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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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Game Boy

The Game Boy Sound Comparison, Definitive-Like

March 29, 2007 4:37 AM |

- You know there are lots of different Game Boy models, of course. But do you know how their sound output varies over the multiple different DS and Game Boy SKUs? Chiptune musician Herbert Weixelbaum does, and he's created a massive, newly updated page profiling the different noises each GB makes.

He explains of this pretty cool analysis: "not only do the different game boy models sound different, if you have a look at the waveforms, you can see, that these already look very different (thin sound - thin waveform). i recorded the pulse instrument, envelope: A8, wave: pulse width 50% (square), with a pitch of C3 (which is great C, in musical terms)."

Weixelbaum's conclusion? "things like "retro feel" might or might not be of importance to you, but it is a pretty objective judgment, that the original game boy (or the original with the pro sound mod) has the best sound, while the game boy advance sp2 has the best display. if you want to use a gba program, like nanoloop 2.0, the ds lite has the best sound and display." [Via the rockin' vorc.org.]

GBA, DS Points Of Interest @ EB/GameStop

March 18, 2007 9:04 PM |

- Had a chance to wander around my local Bay Area GameStop store yesterday, and spotted a few details and interesting products for Nintendo's handhelds that might be of interest to GameSetWatch readers - as follows:

- Firstly, Atlus' Game Boy Advance version of puzzle game Polarium is available for $9.99 new - also on the website, but obviously you'll avoid shipping charges if you buy it from the store. Tony 'Tablesaw' Delgado did a whole column on the game late last year, and some say it's even superior to the DS version, so it's worth checking out.

- Not sure how long it's been this cheap, but GBA title Drill Dozer is now $14.99 new at GameStop. It's by Pokemon tykes Game Freak, and here's a handy Onion A.V. Club mini-review: "Reach areas by drilling through tunnels, open doors by drilling cranks, defeat enemies by drilling into their gaping mouths. Yup, [main character] Jill is hardcore like that." Ignoring Freudian issues, might be time for those who haven't to pick this up, as I did.

- I didn't buy this one, but Capcom Classics Mini Mix for GBA is also now $9.99 new, and Armchair Arcade just made a little post about it, handily. Interestingly, "...the games included here are oldies but goodies and are were originally NES ports of arcade games that are heavily changed from the originals in effective ways." And it's got a SD version of Final Fight called Mighty Final Fight, even. Probably not amazing, but intriguing.

- Two final oddities: just available for DS at $20, Namco Bandai's Trioncube hasn't been that well reviewed, but seems quirky and different, at least. Brandon found some nice commercials promoting it in Japan. And I ran into a game that you haven't heard of - Destination Games' Lionel Trains: On Track, apparently a DS-ish Railroad Tycoon type game which, at least according to reviews so far, isn't very good. But it's unknown!

Graffiti's GBA Obscurities Unmasked

January 16, 2007 12:12 PM |

- Fellow Game Developer magazine editor Brandon Sheffield has gone update-crazy with Insert Credit over the long holiday weekend, and his most notable update deals with the two original IP Game Boy Advance titles recently released by slightly odd new U.S. publisher Graffiti Entertainment.

I knew about one of them: "Mazes of Fate is a first person dungeon game from argentina of all places (Sabrasa), and seems to have very deep systems, branching paths, and a lot of gameplay time (if you're into that - I prefer shorter games). "

But I was not aware of the other: "Next there's Back to Stone (French in origin, pictured here). It's a 3/4 view action RPG along the linds of LandStalker (sort of kind of). There aren't a whole lot of impressions of it around the internet, so here are some from comic-kaze of the sngp forums: "Great concept, and the first bits reminded me of great oblique angled 2D games. It has a promising combat system and a lot of puzzles mostly involving beating up enemies and turning them to blocks of stone and then knocking the stones around to get them to land on special tiles to unlock keys."" Ta, Brandon!

Going WayForward With Justice League Heroes: The Flash

November 13, 2006 4:10 PM |

- We've been looking around a bit for those interesting games that get a bit 'lost' at this time of year, due to the volume of game releases, and we think we might have found one - Justice League Heroes: The Flash for GBA, as recently reviewed positively over at GameSpot, and a retro side-scrolling beat 'em up blast from the past.

Now, this is a GBA-exclusive version of a multi-platform title, but it's done by the awesome guys at WayForward, who have been responsible for games such as Shantae and the odd/cool Sigma Star Saga, and whom we have previously mentioned on GSW.

Here's the blurb, explaining the waybackness of WayForward's concept for the (likely simple, but still likely fun!) title, which got 7.9 from GameSpot and 8.9 from the public GameSpot reviewers: "WayForward Technologies, the game's developer, has put together a beat-'em-up game that is along the lines of such classics as Double Dragon or Streets of Rage. The only difference is that the combat and atmosphere are heavily influenced by the Justice League universe."

What's more: "The settings are Keystone City, Gotham City, the Amazon, and Metropolis. And each level is populated with its own collection of robots and henchmen that are ripped from the pages of DC comics." Oo, fanboy drool. Has anyone played it yet?

Kochalka Busts Out GBA Pocket Music FTW

October 31, 2006 7:14 AM |

- Soooo, talking of Game Boy-related audiovisual fun, we got an email from a certain James Kochalka revealing that he has "...put up a new Game Boy song in the mp3 section at AmericanElf.com" - and it's neeto.

Kochalka explains: "It's called My Chemical Sugar High. The music was created entirely on the Nintendo Game Boy using a program called Pocket Music. The song was inspired by the band My Chemical Romance, or at least by their name (and their eye make-up), because I've never actually heard any songs by that band. Anyhow, it's a song about candy and black eyes, and I'm giving away the mp3 for Halloween. Trick or treat!"

Oh, and here's the lyrics:

"My chemical sugar-high
My chemical sugar-high
My chemical sugar-high
Gave me a black eye.

My chemical sugar-high
My chemical sugar-high
My chemical sugar-high
Gave me a black eye.

My sugar depression
My candy obsession
My lollipop, wish I was dead.

My sugar depression
My candy obsession
My lollipop, wish I was dead."

[Picture via DeviantArt - and we've previously covered Mr. Kochalka's 'James Kochalka Superstar video shot on a gameboy camera by James Kochalka and edited by Pistol Stamen', for those wanting to see more Game Boy audio visual overload.]

GameSetCompetition Winner: Game Boy Camera!

October 31, 2006 2:01 AM |

- The deadline is passed, so now it's time to find out who won the Japanese Game Boy Camera in box, for all your retro several-shades-of-gray picture hilarity!

After much random finger-pointing, it was Luke Osterritter who won out, answering the question:

"How many pictures can the Game Boy Camera hold in its titanically large 1 megabit SRAM memory?"

...correctly with the following statement:

"The answer is 30; not a lot, which is why I like to keep several around in case the mood strikes. :)"

Thanks to all those who entered, and thanks to a couple of people who didn't quite get it right and made us chuckle a bit (sorry, guys, but '1 megabit' is clearly not the answer, and posting the incorrect number of shots as a comment will also not make you win!)

Anyhow, I'm sure we can think of something else fun to give away again soon, so watch out for the next GameSetCompetition in due course.

GameSetCompetition Reminder: Game Boy Camera

October 29, 2006 6:02 AM |

- The competition deadline (Monday at noon!) is almost upon us, so time for a reminder on our GameSetCompetition to win a Game Boy Camera in box, for all your retro several-shades-of-gray picture hilarity!

Also, we have to boast that the competition is so hawt this time round that we even got a semi-celebrity cartoonist/rockstar entering (hint: we wrote about his GBCam music videos recently!)

Anyhow, he didn't win just yet (he has the same chance as everyone else, tho!), and as previously mentioned, the question this time round is pretty simple:

"How many pictures can the Game Boy Camera hold in its titanically large 1 megabit SRAM memory?"

Please send your answers to editors@gamesetwatch.com any time before Monday, October 30th at 12 noon PST. There will be one winner randomly picked from the correct answers, the judges' decision is final, and that's that. Have fun!

Nintendo - Gotta Patent Them All!

September 12, 2006 2:27 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/pokepat.jpg Nice to see the Patent Arcade blog getting blogosphere love after we linking it last week - and we note that it's posted another Nintendo-related patent, this one for Pokemon, believe it or not.

Lawyer blogger Ross Dannenberg notes: "Nintendo describes the multi-player, portable version of its Pokemon game in this patent. In the pokemon game, each player collects and trains pokemon. When another player is encountered, the pokemon battle each other and the winner captures the loser’s pokemon. Capturing a pokemon includes transferring information about its appearance, strength, etc. to the wining player’s game machine."

He further notes: "The patent also describes a system for allowing players of different versions of the game to battle each other: Whatever information about a captured pokemon is unavailable from the old version of the game gets made up (assigned randomly) at the time of data transfer." Forgive my ignorance - is this feature used extensively in existing versions of Pokemon?

Vulkanon Homebrew Adds Tasty Chiptunes

September 11, 2006 8:01 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/vulkanon.jpg You may remember GSW sometime columnist Jeremiah 'Nullsleep' Johnson making delighted cooing noises over Takayama Fumihiko's homebrew Game Boy Advance shooter Vulkanon a while back.

Johnson noted: "While [Fumihiko's predecessor] BulletGBA was mostly a training aid for familiarizing oneself with different bullet patterns, Vulkanon builds upon the "Shooting" side challenges found there and delves further into mini-game territory."

Well, now he's only gone and providing a Game Boy bleeptastic soundtrack to Vulkanon - the new release of v2.0 reveals: "The sound composed by Nullsleep was added... The stage composition of the barrage was adjusted, and the volume improved." We hear BulletGBA might get an aural update too - more on this breaking story soon!

James Kochalka Spreads His Game Boy Camera Wings

September 10, 2006 4:01 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/kochalka.jpg The sharp-eyed among you may already be aware that cartoonist and musician James Kochalka is a bit of a major video game fan. Well, for the video for his new single, 'Spread Your Evil Wings And Fly', he's gone and proved it (YouTube link).

Why, you say? Well, the accompanying blurb explains: "James Kochalka Superstar video shot on a gameboy camera by James Kochalka and edited by Pistol Stamen". Not sure how the transferring to PC was done - there are some very odd interference patterns on the video, actually, but that just makes it look even more lo-fi. (The author of this very post is a bit of a Game Boy Camera fan, and has an old gallery of GBCam pics up on the Web somewhere or other.)

We also noticed an older Re:Retro interview with Kochalka about games, in which he notes: "I’ve been playing games for a long, long time. I think the first video game I ever encountered was something on the big mainframe computer at the Dartmouth hospital. A couple kids from my boy scout troop got to go check it out. They also let us freeze stuff with liquid nitrogen." Wow - games _and_ liquid nitrogen? [Vid via Fort90, ta!]