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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

Cendamos' Attic Of Debug Mystery, Revealed

July 23, 2006 6:12 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/debug.png hspace= A mysterious wizard by the name of Cendamos has set up his homepage of Nintendo debug goodness, and lo, it was actually pretty interesting.

For example, there's a page on playing as 'Dark Link' in Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time - all a bit scary! And too: "As an added bonus, I even created a Play as Kafei code for MM (USA Release)... go to Clocktown's main street at 6 AM and press L when you see Kafei!" Also, there's a Stalfos House code, fun.

The other bits of goodness are various hidden code-unlocked debug rooms - for Metroid Fusion, and a Wario Land 4 GBA debug, plus Kirby for GBA, heh. [Via Jiji.]

Rhythm Tengoku Sambas Further Into Our Hearts

July 22, 2006 5:02 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/tengo.jpg We've previously covered the announcement of Game Boy Advance title Rhythm Tengoku, which is indeed created by the Wario Ware designers, and looks like an awesome 2D rhythm mini-game blast, yaaay.

Well, now GamesAreFun has spotted more Internet-available information on the title, explaining: "The official homepage for Rhythm Tengoku, a new rhythm title from the makers of WarioWare, has updated with a number of commercials for the title, as well as a gameplay video."

Also spotted is a video of "the staff learning about rhythm prior to the game's development", and commenter TheHawk speaks much truth when he notes: "t certainly looks like it has that WarioWare randomness. It's that randomness that always made me laugh as I played. I think I'd like to try this one." Here's hoping Nintendo brings it Westward, ho!

Bit Generations' GBA Showdown

July 19, 2006 5:01 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/bit04.jpg The extremely useful Neologasm DSBlog has updated, not on DS, but the GBA Bit Generations games, explaining in detail of them:

"The first three bit Generations retro casual games are out now in Japan. Get Dialhex, the puzzle color-dropping game; Dotstream, the Tron-cycle-ish race game; or Boundish, a multimode Pong clone. You can see the “trailer” movie for the whole series over here (click where it says “7.5 MB” to load)."

The blog also notes: "If you'd rather wait for a US release, they are already ESRB rated, as the “Digideluxe” series, but a date hasn't been announced yet."

In addition, probably the best thing about the post is a handy English-language review of the Bit Generations series thus far by Ben Grundy (also one of the first posts we've seen on Six Apart's new Vox blogging system!), which comments: "The first thing that struck me about both these games was the clean, simple design. Its essentially effective and yet deceptively beautiful. Combine this with quite possibly the most perfectly matching soundtrack ever created and you have a retro gaming experience that leaves you feeling like you've just discovered something on the cutting edge."

WayForward Talks Sigma Star Shantae

July 12, 2006 10:12 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/psymea.jpg Nintendo fansite Cubed3 has a neat interview with WayForward's Matt Bozon posted, in which the Shantae and Sigma Star Saga creator dish on any number of interesting things.

Most bizarrely, it's revealed of Sigma Star Saga: "We had a very cool opportunity to reinvent a brand that was flopping in Japan (a... game called Star Ixiom). We signed on, but the deeper into the details we got the less Namco wanted to follow the original game. So in the end, we were allowed to make a completely new one."

Also, the prospects of a Shantae sequel coming out seem more and more remote, but there's some far-off hope shown: "The GBA game hasn’t been forgotten. Believe it or not, there are still negotiations going on for that game, and the DS sequel. Because GBA is slipping away, I’ve put my attention on DS. But that’s not to say the GBA game couldn’t come back on Virtual Console as a SNES game."

Bit Generations, GBA, Cha Cha Cha!

July 1, 2006 11:10 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/bit04.jpg Over at the ever-beautiful Insert Credit, GSW columnist Jiji has posted noting the official Japanese website for bit Generations, "Nintendo's upcoming series of experimental GBA titles".

As the Jijster notes: "There you'll find new screenshots, play descriptions, and videos - along with some cracking good chiptunes - of both waves of titles, currently scheduled for release in Japan on July 13 and July 27 for 2000 yen apiece. All of the titles in this series feature abstract and colorful visuals meshed with simple, yet original, styles of play."

Other interesting info from the post: "Nintendo haven't made any noise about a possible US release, but most of the titles already have ESRB ratings assigned, so, we'll see... While it's said that most of the games are being developed by skip Ltd., who are best known for Giftpia and Chibi Robo, the developer responsible for Digidrive seems to be Q-Games, which was founded by Starfox's [co-]creator Dylan Cuthbert."

[Randomly enough, I accidentally IM-ed Cuthbert the other week while out in New York for the Webbys, thanks to an errant Mac IM prog which insisted on re-adding all my ancient contacts - in the ensuing ruckus, he mentioned that his firm is also in the midst of finishing out Starfox DS - neeto.]

Mother's Itoi On Vegetables, World Cup Tees

June 11, 2006 5:10 AM |

itoi.jpg One of the more cultish figures in the Japanese video game is Mother/Earthbound co-creator Shigesato Itoi, but interestingly, he's not just a game maker - PingMag has a new interview with him that focuses on his advertising, design, and vegetable (!) businesses.

Itoi explains of himself: "I do a lot of things, but I would say my job title is still copywriter. I’ve been involved with advertising copy for a long time, and been a creative director in my later years. More recently, I work as a producer, a planner, or an organizer." Looks like games (we linked to a skeptical review of Mother 3 on GSW a few weeks back) really are a small part of his circle of interest.

In fact, the interview particularly focuses on T-1 World Cup t-shirt series Itoi is curating, explaining: "I just wanted to invent something between art work and mass production, such as the craft goods in Japan... The world feels like it’s heading to become a place where there is only “things to be used and then thrown away,” or “things impossible to get.”... So I thought about normal T-shirts, that are not so special that they go on display at a museum, but that people look after." An admirable concept!

The Top Ten Game Boy Advance Games?

May 29, 2006 6:02 AM |

screwb.png Courtesy of the British Gaming Blog, there's a round-up of the top ten Game Boy Advance games ever, which seems oddly relevant at this time in history, as the writer acknowledges: "While many of you will toss your consoles aside and bring in your new DSes and PSPs to play on, there will always be those who do not forget these classic consoles and their games, but honour them."

Of course, the best thing about Game Boy Advance games is that you can play them all on the DS, and the countdown even sports some of the recent GBA titles you might have accidentally skipped, like Game Freak's under-rated Screw Breaker ("a simple play style that was easy to learn, but tough to master.")

What's possibly most interesting is a vaguely controversial overall #1 game - Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga ("mixed traditional Mario platform timing with RPG elements to provide what we think is the best.") So let's open things up to the floor - what's missing from the top ten of all-time Game Boy Advance titles, and what should _really_ be number one?

Exclusive: 'Fictional' Bret Easton Ellis Hates Artoon!

May 22, 2006 9:45 PM |

lpark.jpg Continuing the hard-hitting journalism for which GSW is renowned, we've been reading Bret Easton Ellis' latest novel, Lunar Park, which stars the drugged-up and dysfunctional 'Bret Easton Ellis', the author of all Ellis' previous books, struggling to cope as someone apparently impersonating his American Psycho villain Patrick Bateman starts terrorizing his home town.

Post-modern conceits aside (and the book is _very_ well written, incidentally), the relatively on-the-ball references to video games as part of Ellis' (fictional?) family life in the book are notable, including mentions of a Mortal Kombat Halloween character, Ellis' son reading GamePro and Nintendo Power, and various other reasonably clued-in passing jabs.

But on P.116, Ellis' trademark cutting wit gets to work on Blinx creators Artoon, or more specifically, their pre-Blinx PS1/GBA platformer, as referenced with regard to Ellis' daughter: "Sarah went to the media room to play Pinobee, a video game about a flight-challenged and oddly charmless bumblebee whose expression of disgust always managed to fill me with alarm."

We say it's time for a rumble between Sonic co-creator and Artoon founder Naoto Oshima and the fictional coke-snorting version of Bret Easton Ellis - who's with us?

Mother 3's 'Malaise' Poked At Pointedly

April 25, 2006 8:57 AM |

mother3.gif We at GSW continue to link to reviews that deflower your favorites (and alleged soon-to-be-favorites), and next up is import store NCSX's het-up review of Mother 3 for Game Boy Advance, in which, well, fur flies.

The un-named reviewer barks: "Perhaps the bottom line with respect to the visual department is simply why the game is on the outdated Game Boy Advance platform in the first place?", continuing: "Mother 3 offers absolutely nothing new when it comes to gameplay; truth be told, anyone familiar with either of the prior installments (or any other RPG ever made) will have no problems understanding what to do."

While he admits of the series: "Still, oddity is not without its own charm and hence gamers fell in love", the conclusion is grim: "It is remarkable that nearly 12 years after Mother 2 was released, Nintendo could still put forth a product that feels like a true sequel. It is appalling, however, that while the latest installment feels like Mother [aka Earthbound in the U.S.], it is an artificial sentiment more than a genuine one. Maybe this series is really a flash-in-the-pan: this is the third installment yet in truth the second original game; Mother 2, for all its fleshing-out and expanding, was at its core a remake of Mother 1."

Apparently: "In seeking to create an entirely new story and scenario, Shigesato Itoi let whatever nonsense that floated into his head to accumulate on paper and, even worse, morph into a full fledged game." Wow, what's that in my cornflakes? GameSpot has hands-on impressions of a much more Switzerlandian nature, on the other hand.

Bit Generations Attracts Younger Generations

April 18, 2006 12:33 AM |

ビット.jpgA few days ago, Nintendo re-announced Digitylish, or Bit Generations, as it's called in Japan, for the Game Boy Advance, a series of seven games with a common digital theme. Then, they had said they would exhibit the series at Shibuya Parco soon. And soon they have, though I live nowhere near Shibuya, good o'l Famitsu is here with a report (Japanese language).

Nintendo had 60 Game Boy Micros set up at on six different pillars, running demo movies of all the games except Sound Voyager. It attracted quite a bit of attention from young people, who would walk up to the demo stations and try to play them. One person commented, "At first, I thought you could play them, so I was mashing the buttons (laughs). No matter the title, it seemed you could get sucked into their mysterious graphics and sound."

Famitsu then gives brief descriptions of each game: Coloris is a 'line up the colors' puzzle game whose sound direction is overseen by Oyamada Keigo, otherwise known as pop musician Cornelius. Digidrive is an action puzzle game that revolves around traffic control. Dotstream sees you crossing colorful lines in a racing game. Boundish is a racket ball table tennis game sure to give Rockstar's table tennis rendition a tough challenge for who has the best graphics. Orbital is an action game that would like you to use the gravitational pull of the orbits of planets to move. And Dial Hex is a puzzle game of an equilateral triangle that you revolve to create same-colored hexagons.

My, what big plans you have, Nintendo! Personally, I'm most excited by Cornelius' involvement. His wife and oft-times collaborator, Takako Minekawa is said to be the lady who made the "Play-Stay-SHUN" voiceover you hear in the Sony commercials. Both of them are Shibuya-kei electronica musicians who produce some really funky, fresh music.