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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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Fox News Takes On Green/Indie Games: 'Is This Promoting Education Or Just A Liberal Agenda?'

September 7, 2011 9:00 AM |

I'm sure no one expected to see video of Thatgamecompany's Flower or mentions of Molleindustria's McDonald's Video Game on Fox News of all places, but that's exactly what appeared on the cable channel earlier this week in a segment titled "Video Games Go Green"!

The piece mostly focuses on "the Sims City society games" and Red Redemption's Fate of the World, with the host posing questions like "Is this promoting education or just a liberal agenda?" and "Are people taking this too far and saying this is liberal fear mongering or indoctrination?"

Radio personality T.J. McCormack steps in to condemn these green and indie games for using scare tactics to promote their messages. He comments, "These guys actually have kids freaking out with sweaty palms, worried that they're going to kill a bunch of virtual polar bears."

He goes on to say that games should just "Let kids be kids", dismissing arguments that these educational titles are better for children than first-person shooters or war games by calling them "boring." He must not have seen Molleindustria's Orgasm Simulator flash game!

Anyway, my favorite quote from this segment is at the beginning: "Well, the green police trying to reach your kids at home on the video game systems..."

[Via @molleindustria]

StarCraft Makes It On WSJ Front Page With Barcraft Events

August 24, 2011 11:00 AM |

Even though it was only last month that a profile on the creators of super-niche game Dwarf Fortress appeared in The New York Times, it's still bewildering to see a Blizzard's StarCraft pop up with a front page article on today's Wall Street Journal (below the fold but not any less amazing!).

The piece, which has a sensational "Geeks Beat Jocks as Bar Fight Breaks Out Over Control of the TV" headline, centers around the popularity of Starcraft as an eSport, and the "Barcraft" events that a few pubs have been hosting for patrons to watch streams of live matches for the real-time strategy game.

There've been more than a dozen Barcraft events at taverns in Raleigh, Boston, Beaverton, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Seattle, and even though fans can watch the same StarCraft matches on their PCs at home, apparently these get-togethers are well attended. 

One pub saw 50 gamers show up for a Barcraft even, double its usual Sunday numbers. "This feels like the World Cup," said Bistro 153 manager Jim Biddle in the Wall Street Journal article. "You experience the energy and screams of everyone around you when a player makes an amazing play."

You can read the financial newspaper's StarCraft/Barcraft article here (registration might be required) -- check out the Dark Templar hedcut!

[Image via Primadog]

Notch (And Many Other Indie Devs) Created A Game Over The Weekend

August 22, 2011 10:00 AM |

This weekend was Ludum Dare 21, the latest edition of the two-day development competition in which participants rapidly prototype games around a common theme -- this weekend's theme was "Escape", and the hobbyists, students, and indie devs joining in submitted over 500 entries.

One of the guys who took part in Ludum Dare 21 is particularly noteworthy for creating indie darling Minecraft -- Markus 'Notch' Persson whipped up a neat first-person adventure called Prelude of the Chambered, which you can play for free online or watch a full playthrough above (with some flickering).

The rest of the 500+ Ludum Dare 21 entries are listed and available to play here. You can even check out the competition blog, which features postmortems, timelapse videos, and insights behind the creation for many of the game written by participants.

And for even more indie games built over the weekend, have a look through the 67 titles submitted to Klik of the Month Klub #50, the monthly event that has people "write the best worst game that they can in two hours" with the Klik & Play toolkit.

Storage Wars Hunter Assumes Janky NES Is Worth $13,000

August 12, 2011 11:00 AM |

Video games are popping up all over A&E reality TV shows lately! There was that episode of Hoarders a few weeks ago featuring an obsessive arcade collector, and now we have an NES appearing on the latest Storage Wars (full episode streaming here).

If you've never seen the program, it centers on storage lockers that renters have failed to make monthly payments on, and thus are sold to auction hunters, who then sift through the locker's contents for valuables to sell and make a profit on.

In this episode, high-roller Mark has paid $925 for a locker, and finds it's mostly filled with junk like cell phone accessories, a propane stove, guitars, and audio equipment. But then he thinks he's struck gold after discovering an old NES "001" model.

He brags to the camera, "NES-001, guys. I want you to look at this very carefully. This is the first Nintendo DS built. The last one that sold with five games in the internet for $13,000." I'm sure any gamer watching this episode was cracking up over this.

The auction he's referring to actually did happen last year, when a woman sold an NES and five games for $13,105 on eBay -- but it just so happens that one of those five titles was a complete-in-box copy of super rare game Family & Fitness Stadium Events.

Before Mark can try to hawk the NES-001 for that kind of money, he decides to have it looked at by an expert at a game shop, who's skeptical that any NES console could fetch $13,000 unless it was a prototype or some other kind of unique version.

In the end, the expert not only determines that it's definitely not worth $13,000 (he estimates its value at $10), he tests out the NES and finds out that it won't even power on. The disappointment on Mark's face and in his voice -- priceless!

[Via Winroba]

If Only All Wedding Receptions Doubled As Arcades

August 8, 2011 1:00 PM |

I attended an outdoor wedding reception over the weekend that featured air boat rides and a giant slip-n-slide among other entertainment options, which I thought were unusual, but the post-marriage party that IAM/KLOV forumer MonsterBash looks even more unconventional.

Last month, he and his new wife accommodated the 120 guests attending their wedding reception with a small game center in his father-in-law's backyard, setting up a variety of pinball and arcade machines on the grass under a canopy.

Some of the cabinets included Millipede and Robotron, while the pinball machines offered were Family Guy and World Poker Tour. And even if you weren't interested in playing games and just wanted to hang out, there were drinks, a popcorn popper, and some lawn furniture.

"At least with a game room like this being present the significant other knows for sure what they are getting into," says MonsterBash. "Our best wishes to the happy couple, may their days of arcade collecting be long and bright with plenty of space to house the games in."

He added, "It was about a perfect mix. The arcade had some attention, just about the right amount not to detract from the main tents and wedding. But, almost every game had someone on it throughout the night. "

Star Fox's Connection To Little League Baseball Revealed

August 3, 2011 7:00 PM |


The Iwata Asks series has proven itself to be an invaluable resource for behind the scenes info and anecdotes for all things related to Nintendo. But the latest installment, which centers on Star Fox 64 3D and everything leading up, might be the best read yet.

Regarding the initial SNES offering, it's revealed that producer Shigeru Miyamoto and programmer Dylan Cuthbert, the prodigy who came to Japan at the age of 18, basically taught each other's language while working together. Also, aside from efforts to avoid popular science fiction conventions, the lead was made a fox because the prototype contained scenes of flying through arches, which reminded Miyamoto of Shinto shrines and their close association with foxes from Japanese folk tales. The local little league baseball team, the Inari Foxes, was also a source of inspiration.

Even the game's cover, the photograph of puppets, is explained. Inspired by his love for the old British show Thunderbirds, Miyamoto hoped one day for his creations to be included in their cast. Star Fox 2 is discussed as well; the reason given for its cancellation was purely timing. Due to developmental delays, the eventual release window was far too close to the N64's, so some wondered if consumers would spend the money on a game with a special (and expensive) polygonal chip when a dedicated system was right around the corner. Though much of what they did in that title laid the groundwork for the N64 installment.

Regarding its expanded up scope and scale, which included a stronger emphasis on drama, script writer Mitsuhiro Takano mentions how difficult it was entering the project in the midst of development, especially when he was expecting a far lighter tone, based upon the original's. Furthermore, explaining how to play the game was just as important as advancing the story. Yet to avoid dialogue that was too expository and stilted, Shigesato Itoi (best known for the Mother) series was consulted. His primary criticism was dialogue that didn't feel appropriate for sci-fi epic, but instead a historical drama.

The entire conversation can be read here. Unfortunately the one question I've always had left remains unanswered: why hasn't the original been released on the Wii's Virtual Console yet?

Japan, Virtua Fighter Fans Cheer On Evo2K11 Champ Fuudo

August 3, 2011 5:00 PM |

Though they likely could have just stayed at home to watch livestreams from the event on their computers, many of Japan's fighting game fans gathered instead at a public party hosted by God's Garden (which holds its own huge fighting game tournaments) in Tokyo to watch the show.

In this video from the event, you can just feel the tension in the room as everyone watches one of the last Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition matches of the tournament, Fuudo playing as Fei Long and making a comeback against PoongKO's Seth.

Background on this match: PoongKO, representing Korea, had just defeated Japan's Daigo Umehara, who was favored to win the whole thing. Obviously there's national pride at stake here, and many of the watchers likely rooted for Fuudo to avenge his fellow countryman and bring the championship home.

Fuudo went on to take first place in the SSFIV AE tournament, also ending Arizona-based Latif's murder spree against Japan's top-tier players. For those wondering how this guy came out of nowhere to win it all, he's actually been in the fighting game scene for some time now.

The reason why many might not know of Fuudo is, previous to Evo2K11, he was mostly known for his prowess in Virtua Fighter, not Street Fighter. In fact, many Virtua Fighter fans are now bragging that it was Fuudo's skills honed in VF that allowed him to dominate SSFIV AE.

After the break, you can see a photo of Japanese members from the local Virtua Fighter scene, all celebrating Fuudo's victory over the SSFIV tyrants. The text essentially reads, "Fuudo! Congratulations!"

Latif Wins SSFIV At Evo For America Without Actually Winning

August 1, 2011 11:00 AM |

While Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 was my favorite game to watch at Evo this year, every fighting game fan's attention was on the Super Street Fighter IV AE tournament finals last night, and not just because it was the marquee title for the event.

People wanted to know: Will Daigo "The Beast" Umehara take it all again for a threepeat? How crazy must the competition be that folks like Justin Wong, Mago, and Mike Ross didn't make it to the top 8? And will Tokido the Murderface jump in the air and throw a diagonal fireball into the crowd?

The answers to those questions are "no", "very crazy", and "not this time at least". In a stunning upset, former champion Daigo (playing as Yun) was knocked into fourth place, sent to the loser's bracket after being dominated by Korea's Poongko and his crazy Seth, then flame-kicked out of the tournament by Latif's C. Viper (match above).

Japan's Fuudo and his Fei Long took home the championship, but Latif, who placed second, was the big story -- the Saudi Arabian transplant (moved to Arizona and repping the States at Evo) bested Tokido, Poongko, and Daigo consecutively. The dude was a monster, even though he ran out of gas when he faced Fuudo in the grand finals.

Latif's run was legendary, one that will be talked about centuries from now, when children ask their mothers to recount how the "Daigoslayer" brought pride back to America's SSFIV fans after years of humiliation at Japanese players' hands, before they go to bed. To celebrate at the end of the tournament, Latif jumped on the hands of hyped attendees and crowdsurfed!

You can see the final match of the night, which showed a good effort from Latif's C. Viper towards the end against Fuudo's Fei Long:

Evo's MvC3 Highlight Matches: Crazy Upsets, 8-Year-Old Hulks Dudes' Faces Off

August 1, 2011 9:00 AM |

Just as I expected, even though I couldn't punch my way out of a virtual paper bag in any fighting game, I spent the entire weekend following Evo2K11 this weekend, watching hours of high-level matches at the world's biggest tournament series for the genre.

And while there were plenty of unforgettable Evo2K11 points -- Daigo getting knocked to fourth place in Super Street Fighter IV AE, Mortal Kombat making its debut at the show, etc -- I was entertained most by the hectic matches for Marvel vs Capcom 3, a game I didn't have much interest in before this weekend!

Dark Phoenix cheesiness and berserkered/X-factored Wolverine seemed to dominate the Marvel vs Capcom 3 scene, but that didn't make the tournament any less exciting. There were plenty of come-from-behind matches, unexpected early knockouts for early winners, and a big win for MvC3 Evo champion Viscant.

I've collected some of the matches I loved to watch the most for you here, including a couple games played by 8-year-old prodigy and fan-favorite Noah, who wiped the floor with plenty of dudes twice/thrice his age, placing in the top 48 out of more than a thousand entrants and winning the show's Rising Star award.

Avoid Scenes Of Spurting Blood Or Ultra Violence, Plus Other Hints When Making Neo Geo Games

July 26, 2011 7:00 PM |


Originally uncovered by the folks at fansite Neo-Geo, and later picked up by our very own sister site Gamasutra, is a mountain of technical information that SNK provided to those wishing to make games for their Neo Geo home and arcade system, all compressed into a 220 page PDF.

Not only is hardware covered exhaustively, but software as well. There's even a timeline provided that breaks down how long they believe the developmental process should be; in their opinion, it's a 14-step process that takes approximately 10-14 months. Though the most entertaining section is labeled "Game Content, Language, and Symbol Consideration" on page 106, which provides the following guidelines...

"1. Avoid scenes of spurting blood or ultra violence for the game actions, even in secret moves.

2. Symbols of adult consumption such as liquor bottles and cigarettes or large wads of money require special consideration.

3. Avoid religious symbols of any form.

4. Copyrighted symbols and trademarks or brand names are not recommended, unless there is a brand tie-in for the game basis. Similarly, avoid using famous people's names or likenesses due to possible invasion of privacy.

5. Profanity and anti-social language are to be avoided.

6. Avoid using sound effects or music that is borrowed without permission of the authors/composers."