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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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Wii

Will Wii Win? A Japanese Perspective

January 8, 2007 9:06 PM |

- This has been floating around my 'to be posted' list for a while, but I haven't seen anyone else put it up, so - 'Western game developer in Japan' blog Japanmanship has a neat post called 'Will Wii Win?', all about Nintendo's new console and the Japanese market.

Some of his key insights? "In Japan companies know customers expect free goodies for loyalty... This goes a long way and Nintendo play that game very well. Club Nintendo in Japan is actually worthwhile; the presents you can get on points are usually pretty cool. Gold and Platinum members, which depends on how many points you accrue, get given extra freebies, probably at quite a cost to Nintendo." This is a good point.

The conclusion? "In the end it is injudicious to speak of winners or that hateful term “console war”... I certainly hope the PS3 can keep its fair share of the market and the Wii will keep selling, as well as Microsoft finally cracking that Japanese market that has eluded it so far despite some heroic efforts. As a consumer though, my choice is clear: the Wii is providing me more value for money and fun than either of its competitors could hope to manage."

GameSetLinks: Wii Like To Super Swing

December 28, 2006 4:19 AM |

- Ah yes, a little more GameSetLink-age for the post-holiday period, led by Tom Chick's look into a little swinging Wii golf action:

- Super Swing It!: I've seen some wildly diverging reviews for it already, but the Wii version of Pang-Ya/Albatross 18, Super Swing Golf, came out earlier this month, and over at QT3, Tom Chick has a much more positive take on it, linking to his Yahoo! review and commenting: "But Super Swing Golf does enough things better than Mario or Hot Shots Golf that it's currently my golf game of choice. With the Wii swinging, it's a great party game with more personality than Wii Sports' golf and more gameplay than the wretched Super Monkey Ball's take on golf." Looks like it may be worth picking up.

- Christmas Carded: Better late than never, my fellow Gamasutra news editor Jason Dobson updated eToychest with a few game company Christmas cards, including several that we didn't scan in during our own round-up Particularly goofy? "Capcom's rather humorous card shows that the company's obsession with the undead extends even to this festive season", heh - and there are also Atlus, Microsoft, and other fun cards.

- Pocket Aces: UK site Pocket Gamer has picked its Top 50 Mobile Games for 2006, and we're linking to it (and not the 50 billion other countdowns!) because it actually showcases cellphone games that a) look neat, and b) that we were unaware of. And the top 4 titles are all original IP, actually. The Pocket Gamers comment: "From action-adventures to puzzlers to racers, just about every genre had one or two standout titles to download" - and we're vaguely excited to play a few of them.

- Three Dream Rings Office: Over at Puzzle Pirates and Bang Howdy creator Three Rings Design, they're having a teensy office remodel - as spectacularly showcased by interior design firm Because We Can, who are masterminded. Wait, can we get offices like this, NOW? I think this was first discussed in Daniel James' new Letter From The Captain post on PuzzlePirates.com - his personal update at TheFloggingWillContinue (heh!) reveals his Burning Man project and all the cool game confs he visited this year.

- Second Life Gullibility Syndrome: Clay Shirky is going fairly postal on Second Life media hype at a revitalized Valleywag, and his latest post takes allegedly 'lazy' media types to task for swallowing Linden's definition of 'Resident': "The basic trick is to make it hard to remember that Linden's definition of Resident has nothing to do with the plain meaning of the word resident. My dictionary says a resident is a person who lives somewhere permanently or on a long term basis. Linden's definition of Residents, however, has nothing to do with users at all -- it measures signups for an avatar." Plenty more reasonably justified grump if you click through, m'dears - didn't Chuck D have something to say about this whole issue?

Celebrity Mii Contest Cha Cha Cha

December 23, 2006 5:04 PM |

- Catching up with Kottke.org in my RSS round-up, I spotted the results of the site's fun Mii contest: "From over 220 entries in the Celebrity Mii Contest, the judges have selected their favorite celebrity avatar created with the Nintendo Wii."

Looks like a painfully hip Zach Braff Mii (pictured) won out: "Judge Spencer Sloan of Goldenfiddle said of this entry: "What's beautiful about this one is the truth in this piece. Yes, Braff, you're a nose and some lip. Bravo to the artist for taking a risk." Judge Jen Bekman of the Jen Bekman gallery said of the Braff: "There is this eerily human quality - I mean it really looks like him, as a person, in a weird way.""

Scroll waay down, and there's an almost surreal compilation of random figures: "Velma from Scooby Doo, Hannibal Lecter, Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas, Dick Cheney, Tom Cruise, Hulk Hogan, Jennifer Wilbanks (aka The Runaway Bride), George Costanza, Charlie Brown, and V from V for Vendetta." Still, fun!

GameSetLinks: Wii Will Farm You

December 16, 2006 7:23 AM |

- A relaxing Friday night is a good time to catch up on our regular-ish GSW linkdump, and even though it's getting pretty close to Xmas, that's actually plenty of interesting, good stuff out there. The blogosphere never sleeps?

- Massive Lack Of Backup?: Just a random note from QT3 - Steve Bauman from Computer Games Magazine and Massive Magazine has an interesting post in which he claims of CGMag's attitude to MMO gold farmers (banned from other mags like PC Gamer!): "IGE is no longer on the back page, for what it's worth, but still has a third-page in the interior. Here's the unfortunate reality: Our MMO magazine hasn't taken a single IGE ad, yet none of the companies that make "principled stands" against people that accept gold farming ads have stepped up to take IGE's place. So, we're screwed if we accept the ads, and screwed if we don't."

- Wii Did Not Recall!: Edge Online has a sharp but relevant piece, pointing out the incorrect nature of stories like: "'Nintendo is recalling more than three million straps for its new Wii console' says the BBC." They point out: "The truth behind the story concerning The Big Wii Strap Scandal isn't quite so sensational: Nintendo is not recalling any of its stock, but will happily change your Wii strap for a more robust replacement if you get in touch with its customer services department." We got it right on Gama, but who's behind this more tart Edge Online editorial? Is it existing staffers, or is Iain (Simons?), who posts in the comments, behind it? Reply if you know.

- Choco-What? Yikes!: Via Fort90, a completely bizarre costume of a Chocobo from Final Fantasy which was, for some strange reason, "created from a text description only. No visual input...no discussions from the clients... It was on display at the Barbican Art Gallery in London from May to September, 2002, as part of a show called “Game On” which is about the history and development of computer games." Why did they not provide reference, or am I missing something? Scroll down for other odd oddness.

- Riah Homebrew Go!: Selectbutton's Dessgeega has a post on a dojin PC game explaining that "...team folio's riah is an homage to castlevania, and not the metrovania style of castlevania that seems to have become the current template for the series, but the older model, where platforming is crucial and enemies are placed carefully to construct compelling setpieces." Also, Tim Rogers explains why Famitsu is PR, and that's fine.

- The Gaming Generation: 1UP has another of its excellent (though a little sparse of late) features, on how gaming and parenthood blend: "Gamers that stared down the challenges of reaching "just one more level" or beating an old high score are now facing a more significant challenge: blending marriages, mortgages, and parenting together with their gamer lifestyle. How are some members of the "videogame generation" coping? What do the children of gamer parents think? And where do sociologists see the "videogame generation" taking family relationships and gaming itself in the future?"

- Beatmaania, Never Over Here Again: NCSX points out that Beatmania IIDX 12 Happy Sky has debuted for PS2 in Japan. Shame that the U.S. PS2 version of Beatmania, by all accounts a bit of a lackluster song structure and choice compared to the Japanese highlights, looks like it's stopped further versions of the game being released in the States. I look forward to the time when stuff like this is digitally downloadable, XBLA-style, untranslated, for niche gamers. If that ever happens! Also, SNK Vs. Capcom DS is out in .JP - Brandon points out it's due in the West in early 2007.

- PS3 Vs. Xbox 360 - Blog Fight! - N'Gai Croal, whose Newsweek blog is a canny new read, has a good analysis of Microsoft's blog war vs. Sony - or rather, lack of war: "As hilariously transparent as [Microsoft blogger Andre] Vrignaud's motives may be, it doesn't excuse the fact that when it comes to the Battle of the Blogs, Sony Computer Entertainment has simply chosen not to fight." And yep, Three Speech and my critique of it gets cited. I think Vrignaud probably gives Microsoft PR conniptions, but we all understand where he's coming from, and that's SO much better.

No More Heroes, Lots More Money For Suda?

December 15, 2006 5:20 PM |

- The de-lovely Christian Nutt was kind enough to send over his newly published interview with Suda51, which is up at GamesRadar, and in it, Mr. 51 talks about his new Wii title No More Heroes.

Suda is most interesting because he's so direct about where he's seen in the marketplace - essentially as a cult icon, which is not necessarily where he wants to be: "I want profit and I want respect. I want the indie respect and the profit of the mainstream. I'm aiming to make No More Heroes more marketable than before. I'm making this game, more so than before, a game that's going to sell units in America and Europe."

He continues: "For Killer 7, my aim was to make something completely new in all different directions. So I think that maybe it was a new experience that wasn't familiar for American users when they first played Killer 7. So Killer 7 got all this different feedback. So it's actually a really good lesson for me in terms of what Americans and Europeans like in terms of gameplay."

"[For No More Heroes] I'm going towards the American, more standard type of gameplay. I think it will fit well with what people appreciated from Killer 7: the presentation, the cinematics, the story. So I think it will be easier for people to pick up and play - more so than Killer 7 - because I've learned a lot from just listening to other people's feedback from the gameplay of Killer 7." Oh, and he also namedrops The Warriors as a Western game he dug, which is really interesting.

Wii Will Romance The Ladies

November 22, 2006 11:33 AM |

- In times of console launch, you must rely on UK Resistance to get you through, and yet again, they calm our shattered nerves with a look at how UK women's magazines are tackling the Wii.

Well, it's actually an advertorial in Glamour magazine, but nonethless, it includes such genius elements as '5 reasons why ever girl needs a Wii', with #5 being: 'Forget a designer sofa, this is the only accessory a girl needs'. If we didn't know better, we'd swear that Zorg wrote this himself.

Also, commenter 'RoboSel' claims: "I was talking to my sister yesterday about games and I said have you seen the Nintendo Wii? She replied by saying "isn't that the new game thing for girls?" That's done it for me!" So there you have it - the Internet has spoken.

[Oh, and if you're not reading the UK Resistance spinoff gadget blog, Idiot Toys, you really should be. Looks like they stopped updating the insanely twisted My Animal Crossing blog. Still, we just found The Beppin Legacy, which is apparently about an attempt to create the Fourth Reich in Animal Crossing, and is apparently 'loosely affiliated' with UKR - there's evidence indicating that Zorg is a Beppin collaborator, if you dig deep enough. So we're waiting for the inevitable post-Beppin treason trials.]

Special Report: Wii Loves NY

November 20, 2006 6:01 PM |

[Regular GSW columnist Matt 'Fort90' Hawkins spent all of this past Satuday night, and early Sunday morning, at Nintendo's Will launch spectacular in the heart of New York City, Times Square, to provide the following special report on perhaps one of the most successful console launches in history.]

I arrived in Times Square around 8:40pm-ish, forty minutes late for the official kick-off for the midnight countdown for Nintendo's Wii (would have been sooner, but the subways in New York City, especially on a weekend evening, are often frustratingly flakey) and as I approached the Toys R Us, which was the official site for the system’s launch, I was expecting a long line of diehard gamers all waiting for the opportunity to be the very first to take Nintendo's latest little wonder machine home. And that's precisely what I got, but a whole lot more.

[Click through for LOTS more - jeez, Matt, this must be the biggest Wii launch report EVER!]

Want A Wii? Watch Out For Wiinjuries!

November 17, 2006 11:04 AM |

- Oddly enough, there really haven't been enough good humor articles related to the next-gen console launches, but 1UP singlehandedly redeems that with their Wiinjuries: Getting Hurt Playing Nintendo pictorial guide, from the inestimable Scott Sharkey.

It's explained; "The Wii comes with about seventeen pages of warnings about using the Wiimote without the wrist strap. The thing actually includes a sensor that can tell when you're not using it properly, electronically alerting Nintendo H.Q. whenever you're breaching the warranty. Trust me, they can and will exercise their legal right to release the wards binding Hiroshi Yamauchi into retirement so he can go to your house, judo-chop the top of your head off and feast upon your living brain."

Yet: "We know gamers. Ain't nobody going to remember to slip that goofy strap around their wrist. Hell, you'll make fun of any pansy friends who actually do use the thing. As a public service we've taken it upon ourselves to explore all the dangerous possibilities of improper Wii-mote use. At least three interns lost their lives making this feature, but if we can scare even a single gamer into Wiiing responsibly it'll be worth their sacrifice." We hear that Gama news guy Jason Dobson has thrown his Wii-mote into the chandelier already, so the resulting pictorials on the 1UP piece make a _lot_ of sense (except, uhh, a few!)

Uncle Monsterface Gets Wii Guitar Hero Remix Fun

November 16, 2006 3:45 PM |

- You may recall that we recently linked to Uncle Monsterface, the 'sock puppet rock and roll extravaganza' band who are relasing a Wii album to coincide with the system's launch.

Well, they mailed us again to reveal some very cool remixes from some friends in the game biz: "In support of the soon to be released "fanboy album of rock", some of our friends at Harmonix (you know the guys that make Guitar Hero) did some rocktastic remixes for us!"

Thus: "inter:sect's remix of Lobster Building (inter-sect.net) and Izzy Maxwell's "Hump Everything" remix of Underground Mutant Prairie Dogs from Hell (izzymaxwell.com) will only be available for the remaining days until the release of NINTENDODE and The Wii!" Also extra points for trying to link the unlinkable: "Now, we here at Monsterface Inc. realize that GUITAR HERO isn't for any of Nintendo's fine platforms or systems. But the fact of the matter is that GUITAR HERO, like the NINTENDO Wii, embraces a notion of fun and inclusive gaming - games made to get people standing up and rocking out and having fun - together, even (perhaps while in the same room!). "

Also, their disclaimer in their press release is fun: "And once again, HARMONIX, RED OCTANE, KONAMI, NINTENDO, Rupert Murdoch, The NRA, The Justice League - none of these companies have prepared or approved or licensed or produced any of what we are doing here. Just to be absolutely clear..." Hey guys, you forgot Activision!

[Oh, and apparently, if you're in New York for the Wii launch at the Nintendo Store, the Monsterface guys reveal: "We'll be the guys with the giant monster handing out the cool "Nintendode: songs for the big N" promo cards." And getting carted off by security?]

New Games Opening Journalism Spotlight: Mexico

November 1, 2006 2:04 PM |

wiiopening.jpgFor those who didn't believe us last time, we have further proof that pictures of guys opening boxes is slowly taking over games journalism, and it is hot hot stuff folks!

Mexico-based Atomix magazine has posted an exclusive pictorial of some Mexican guys in free promo T-shirts opening a Wii. In true New Games Opening Journalism fashion, every detail of the box opening is carefully documented, including the part where a guy - the only guy without a mustache - can't help but peel back the Wii's flap and take a whiff.

guysmellswii.jpg

Also featured: a man with a woman's mustache wearing a pink Every Extend Extra shirt, people pointing at things, and that crappy longsleeve PlayStation 3 promotional shirt they gave out at a press event that I ended up tipping a bartender with.

We can't find the original source of these photos, unfortunately; they were lifted from the GameSpot-hosted blog of one Adolfo Sanchez. We don't know who Adolfo is, but judging by his latest entry, which says "Remember the best info,,and pics only here...," we're left to assume that he's a video game journalist. Perhaps the finest video game journalist our world has ever known.