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About GameSetWatch

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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In-Depth: Exploring Ultracade's Alleged Counterfeit Arcade Game Racket

August 6, 2009 8:00 AM |

[In this in-depth investigation, John D. Andersen looks into claims that parties related to the creators of the Ultracade arcade game cabinet counterfeited numerous classic arcade games for public sale in the West, with extensive background on the fascinating case and claims from SNK Playmore, Tecmo, G-Mode, and Jaleco that their IP was used without their knowledge.]

Gamasutra previously reported that former Ultracade Technologies owner David Russell Foley had been handed a 35-count felony indictment on July 1st, 2009 by the United States District Court.

The indictment accuses Foley of counterfeiting Ultracade arcade game packs on USB flash memory drives between June 2006 and February 2008 for his own financial benefit, using property he previously sold to Global VR. Foley is accused of selling those game packs to Michael Daddona, who would then sell them on Ebay through his company Automated Services based in Milford, Connecticut.

G-Mode, Jaleco, SNK Playmore and Tecmo representatives have now publicly commented to Gamasutra, and are accusing Ultracade Technologies former owner David R. Foley of piracy. These parties are now claiming that Ultracade arcade game cabinets and game packs contained many titles that were never legitimately licensed for Ultracade.

All four companies released statements to Gamasutra indicating they had no records of ever licensing their game titles to Ultracade Technologies and its former owner David Russell Foley. These products include the original Ultracade coin-op arcade units and game packs.

The Land Of 10,000 Plastic Marios

July 12, 2006 5:09 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/10km.jpg GSW columnist RedWolf of VintageComputing 'fame' has just posted an extremely fun interview with video game memorabilia collector Brett Martin, who has "about ten to fifteen thousand individual pieces" of game merchandising, yikes.

The neatest bit is Martin singling out his most treasured items: "My favorite Zelda sets are the two sets of original 1987 unpainted enemy gashapon toys, as they have a figure of every character in the original game! Also in that link is a great set of hand painted Zelda figures. You can find the rest in each section. There is also a similar set of Mario unpainteds from the original Super Mario Bros. that I have. How can a collector pass these up? I even have some doubles for sale on the site (hint hint)."

But wait, there's more! "My favorite Zelda piece is the Link statue I have, where my favorite Mario piece would be my 4′ statue. I’m big on statues, but also love the intricacy of smaller pieces. I also have to say I love my prototypes that I have of Metal Mario, Starfox’s Fox McCloud, Banjo-Kazooie, and the Donkey Kong 64 characters. 1 of 1, can’t beat that!" Wow, insane geekout.

Canada's Mario Canstruction Exposed!

June 29, 2006 2:10 PM |

mariocan2s.jpg As we reported yesterday, relayed on from the Canadian newswires, the wondrous news debuted that "Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction [are] to build world's largest metal Super Mario in Dundas Square" in Toronto.

Wha? It's explained: "On June 29 Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction invite you to experience the world's largest Super Mario structure made entirely of canned goods. Come see this charitable event and unique tribute to Super Mario in recognition of Nintendo DS game New Super Mario Bros. becoming the fastest-selling video game in Canada."

Well, GSW reader Duane Brown actually bothered to turn up and take a couple of pictures of the wondrous canned Mario (thanks!), and we present them above and below! We can just about make out that the pipe is made of coffee, and Mario's braces of canned tuna - we leave it to you to figure out the rest.

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Of course, we'd like to point out that this is _real_ investigative journalism at work here - we're waiting for our Pulitzer! Where is it?!

Super Mario Canstruction Menaces Toronto

June 28, 2006 2:20 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/mscary.jpg Don't say we don't bring you all the big stories here at GSW. The latest, as released over the Canadian newswires, is that "Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction to build world's largest metal Super Mario in Dundas Square" in Toronto.

Wha? It's explained: "On June 29 Nintendo of Canada and Canstruction invite you to experience the world's largest Super Mario structure made entirely of canned goods. Come see this charitable event and unique tribute to Super Mario in recognition of Nintendo DS game New Super Mario Bros. becoming the fastest-selling video game in Canada."

But wait, there's more: "Consisting of more than 4,000 cans, weighing 2,600 lbs and reaching close to 10-feet high, the Super Mario structure will contain cans specifically selected for their colour to best replicate the Nintendo video game icon, as designed by Canstruction architects. All food used in the structure will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank." Whoa, and check out the Canstruction event winners from 2005 - Jaws and the tornado are awesome! Toronto-ites, please go take pics and mail them to us!

Kohler Loose In Japan - Call Authorities

June 25, 2006 8:01 PM |

mario45.jpg Intrepid Wired News columnist Chris Kohler has marauded his way across to Tokyo, where he's blogging furiously and visually on game-related matters, and there's already some fun stuff up there - for one, a tip on the 'Best Video Game Store In Japan', apparently Mandarake Galaxy.

Kohler notes: "Besides being great for finding extremely rare games at very reasonable prices -- this is where I got a 64DD and all the launch games for about $250; note that I said "reasonable", not "cheap" -- Mandarake Galaxy also had some of the lowest prices and best availability of more recent games." Also revealed: "The soundtrack recording to Super Mario Bros., on a 45. Very few things make me as holy-cow as this did." Woot!

Also fun - an Xbox 360-related blog post in which it's noted of the general lack of enthusiasm for the hardware in Japan: "What this store did to advertise the fact that they had an Xbox 360 in stock was to take the original faded-ass display box for the Xbox and slap a label on it saying that they had Xbox 360s in the back." Youch.

Life Meter Makes Mario Marvellous

June 24, 2006 6:10 AM |

mariodan.jpg The totally great Life Meter Comics has added a new entry to its LJ blog, and it's pure serendipidity - an amazing Mario character montage by artist Dan Schoening.

Dan writes: "Basically the piece was inspired by my artist friend Tim Kelly. He suggested I do a line up of Mario characters. Instead, I decided to make it more pin up like, and throw in as many characters that I enjoyed from the Mario series into it. The art itself was also a test in a new more fluid style, as I normally have a more angular feel to my work."

[Oh, and before we forget, Life Meter has a mini comic currently in production, and as they mention: "Guys, this mini has 90% NEW MATERIAL NOT CURRENTLY ON THE SITE. There's some Life Meter favorites (like Bannister right on the cover, there) and lots of new faces (like Natasha Allegri on the back)." Looks like you can pick it up at Comic Con and other small-press events in the U.S. this year.]

GameSetCompetition: Win 'Metal Gear Saga Vol. 1' on DVD!

June 23, 2006 12:30 PM |

Remember when we gave away some way cool Death Jr. swag? Yeah. Those were good times. I think of them often. And then remember how later on we gave out a brand new VGPocket 50, the only portable game system to ever let you play such mind-blowing classics as Mr. Onion and Pop the Lop anywhere you want to?

I bet you were compelled to say "man, that GameSetWatch got the GOODS." And you would be right, we did got the goods. But it was only one goods, and everyone knows that more goods is more good. So this time we got more. Ten of them, in fact. But it wasn't easy.

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We sent our special operative monkey (or is it ape? we often mix up the two) Ai Ai on a top secret solo sneaking mission to locate and acquire ten copies of Metal Gear Saga: Volume 1, the way awesome documentary DVD that Konami released as a preorder bonus for Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence [And, of course, many thanks to Konami for providing them to us - buy their games! Now!]. The DVD is fun to watch, but more importantly, it goes for about $20 on eBay, and I need to eat.

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Our orangutan operative easily located the secret underground base of one Jeremiah C. Penguin, a bloated hoarder of rare videogame merchandise, who had acquired so many copies of Metal Gear Saga: Volume 1 that he built a moderate cabin out of them. Always one for the direct approach, Ai Ai knocked on his door.

mgssaga03.jpg

Jeremiah is never happy to entertain visitors.

mgssaga04.jpg

But I am not here to be entertained, thought Ai Ai.

mgssaga05.jpg

Drunk with power, Ai Ai hopped on top of Jeremiah's roof, and started preaching a sermon for some strange chimpanzee religion, for which he was both the sole proprietor and member. Jeremiah was furious!

mgssaga06.jpg

"Hey, get down from my roof, you crazy hominoidea!" said Jeremiah, shaking his greasy fin at the air. And that's just what Ai Ai did.

mgssaga07.jpg

But Ai Ai only knows how to do things violently, and soon Jeremiah's rare and valuable collection came crashing down on him. All in a day's work, thought Ai Ai, stereotypically, before securing all ten copies of Metal Gear Saga: Volume 1 and bringing them back to GameSetWatch HQ.

Turns out we're not legally allowed to sell these things so, hey, you guys want them? Would YOU like to own a brand new, slightly bloodstained copy of Metal Gear Saga: Volume 1 on DVD? Of course you would! Here's how. Simply answer the following bit of videogame trivia:

In Konami's original Metal Gear Solid, what CODEC frequency is used to contact Meryl Silverburgh? (hint: back of the case!)

Please send your answers to editors@gamesetwatch.com any time before Friday, June 30th at 12 noon PST. There will be ten winners randomly picked from the correct answers, the judges' decision is final, so don't give me no guff. You wouldn't want Secret Agent Ai Ai knocking on your door, now would you?

GameSetCompetition: VGPocket Winner Announced!

June 14, 2006 10:25 PM |

vgpocket2.jpg We've randomly picked the winner of our VG Pocket 50-game edition in the latest GameSetCompetition, so congrats to the alien cyborg (we can only presume!) named Nerox91.

Martian madman Nerox91 will now be teleporting to his local starcade to play happily with the VGPocket, which works as both a handheld with 2-inch color TFT screen, and (when plugged into a TV!) as a 'TV game'. Also, if you were wondering what the answer was, here we go:

"What year was the Game Boy Pocket released In?
a) 1991 b) 1996 c) 2001"

Yes, yes, Wikipedia is your friend! This isn't the last GameSetCompetition, either - sometime in the near future, we'll be debuting a nice new one thanks to our friends at Konami, yay.

Nintendo Monopoly, Cha Cha Cha!

June 12, 2006 1:59 AM |

nopoly.jpg Over at PressTheButtons, there are lots of details on a press release we also got sent on Friday, but didn't have a chance to follow up on (doh!) - yep, Nintendopoly!

As is explained: "That's right; USAopoly has been granted the license from Hasbro and Nintendo to create a Nintendo-centric Monopoly board game. Get ready to "play" as iconic items such as Mario's iconic hat, Donkey Kong's famous barrel, the familiar Koopa Troopa shell, a majestic Hylian shield, Link's heavy metal boots, and the classic original NES controller all recreated as pewter tokens."

Blogger MattG notes: "This sounds like a great idea and will surely sell plenty of units. As someone who doesn't own any incarnation of the Monopoly board game, I know I'd buy this. Well, if I knew enough people interested in playing on a regular basis. While this is all well and good, let me ask the obvious question: where's the video game version?" Where, indeed! Click through for lots of pics of the playing pieces.

EDOC Laundry Makes For Puzzling Wearing

June 8, 2006 7:42 PM |

edocl.jpg So, in the world of ARGs (alternate reality games - keep up, class!), EDOC Laundry is one of the most innovative and oddest, revolving, as it does, entirely around items of clothing that you buy which have clues embedded in them.

The Wired Magazine article introducing the concept last year explained: "This is the first time that apparel has been used to disseminate clues in an ARG; the games usually rely upon hidden messages in TV shows, movies, Web sites, faxes, emails, or IMs. “Fashion as the story delivery mechanism got me really excited” explains designer Elan Lee, who was also behind I Love Bees, the award winning ARG used to virally market Halo 2. As players decode the messages in Edoc Laundry garments, an alternate world unfolds. Poor Richard, the band fabricated to provide the plot for the game, lost its manager."

Now, ARGN has a fresh update on the ARG, explaining: "Anticipated for months, the EDOC Laundry game rushed to the stage to belt out its ARG rock this week with a preview of the next season of clothing, two new websites, and more mystery swirling around its characters. Also new to EDOC Laundry is the unveiling of their eStore, where customers can purchase clothing online directly from EDOC." There also a fan Wiki if you want to explore further - intriguing stuff.