Toshio Iwai appearing at the Manchester-based Futuresonic festival, and UK site PixelSumo has now posted some neat, but shakycam video of the event.

It's explained (unfortunately, there's not video of the entire event!): "Toshio began talking about his childhood and obvious early inspiration. First he showed books that were bought for him as a young child, one of insects and one about the science of light, sound and heat. At the age of 9 or 10, his mother said he would get no more toys. Instead she gave him materials (paper craft etc) and he started using his imagination to make his own toys and games."

Moving on from there: "He liked to combine old media with new technologies. His zoetropes were fantastic, the 3D model collaboration with a film maker made my jaw drop. A series of these were created, more detail soon. On to the musical applications, he discussed how for his moving films he could never compose music through lack of understanding traditional score. A mechanical toy music box allowed him to punch holes in the paper, feed it through to create a tune, making a very visual way of creating sound." Makes total sense, given what he creates now! [Via Edge-Online.]

Iwai's Blog Sends Electroplankton Felicitations

July 15, 2006 3:07 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/elek.jpg Poking around the awesome Music Thing blog and its entry on bizarre musical instruments at the Futuresonic festival in Manchester, we discovered something wonderful - Toshio Iwai has an official Tenori-On weblog in English, and he also talks about Electroplankton on it.

We've previously covered Tenori-On, which is Iwai's insane-looking new Yamaha co-produced touch-based musical instrument, which shares a lot of ideas with his DS title Electroplankton (and his previous cult PC title Sim Tunes!), but there's lots more info on the blog, as well as a post on Electroplankton's European debut.

In it, Iwai comments: "Electroplankton was released in Europe today, July 7th. I am very happy, so I made a drawing which Electroplanktons
were swimming to Europe through the Milky Way." Darn, wish there was a wallpaper-sized version of it.

He also reveals: "European version of Electroplankton recognize the language setting of Nintendo DS, so the language of the menu and etc. is changed. And the voices of Volvoice in the Audience Mode are also changed. I asked Nintendo of Europe to record children's voice of each language. (Original Volvoice's voice is my daughtar's voice ;-)" Cute!

Puppy Escapes Nintendogs, Chomps DS Lite

July 15, 2006 4:20 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/dschomp.jpg Ever had a pet eat one of your favorite gaming handhelds? Jacob Kaplan-Moss has, and he's blogged about his puppy's attempt to consume his DS Lite on his weblog.

Jacob notes: "So I came home to find this: Bad Dog! [A moment of silence for my so-recently-new toy...] He mangled the thing pretty good, but amazingly it still turns on, albeit with a busted touch-screen."

However, Nintendo's customer service provides a happy(ish) ending to this story! Amazingly, when he called, Nintendo said: "So it looks like the best I can do is to charge you $50 to repair it, how does that sound?" Jacob grins of this development: "Major props to Nintendo's customer service. I don't know many companies that would replace a unit that's been eaten by a dog for around 1/3 of the sticker price. That rocks."

Dogz, Nintendogs Pee On Each Other's Leg

July 11, 2006 1:31 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/dogz.jpg At Water Cooler Games, Ian Bogost has posted a fun entry on how Nintendogs was pre-empted by PF Magic's PC 'dog sim' Dogz, which was available around 10 years back - but his write-up includes a certain amount of sour puppy chow.

[We've previously discussed the very recent GBA version of Dogz from Ubisoft, which is the game in name only, since it's actually a Japanese game by MTO given the name of the original virtual pet, but did actually pre-empt the Nintendo title as well in original form, oddly enough.]

However, I do disagree with Bogost more than a little in his comments: "Given [Dogz co-creator] Andrew [Stern]'s role in an arguably more sophisticated and certainly much earlier dog simulation, I must admit that I grimace a bit amidst the effusive praise heaped upon Nintendogs". Why? It's not like people haven't considered pet simulators before, and Nintendogs is a well-done one.

Also, it's claimed huffingly: "It's certainly a serious, legitimate title, and I don't mean to discount that fact. But Nintendogs is also intended to backdoor new players into a Nintendo DS. "I don't play games," a target buyer might think, "but I do like puppies."" Well, to that, I retort - isn't Nintendogs is just a game that Nintendo thought would appeal to a wide audience, who would enjoy playing it - which they do? Overanalyzing a bit much, here? You've certainly backdoored me into linking your article, though, Monsieur Bogost!

Bush's Brain, Filtered Through The Gaming Press

July 7, 2006 7:15 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/bratra.gif The cunning like a fox Kyle Orland has posted a fun piece over at VGMWatch on how the video game press handled the recent news that President Bush had been given a DS and a copy of Brain Training by Nintendo for his 60th birthday.

Orland notes: "This story is more than a PR case study — it’s also a rare window into the political inclinations of some members of the video game press... While Nintendo was careful not to state anything explicitly in its letter, the implication of giving a brain training game to a president widely stereotyped as a dim bulb is not lost on anyone. Which outlets took the bait and made the obvious joke, and which ones played it straight?"

Results were predictable: "Leading off the snarkfest, unsurprisingly, is Spong which had by far the most ruthless attacks on the prez. Not only does the British site lead off by calling Bush a “warmongering lunatic and global terrorist overlord,” but it goes on to suggest that Bush’s aging should make people happy as they “wait for the inevitable.” Ouch!"

[Oh, and we ran into this gem of a headline from today's Spong, which shows the 'genius' that is the tabloidiest game site on the Internet, whatever GamesRadar is trying for - and for those too scared to click through, it reads: 'Bono Looks Sanctimonious Cock as Game Investment Row Flares'.]