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Archive For August, 2011

At Last, The Face Behind The Name TOM-PON Revealed

August 31, 2011 11:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

Mega Man players from back in the day might recognize TOM-PON as one of the end credit names that elicited juvenile laughs among you and fellow elementary/junior high chums. But it's a real person, and Japan's own Rockman Unity recently decided to sit down and ask the "living legend" some questions.

The interview, administered by a guy that's all decked like Mega Man himself (previously seen in one of my early Tumblr recaps; I had no idea he was a Capcom employee), is broken into seven parts. Two have been translated thus far, courtesy of Gregaman, from Capcom Unity on this side of the ocean.

Part one, above, is admittedly light on substance, but the second dose, seen after the cut, has a decent amount of meat. We discover that TOM-PON's (real name Naoya Tomita) very first title, right after his training stint, was the original Mega Man. Not surprisingly, the limited horsepower that the Famicom provided was a great challenge to overcome.

Though his determination to figure out means to maximize background elements gave him the nickname "Scroll Machine" (scrolls is what Capcom called backgrounds back in the day). Hopefully the rest of the interview will be translated in due time.

Uncharted Is Getting A Reality Show

August 31, 2011 9:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins


Given that future of Uncharted's motion picture adaption is uncertain at best, the next best possible route to extend the franchise is a television show of some sort. But instead of additional Nathan Drake adventures that occur before/after/in between the games, which makes the most sense, it will instead be a reality show.

Uncharted 3: Race to the Ring will be a special for G4, gaming's de facto TV HQ (for better or worse). The plan is to pit contestants against each other in a series of challenges, both in game and in real life. It's assumed that the later will be based upon things that Drake goes through himself.

In that case, it might resemble G4's most popular program, Ninja Warrior, with regular people attempting to perform all kinds of intense and wacky physical feats. But with the show actually has something to do with video games, which is somewhat rare at this point for the network.

No word on what the prizes are, though one must assume that the ultra fab and limited edition shirts that was given at E3 and PAX will be included. Filming takes place in Los Angeles in early October. Those interested can apply here.

Rytmik Retrobits Bring Chiptune Authoring Onto DSiWare

August 31, 2011 7:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins


Fans of creating original 8-bit music on handhelds, take note; another option is on the horizon. Snuggling itself somewhere in between Little Sound DJ and one for the various KORG offerings on the DS is the upcoming Rytmik Retrobits.

Actually, it's the fourth iteration of developer Cinemax's Rytmik music authoring suite. Previous flavors have slanted towards rock and hip-hop, so perhaps it was only a matter of time that chiptunes became the next musical disciple to be catered towards.

"It contains more than 180 carefully selected authentic retro sound samples of electronic drums, percussions, bass, melodic instruments and effects from 8-bit and 16-bit computers and classic consoles." says the official website, where one can also listen to various samples of tunes that were created via the app.

No release date has been given, not price. It is hopeful that'll it make it out in the US, but given that Hip Hop King: Rytmik Edition never made it out here, it's future is somewhat uncertain.

[via Nintendo Life]

EU PlayStation Store Update - The Baconing, Elevator Action Deluxe, 4 Elements HD And More

August 31, 2011 6:00 PM | Ryan Langley


Nice, meaty week for games in Europe this week. First up, aptly, is The Baconing, the third DeathSpank title, for £9.99/€12.99, then comes puzzler 4 Elements HD for £6.29/€7.99. Square Enix's remake of Elevator Action is available for as Elevator Action Deluxe for £7.99/€9.99, and TV Superstars for £14.99/€19.99.

Two new Minis also join the fray -- Left to Die in Zombhai (£2.49/€2.99) and Snowy: The Bear's Adventures (£7.99/€8.99).

COLUMN: 'Roboto-chan!': Hounds of War

August 31, 2011 5:00 PM | Ollie Barder

['Roboto-chan!' is a column written by Ollie Barder, which covers videogames that feature robots and the pop-cultural folklore surrounding them. This edition covers the ground breaking game Chrome Hounds by From Software]

Back in 2001, From Software announced their support for Microsoft's first foray into the console market. With games like Murakumo and Gaia Blade. many of the Japanese press and public regarded the Xbox as a possible contender. After all, this was a staunch Japanese developer making games for an American console. The thing was that whilst Murakumo was available shortly after the Xbox's release in Japan, Gaia Blade disappeared into insignificance.

The promotional in-game movie for Gaia Blade that was shown at the 2001 Tokyo Game Show displayed a rather lush "real time simulation" RPG set in a mythical almost ancient Greek-inspired landscape. A scantily clad female warrior dispensed with multiple beasts in a pretty brutal fashion.

Roll forward a year to the following Tokyo Game Show, and now people were asking what had happened to Gaia Blade. This time there weren't any in-game movies but instead a few instances of pre-production artwork -- again set in the mythical world but now with bipedal mecha, and the game's name had been changed to that of Gaia Gear. Admittedly, very few were surprised to see mecha in a From Software game, but they were confused after seeing in-game footage of what looked to be an entirely different type of game. The question on everybody's lips was what in the hell was From Software doing?

A year later, a game finally appeared, the name had changed yet again as had the setting, but the same designs of bi-pedal mecha were present; the world had finally been introduced to Chrome Hound: Age of Arms.

Alleged Retrogaming Scammer Posthumously Redeemed By Brother

August 31, 2011 3:00 PM | Danny Cowan

If you're a member of Digital Press, AtariAge, or other popular retrogaming forums, you may be familiar with the exploits of a seller going by the name of "Psycho Penguin," who allegedly bilked his trading partners of thousands of dollars over the last decade. Professing to have a variety of rare classic games and memorabilia for sale, the seller never followed through on many of his offers, leading to widespread alerts and trading bans among the retrogaming community.

After nearly 12 years of purported bad deals, Psycho Penguin's brother Mike McFadden has come forward with news of Psycho Penguin's recent death. What's more, McFadden has offered to reimburse all buyers who never received products that his brother had offered for sale.

"At no point did he repent for his misdeeds and I couldn't find any evidence that he was going to either," notes McFadden. "Therefore I'll do it for him. Show me evidence that you were scammed by [Psycho Penguin] at any point in the past 12 years or so, and I'll reimburse you for the trade via PayPal. I'll also take the time to answer any appropriate questions."

It's an unlikely turn of events, but McFadden runs a reputable online business, and several compensated buyers vouch for the validity of his offer. McFadden gives further details and a list of his brother's many aliases at Digital Press.

[via @GDRI, @mneko]

XBLA Update - Rock Of Ages, The Baconing, Mortal Kombat Arcade Collection And Loads More

August 31, 2011 2:00 PM | Ryan Langley


Okay, so this is probably the craziest day for Xbox Live Arcade games in a long, long time. 4 brand new titles and two big pieces of DLC, and almost all of them look sweet.

First up, Ace Team (creators of Zeno Clash) have released their awesome looking ball roller Rock of Ages for 800MSP. Hothead are working their chops with their third title in the DeathSpank series -- The Baconing, for 1200MSP. After Street Fighter III coming out last week, we've now also got Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, a collection of the first three MK titles for 800MSP. Lastly, we have Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon, a dual stick coop shooter based on the TV series for 800MSP.

On the DLC side we have a new Pinball FX 2 table -- based on Ms. Splosion Man for 240MSP. We also have the Storm Season DLC for Fruit Ninja Kinect, which adds new blades and backgrounds to the game for 160MSP, and the Worms 2: Armageddon "Forts Pack", containing new single player levels and speech banks for 320MSP

200 Cars, Dozens Of Crashes In TrackMania 2: Canyon's Educational Trailer

August 31, 2011 1:00 PM | Eric Caoili

When you put together up to 200 cars on a single racing course, there's bound to be a few fantastic crashes -- the loops, corkscrews, and huge gaps in the track probably aren't going to help prevent your vehicle from flipping either.

I've loved Nadeo's TrackMania series for years, but this trailer for TrackMania 2: Canyon looks just insane, especially the crazy bits around 1:35-2:10, which seem teeming with racers. The car customization and track editing clips are nice, too.

Publisher Ubisoft will release TrackMania 2: Canyon for Windows on September 14, but you can play a multiplayer beta now if you preorder the game. My question, though, is where can I download an MP3 of this trailer's rad music?

[Via RockPaperShotgun]

Sega's Brick People Coming To iOS, Minus Physical Blocks

August 31, 2011 11:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Remember Block/Brick People, that really fun-looking colorful arcade game that had you guiding little aliens to fruit and other markers, placing real blocks in front of the screen to create platforms for the wandering characters?

Sega is bringing that experience to iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads, but instead of requiring a set of plastic accessories, Brick People on iOS just has you dragging digital blocks from a stack, dropping them into place via the multi-touch screen.

Multiplayer seemed like the most fun part of the arcade game, and you'll be able to compete with others on a single device if you have the iPad version, or you can build structures head-to-head via Bluetooth.

Brick People will release this fall with Game Center leaderboards for high scores, and the ability to tweet your tallest towers. 

NA PlayStation Store Update - Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, The Baconing, Elevator Action Deluxe And So Much More

August 31, 2011 10:00 AM | Ryan Langley


An explosion of content this week, it's all kind of nuts. If you can't find something to play this week, there might be something wrong with you.

This week starts off with Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection for $9.99, containing Mortal Kombat's 1, 2 and Ultimate 3. If you want some Action RPG in your veins, grab The Baconing, the third title in the DeathSpank series, for $14.99. If you want some weird looking dual stick shooter action, grab Ugly Americans: Apocalypseageddon for $9.99. If you're into a reimagined classic, check out Elevator Action Deluxe for $9.99, or if you want some puzzling challenge, check out 4 Elements HD for $9.99.

That's not all though -- two new games have also been added into the Neo Geo cabinet -- Shock Troopers, World Heroes, each for $8.99. Two new Minis were also added -- Snowy: The Bear'S Adventures ($2.99) and Carnivores: Ice Age ($3.99)

Lastly, one new piece of DLC -- the Joan of Arc character for Deadliest Warrior: Legends for $2.99.

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