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About GameSetWatch is the game weblog and sister site of 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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Uncle Monsterface Blasts Wii Tribute Album

October 25, 2006 5:04 AM |

tjtj.jpg More important breaking Wii news, as follows: "We, Uncle Monsterface, sock puppet rock and roll extravaganza, are releasing an online album dedicated to Nintendo, set to release in tandem with the Wii... and we thought you might find such a crazy endeavor interesting." Us? Never!

Wait, let's read on: "In addition to being a bizarre sock puppet rock band, Uncle Monsterface are a bunch of Nintendo fanboys. And they're gonna prove it... Featuring the full length songs: I'm Sorry (But Your Princess Is In Another Castle); Bring Back the Eggplant Wizard (song for Gunpei Yokoi); and MIYAMOTODE,the album will also feature short songs dedicated to the land of Hyrule (Zelda) and Samus Aran (Metroid)."

It's explained: "The album will release via as a download-only purchase with each track costing under $1." But more importantly, Uncle Monsterface have opened for Harry & The Potters, which makes them about as geek-rock as it's possible to be in this day and age - and the early MP3 sample of 'Miyamotode' indicates that we're dealing with some extremely broken minds. Make of this what you will!

GamePaused Gets Fruity With Wii, DS

September 13, 2006 9:03 PM | This is just plain odd, but hey, they sent it to us and we're going to print it - UK company GamePaused has released the 'Two Tasty Consoles' poster series, and is telling the entire Internet about it.

The explain: "GamePaused™ loves creative gaming and so naturally GamePaused™ loves the Wii. When we first heard of Nintendo’s new console we were filled with excitement over the possibilities it could offer gamers. What with the Nintendo DS already stretching the boundaries of games the news of the Wii got us rolling. We were inspired that Nintendo was looking at games the way we were, and so we had to pay homage–and so comes two posters from GamePaused™ available from"

But... how they they think of that? "As with every truly great idea it came spontaneously–during a regular lunch break–via text message ...And so we launch GamePaused™ product range in a somewhat creative fashion–just like a game." We're eagerly awaiting the Wii butter sculpture, now.

Anatomy Of A Rumor: EA, Wii, Digg, And You

August 5, 2006 6:02 PM | The question of game journalism, page views, and Digg hyping was brought home to me again this week, after a Gamasutra post that I made about Electronic Arts' post-earnings analyst call was picked up by a whole bunch of people, and at least in one case, notably distorted. How, why, and when? Let's go through the timeline.

Now, I'm not claiming any particular 'skill' in going to listen to the webcast of the earnings call - other people do so, too, but the thing I wrote that eventually got transformed into a Digg-topping headline was this:

"Regarding Wii pricing, EA execs simply commented that publishers would have to decide on pricing themselves, but that Nintendo had indicated that first-party Wii titles would not be priced at more than $49.99 - suggesting that Electronic Arts games may debut for Wii at $49.99 at launch, though they did not state this specifically." I'll reprint the exact EA quote later.

Most people who picked up on this, as part of a more explicit announcement that EA were doing more Wii and DS games (actually the subject of my Gamasutra headline), understood the greyness of the EA comments on price - for example, Joystiq commented, using my post:

"First party Wii titles won't be more than $49.99 "suggesting that Electronic Arts games may debut for Wii at $49.99 at launch." They weren't saying though." Right.

However, then UGO affiliate GameWorld Network came out with the following article: "EA Drops Bombshell: Wii Games 'No More Than $49.99'". The article is completely uncredited (not even saying where the comments took place), and specifically says:

"EA announced "...we have ramped up [game] production for the Wii and DS Lite' following significant excitement over the Nintendo-created consoles at E3." The spokesperson also went on to say that Wii games won't cost more than US$49.99 at launch. Well, we would hope not."

For reference, an earlier part of the original Gamasutra post says:

"Talking in the conference call following the announcement, EA executives particularly noted that "...we have ramped up [game] production for the Wii and DS Lite", following significant excitement over the Nintendo-created consoles at E3."

So GWN's story takes half of EA's quote and half of my own sentence and conflates them, and then changes the whole 'first-party games are $49.99, we're not saying exactly' statement to be much closer to 'all Wii games are $49.99'. Suck.

Then, even more confusingly, the GWN folks submitted the story to Digg, where it currently has 1423 Diggs (and has never been flagged as inaccurate!), and used quotation marks incorrectly again, this time directly suggesting:

"EA dropped the news during a conference call "...we have ramped up [game] production for the Wii and DS Lite' following significant excitement over the Nintendo-created consoles at E3. Wii games won't cost more than US$49.99 at launch."

Which is simply not true. To other sites' credit, they then attempted to unravel this mystery, with IGN doing a creditable job of explaining the confusion, getting a denial from EA that pricing has been set, and noting:

"In an earnings conference call yesterday, Electronic Arts CFO Warren Jensen responded to a question about Wii pricing, referring to comments from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata: "The only thing I heard is the CEO of Nintendo saying he could not imagine any of their titles being sold beyond $49.95."

This goes most of the way to explaining the confusion, but I went back to an archive of the EA earnings call just now, and here's Jensen's full answer to the question, for the record:

"All of the companies in the industry are going to have to make a decision about that. The only thing I heard is the CEO of Nintendo saying he could not imagine any of their titles being sold beyond $49.95. So again, everyone is going to have to make their own decision about pricing on that platform."

So, you can't hear Jensen saying that, but as I mentioned in my original report, I feel that a 'make up your own minds, first-party is $49.99, make up your own minds' answer indicates that EA is at least considering similar pricing. (Now, having said that, first-party Xbox 360 launch titles were $49.99, whereas most third-party launch games were $59.99 - but now, the first-party Gears Of War is apparently launching at a $59.99/$69.99 pricepoint this Xmas. So there's plenty of messages here!)

But overall, it bothers me that GWN has taken a statement I made that was not, in itself, explicitly newsworthy, and changed its message so that it's practically a scoop. It makes _me_ feel nervous about expressing these kind of nuanced opinions, which I think are perfectly legitimate, in news.

FWIW, I actually submitted our article on the EA earnings call to Digg hours before GWN's, but under the headline 'EA Ramps Up Wii Game Production'. So naturally, it got 9 Diggs, compared to 1423 for 'EA Drops Bombshell: Wii Games "No More Than $49.99"'. Unsurprisingly.

And this is exactly why I find completely reader-driven story choice a major problem at times - and I'm seeing it everywhere. Massive aggregators like Digg make it much easier to attract readers, as a one-time surge, to completely unknown sites with carefully skewed, sensationalist stories (as GWN has been attempting very successfully since), and it makes it all the more difficult to practice balanced journalism and get any notice.

So, is the era of Digg the age of the troll? I think we should be told.

Suda 51's HeROes: New videos

July 25, 2006 8:13 AM |

Gus at Looky Touchy has a link to a post over at The Wiire, a site devoted to the Nintendo Wii, about an upcoming title, HeROes.

Produced by Suda 51, aka Goichi Suda, of Killer 7 fame, the game sports the distinctive art style that had pundits postulating on "games as art," though it appears to sport a slightly less demented storyline and substantially more ultra-violence.


Though the links seem missing out of the Looky Touchy post, I managed to dig up a video over at The Wiire, or peep the whole directory here for more options.

The trailers look incredible, and will rumble your subs with gunfire aplenty. Try to ignore the characters when they talk, though. The dialogue is cheesy and poorly done and hopefully just filler for the trailers. With Killer 7 not exactly faring fantastically at the checkout counter, let's see if the guys at Grasshopper Manufacture and Capcom can drop something a little less...esoteric on us come Wii season.

UK's NGC Morphs Into Pan-Ninty NGamer

June 19, 2006 10:18 PM |

ngamer.jpg A bunch of UK sites including British Gaming Blog have picked this up and run with it, but Future Publishing's licensing site has revealed a new UK-centric Nintendo magazine, NGamer, billed as "the UK's first unofficial magazine to focus on Nintendo Wii", and replacing/rebranding the existing unofficial mag NGC.

Even though NGC's circulation was, well, pretty tiny ['14,000 (ABC: Jan-Dec 2005)'], apparently Future thinks it can still make money by pricing it at UKP5 ($9.20) with a DVD of game videos packed into every issue. Of course, it's also pointed out: "NGamer compliments perfectly with the Official Nintendo Magazine, published by Future in the UK, France and Italy." This was after ONM in the United Kingdom was wrested away from EMAP, which was a shame, cos it was getting increasingly avant and wacky!

So yep, two Nintendo magazines from the same company in the UK - when the only one in the U.S. now is run by Nintendo! As the British Gaming folks note: "it’s taking a different focus to ONM which has to stick a bit to Nintendo in the UK. NGamer will cover more Japanese stuff, with previews and reviews of import games." But they also comment skeptically: "It does have a DVD with every issue… but it’s gonna need new, good content which you can’t get on YouTube. Which is just about every video on the net." Sometimes it's easier to check stuff out on your TV, though.

PangYa For Wii - Is It Dead, Or Alive?

June 12, 2006 7:39 PM |

pangwii.jpgNeeto import game blog Siliconera has some excellent Wii-related game cameo news for us, and it relates to our old friend Albatross18.

Firstly, what we know: "Super Swing Golf Pangya, coming out for the Nintendo Wii, was originally developed by Ntreev Soft for the PC. Tecmo quickly snapped up the publishing rights and added in Wiimote support so players can use the controller as a golf club."

But now, what we didn't know: "Since this is a Tecmo game you’ve got to expect some of their mascots in the game right? Players will be able to unlock special costumes to dress up their characters like the Dead or Alive icon Kasumi." Though commenter 'the_importer' notes: "believe that TECMO stated that you actually unlock the actual character, not a costume. So we’d actually be playing with an SD version of Kasumi-chan." Even better for the otaku?

[UPDATE: Game Science's Jonnyram posts in the comments to handily clarify: "The interview with the developer says that it is just a Kasumi costume for one of the Pangya characters. I don't believe any of the popular Tecmo characters will make cameo appearances themselves, though I expect a wide array of costumes will be in the final game." So there!]

Eguchi: Caricatures An Integral Part Of Wii

June 4, 2006 12:10 PM |

carica.jpg Over at Wired News' game blog, they have confirmation that Nintendo's Wii hardware stores player profiles and caricatures, thanks to a leftover interview with Katsuya Eguchi conducted during this year's E3.

As is explained over the thus far mysterious feature: "Wii hardware will include a feature by which players can create "profiles" of themselves that include not only personal information but a caricature of their face that any Wii game will be able to access and use, as seen in the demonstration of Wii Sports Tennis."

Eguchi further comments: "The caricatures will exist in the hardware, as data, as one of several profiles that you could save in the Wii. And if you insert compatible software into the Wii, it will pull up the images that you chose", noting: "We're focusing on creating an editing tool that will allow players to create images as well as allow users to select one of several already-created images, if they're not artistically inclined."

This sounds, as with a whole bunch of other Wii features, extremely neat - I wonder if they'll go as far as including art tools in the creator, or whether it'll just be mix and match eyebrows and chins? In any case, personalization is big right now (see the Xbox Live Vision camera for another example, yay!)

PS3, Wii, ASCII... Hilarity!

June 3, 2006 10:42 AM |

2ch.jpg Thanks to Chris 'C-Unit' Kohler and the Wired Game|Life blog, we have lots of classic pictures of a 2CH ASCII thread poking fun at the Wii/PS3 nexus.

As teh Kohler explains: "Kotaku points out a hilarious thread on Japanese message board 2ch in which otaku illustrate, in text-based pictures (no images allowed on 2ch), the price disparity between the PlayStation 3 and Wii. I went ahead and took snapshots of some of the better ones and put them after the jump -- Kotaku did the same thing, but their images seem all screwed up."

They're pretty much all great - though be aware that at least one may contain some ASCII bosoms - and another some Tetris blocks, which may lead to addiction, counseling, and instant death. Eh, we made that last bit up - funny Delorean gag, though - it'll be back to the future for those wacky 2CH guys, yet!

Nintendo: Wii Want You To Use Language Proper

May 10, 2006 8:09 AM |

nintendowii.jpg One of the funnier things we've come across thus far at E3 is an official 'Nintendo Style Guide' hand-out given to us after the pre-E3 press conference yesterday - let's excerpt the important bit.

Subtitled: 'A Guide to the Proper Usage of Some of Nintendo's Products', the hand-out reveals: "Wii: Nintendo's upcoming home video game console. It is simply Wii, not Nintendo Wii. It is pronounced "we," indicating its all-inclusive nature. The name works best at the beginning of declarative statements. For clarity, it is best to avoid passive verbs and prepositions."

Wow - we feel like we're reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves suddenly. Of course, this means that Nintendo really want you to call it 'Nintendo's Wii' [EDIT: OK, they would prefer just 'Wii', but 'Nintendo's Wii' is technically correct, and 'the Nintendo Wii' is not, we think.] Ugh - not happening.

The rest of the definitions are less interesting, though the sheet of paper does officially note that: "DS stands for Dual Screens (or Developers' System)" when talking about the Nintendo DS, confirming that the DS part doesn't really have a single definition. More fascinating grammar-related E3 news later.

GameSetQ: Wii're Being Constructive, Not Destructive

May 1, 2006 5:27 PM |

wii.jpg So, we had this GameSetQ feature ("a daily question to be answered by GameSetWatch readers in the comments of this lovable weblog, and in some way related to the day's gaming issues"), and then we forgot about it a little bit, and then we remembered it again, so we're going to do another one!

And, since we just posted some game developer reactions to the naming of Nintendo's Wii next-gen console over at Gamasutra, we figured that we're both too late and too bored of the 'OMG! What do you think of the name?!' questions, so we offer the following, to be answered in comments:

"What name do you think most suits the Nintendo Wii, and what would you have named it, if you were the highly paid chief of Nintendo's crack branding team for this crucial pre-launch period?"

Uhm, when we say crack, we mean efficient, not actually smoking crack. You guys know that, right? The best answer will probably get mentioned in an update to the story - or we'll just laugh and point at it.