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  • RevEng: Dang. Just dang. To say I'm bummed that this ride is over is an understatement. Thanks for all of the hard work over the years read more
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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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This Is The End, My Friend.

November 29, 2011 7:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Simon Carless: OK, if you're reading GameSetWatch, prepare for some bad news. I'm afraid we're putting the site on semi-permanent hiatus, as of, uhm, this very post, after 6 years (wow!) of reporting the best, brightest and weirdest in alt.games news.

I'll let current editors Eric Caoili and Danny Cowan have their say after I contribute a few words, but first, I'mma let myself end things out with a brief eulogy to the site, which I founded back in November 2005.

And here's the kickoff post, revealing launch contributors including current IGF chairman Brandon Boyer, Kotaku/MeatBun and now GameTrailers stalwart Michael McWhertor, Gamasutra news director Frank Cifaldi, and the ever-awesome Alice Taylor, as well as Game Developer mag EIC Brandon Sheffield (and yep, Insert Credit, which I also contributed to sporadically, was def. an inspiration for GSW.)

Although that initial line-up was kinda awesome, and they certainly contributed _some_, a look through the early years revealed mainly boundless OCD-like enthusiasm for me in terms of finding _weird video game stuff_, including Lil Jon's crunk golf game and lots more. Did I really check 500+ RSS feeds _daily_ for GSW? Apparently...

In the first few months, you'll also find awesomeness like a LimeLife press kit unboxing from Frank (we have a bug with old author names not being displayed right, sorry about lack of crediting there!). We also started up a bunch of columns, one of the signature parts of GSW in its early and mid-life.

Tilt Warning: Pinball News Overload

November 29, 2011 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili

After having an absolute blast playing several Stern tables (e.g. The Sopranos, Nascar, Family Guy) for hours with friends over the holiday weekend, I really wish I had spent more time talking about recent pinball machines at GameSetWatch, especially since so few other video game blogs mention them. Regrets!

I'll try to make up for it a little with this post -- let's start with the above image for the "beginning stages" of the first prototype for the Emerald City Limited Edition Wizard of Oz machine, the first table coming from recently founded company Jersey Jack Pinball. Please follow ECLEWOZ's development here, and support Jersey Jack!

You can't talk about modern pinball without mentioning Stern, which just debuted three cabinet designs and improvements for LE Transformers Pinball. It has also been putting out a mini-documentary series for Transformers Pinball, which you can watch here.

And speaking of Pinball-themed documentaries, Brett Sullivan's award-winning film Special When Lit: A Pinball Documentary is now streaming on Netflix and worth a watch. And of course, I must point you to Pinball Donut Girl, another documentary about this fine co-op tradition, which is in production and needs your attention.

Upcoming virtual pinball games to look out for!: Farsight Studios' Pinball Arcade (iOS, Android, Xbox 360, PS 3, PS Vita, and 3DS), and Zen Studio's Zen Pinball (iOS) and Zen Pinball 3D (3DS eShop), and Game Prom's Da Vinci Pinball (iOS and Mac, DLC for the company's previously released Pinball HD).

They don't capture half the experience of playing on a real table, but they're wayyy cheaper to buy and maintain. If you'd like to keep up with the latest going-ons in the pinball world, Pinball News and Arcade Heroes are both excellent places to start.

Katsuya Terada Has A Tumblr!

November 29, 2011 3:00 PM | Eric Caoili

I've talked much before about Katsuya Terada, the super talented Japanese illustrator who's contributed artwork to games and game guides like Jake Hunter, Final Fantasy, Wizardry, Tekken, Culdcept, and many other series.

He's also worked on concept art and character designs for films like Blodd: The Last Vampire, Hell Boy, and Sucker Punch. You probably know his work best from his amazing pieces for the Legend of Zelda guides.

For those who want to follow his work, Terada has started a new Tumblr blog for his illustrations, Terra's Sketchbook, which already has 20+ updates. It's mostly from his non-game related pieces, but there's still lots of great stuff there.

[Via Jakten]

Gunpoint Video Shows Off Elevator Hacking, Security Guard Defenestrating

November 29, 2011 12:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Ever since the group behind stealth puzzler Gunpoint replaced the project's placeholder graphics with a dark and detailed look that actually seem to do the game's concept justice, I've hoped that a video would come out to show the new graphics in motion.

Indie developer Tom Francis (John Roberts and Fabian Van Dommelen helped with the art) has finally released that clip I've been waiting for two months later -- watch this walkthrough video in full-screen to see hot great this looks all animated and whatnot.

Here Francis takes us through a few stages, explaining the premise, missions, upgrades, and most importantly the Crosslink system that allows you to hack into light switches, elevators, and other electronics to manipulate the stages and their security guards.

Gunpoint is expected to release for Windows first around "probably Christmas". Francis also hopes to create a version for Linux systems, but he admits he doesn't know how to port this Game Maker title yet.

[Via Kotaku]

2011: A Year In Orange And Blue Video Game Covers

November 28, 2011 8:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Movie posters are notorious for overusing orange/blue contrast, but video game covers are even worse. It's gotten especially bad over the last year, as I noted in a previous feature.

It's the lack of imagination that gets me, I suppose. These covers almost always follow a strict formula: a vertical line down the middle of the package divides orange and blue, often as a lazy way to distinguish opposing factions. Effectively, game publishers are saying, "There are good guys and bad guys in this game. There will be conflict. You like conflict. Buy our game, idiot."

Publishers also think that some regions are stupider than others, as demonstrated by the difference between the North American and European boxart for Tron: Evolution: Battle Grids. Gamers in the United States are dumb, make no mistake, but at least they're able to grasp the cover art's creativity and subtlety without needing additional color to drive the point home.

(The point, by the way, is that two guys are fighting.)

Behind The Scenes Of Mario Kart 7's Commercial

November 28, 2011 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili

It's easy to see something like this U.S. commercial for the Nintendo 3DS's upcoming Mario Kart 7 game, and assume all the neat stuff here is done in post-production, with everything but the actors themselves CG-d.

While that's true for the effects and objects floating around the course (e.g. Cheep-Cheeps, item boxes), the carts themselves and the stunts were in the original film, according to these clips I came across in Drivers Inc.'s Vimeo account.

The videos below show that the stunt driving team worked with the wacky drivable carts that look just like what you see in the commercials, and set up a scary double-crane and ramp setup to shoot a vehicle grabbing some air.

I wish there were more of these clips -- really, I'd love to see a real race of the carts without all the fancy effects added in.

Ezio Beating The Ladies Off With A Stick On Dating Site

November 28, 2011 3:00 PM | Eric Caoili

I'm unsure what would posses someone to create a profile for Ezio Auditore da Firenze, protagonist of Ubisoft's recent Assassin's Creed games, on a dating site, but someone did, and, the fictional character appeared to generate a lot more interest from women than some real-life dudes I know who've experimented with these services.

Maybe it's that exotic name? His tall frame and athletic body type? Or his exciting bio: "I was a seducer of women and a playful man, I possessed acrobatic skills far beyond those of my peers, barring my brother. I came from an affluent background and had many friends until the deaths of my father and brothers drove me out of Florence for many years."

Whatever it was, it fooled several women into believing the image above is a real photo, and some contacted the assassin to learn more about him. Reddit user Bombadil posted screenshots of their exchanges with Ezio for our entertainment:

More Zen Pinball Hits iOS, eShop This Week

November 28, 2011 12:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Zen Studios is bringing more of its downloadable pinball games to portable platforms this week, starting with Zen Pinball for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, which will feature a mix of the studio's original designs as well as Marvel-licensed ones.

The developer will offer three tables at launch, one of those being "Sorcerer's Lair", which will be available completely for free -- you'll have to purchase the other tables. The game will have achievements, leaderboards, and hot seat multiplayer.

It sounds similar, if not nearly identical, to Zen Pinball THD (trailer above), which was also a port of PSN's Zen Pinball and released to Tegra 2-powered Android devices earlier this year with Sorceror's Lair and other tables.

And in Europe at least (no word yet on whether the same is true for the U.S.), Zen Pinball 3D is releasing to the Nintendo 3DS's eShop this week with four diferent tables: "Shaman", "El Dorado", "Earth Defense", and "Excalibur".

[Via crackervizzo]

Game Paused: New Mario, Zelda, and L.A. Noire Tees

November 28, 2011 9:00 AM | Eric Caoili

The folks at game-themed apparel shop Game Paused relaunched their site recently and added three new tees to its line, paying homage to beloved titles old and new, including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and L.A. Noire.

Game Paused's Super Mario design is especially nice, riffing off the four-color lineart that was on the Super Famicom's Japanese packaging. The Zelda 25th anniversary shirt is neat, too, featuring dozens of familiar icons from the series.

You can pick them up for around £22-24 ($34-37) each, with free shipping, on Game Paused's site. Make sure to admire the exploded Game Boy and Genesis/Mega Drive, Sack Boy, Link cosplay, and Halo designs there, too.

If Studio Ghibli's Ponyo Was A GBC Game

November 27, 2011 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili

If Studio Ghibli made licensed games for its films instead of collaborating on original titles (e.g. Magic Pengel, Ni no Kuni), this is what one of them woud sort of look and sound like! That's presuming the famed animation house would create a game for a 2008 film like Ponyo on a 1998 handheld like the Game Boy Color.

Feegrita Sinclair and Mee-lin created this short video for a school project, animating Hayao Miyazakis' charming goldfish-becomes-a-human-girl movie as an 8-bit title, throwing in some Super Mario Bros. sound effects and a chiptune-style arrangement of Joe Hisaishi's score. I would be down for this.

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