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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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Charlie's Angels - The Game - The Debacle

June 5, 2007 3:45 AM |

x.jpg Over at Game Of The Blog, the nutty Joel Reed Parker continues to defile himself in the name of crappy game playing, and he's taken a good, hard play through Charlie's Angels for GameCube just to really stick the oar in.

Parker explains: "I can usually find some enjoyment in a bad game but after a the first two hours, the final two I had to endure to finish it were pure punishment. Well, at least it makes for a good story." But then he wanders off and finds "a [completely different] download-only PC title, Charlie's Angels: Angel X", which I have to admit that I've never heard of - here's a trial version.

He explains: "The strangest thing about it is that it's a point and click brawler. The control is described as comparable to Diablo or Baldurs' Gate... playing through the first level of Angel X doesn't really make me want to. I really couldn't see it being entertaining at all, especially at 20 bucks. While I have to admit that it's amusing that there are Nestea Cool trucks and vending machines outside of the ancient Chinese training dojo-type place and a Sony-Ericsson Kyocera phone onscreen at all times but again, 20 bucks? This game should be free." Ouch, more badness for the girls.

Speed Running Res Evil... In Invisible Mode?

April 8, 2007 6:19 AM |

- Catching up with the fun at the Speed Demos Archive, there are all kinds of interesting new runs posted, but I'd particularly like to concentrate on the news page and this info: "Those unfamiliar with the remake of Resident Evil for the GameCube may not realise that it's possible to unlock an "invisible mode", where zombies and other enemies are not visible to the player." And somebody has speed run it? Blimey.

The page blurb is quite illuminating for the 1 hour, 36 minute run from David Stierle: "You will see a four-segmented Speed Run of Resident Evil: Remake on hard mode including "Invisible Enemy". It would be too boring to show you the same run only on hard mode, that's why I decided to run it additionally on Invisible Enemy. It makes the boss fights much harder; especially you don't have auto-aim. You get also less ammunition, less defence weapons and only two attacks of a zombie can kill you."

He continues: "There are only two very annoying situations in my run which could be done much better: * First situation: I have never done this mistake. While running upstairs where the two hunters are, the first one jumped in front of me and attacked me. Then the second hunter came and also attacked me. I got about four or five hits. Very annoying. * Second situation: The Underground where I... meet Liza. I missed the lever (very stupid for a "runner") and got hit about two-three times. Also very annoying." Still, I would have been lost after the first room with invisible foes.

Resident Evil 4 - Sekrits In Demo Versions?

February 3, 2007 1:38 PM |

- Randomly via the Lost Levels forums, I happened upon a pretty amazing guide to the Resident Evil 4 trial editions, over at the super-indepth 'The Horror Is Alive' RE fansite.

It's explained: "Shortly before the release of Resident Evil 4 in the United States fans were shocked to learn certain retailers were receiving stock of a very peculiar disc. Available only to those who pre-ordered, it was titled "Resident Evil 4 Preview Disc". Given away at most Gamestops and EB Games in the states, most of the stock was left unclaimed and therefore it was decided to simply give the disc away to anyone who wanted one."

He continues: "Less known, is the Resident Evil 4 Demo which was shipped to your home after purchasing the Resident Evil 2 pack, Pure Evil. More uncommon is the Nintendo Kiosk demo's which also contained Resident Evil 4 demos. So how many demos are known, and are any of them different? This article hopes to answer those questions." And so it does, over a grand total of 28 pages (!), with an insane amount of in-depth info - the site's other features also have some very cool otaku-like details, include several translations of Japanese-only RE backstory.

The most interesting thing by far is that the trial versions have been hacked, most notably to reveal removed 'Heat, Light, and Slow' effects that were left over from the semi-scrapped and adapted Resident Evil 3.5, which also included scenes in an airship, according to debug info - plenty more info about earlier RE4 versions on the Wikipedia page, for those not in the know.

From Guru Logic To Drill Champ

January 26, 2007 7:44 AM |

- Sorry, a little more Japanmanship linkage came a-calling, because it's in the form of a post on 'Forgotten gems' of Japanese gaming - specifically: "Some absolute classics that many people should play but that have never made it across the language barrier."

The obscurities include Guru Logic Champ for GBA ("This is, by far, the best puzzle game I have ever played. Created by the sadly deceased Compile this game never saw a western release"), and Kururin Squash for GameCube, which I did at least know about ("Kururin was a special little GBA game that not enough people played. Kururin Squash is the home console version and though not noticeably different in essence it’s still a worthy purchase, especially as it was released at the mid-price range in Japan.")

Also noted (and I've heard great things about this from someone - maybe Toasty?) is Mr. Driller version Drill Land for GameCube: "Though Mr. Driller isn’t unknown to western audiences this particular outing never made it to foreign shores. I once had a chat with a Namco localiser who told me he had begged his boss to let him translate this game; he would even do it in his spare time, such was his righteous love for the product. The boss, however, declined; as, with all things great and misunderstood, the game never sold well enough to even consider starting a localised version. This is too bad because this version is by far the very best Mr. Driller game of all."

The New Gamer Goes Home With Chibi Robo

August 5, 2006 11:12 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/chibirobo.jpg One of our absolute favorite alt.gaming sites, The New Gamer, has posted a new article called 'Chibi Robo & Domestic Compensation', discussing Nintendo and Skip's frankly little-referenced (yes, apart from Chris Kohler's sacrificial shrine!) GameCube robot housekeeping game.

It includes, among other things, a wonderfully complete explanatory paragraph on the game: "n Chibi Robo, children and other family members are freed from monotony of chores, leaving robots to bear that burden. You control a six-inch tall robot named Chibi Robo through the Sandersons' estate, home of a financially strapped and troubled family. Jenny, the daughter, dresses solely as a frog and refuses to say anything but 'ribbit' while the father and mother grow more and more estranged, thanks to the father's recent lack of employment. But Chibi is oblivious to such family matters - he's just a simple robot who serves only to scrub the floors and pick up after his owners and, as Chibi's puppeteer, you'll be doing plenty of both."

Somehow, the game seems particularly, well, Japanese, as reviewer G. Turner notes: "Chibi Robo tries to instill the same pride in a job well done with its in-game financial imbursement but, as my parents learned, money isn't always the best carrot. All the Moolah, Happy Points or merit badges are no motivational substitute for real intrigue, suspense or emotional intensity. Chibi Robo was able to deliver the intrigue, but tosses money and collectibles at the player in lieu of a substantial conclusion to these characters' stories and in hopes that it'll compensate for the terribly redundant gameplay." Aw.

Time Extend Pokes With P.N.03

May 31, 2006 10:13 PM |

xtendpn.jpg Over at Edge Online, they've reprinted a recent 'Time Extend' magazine article on Capcom's P.N.03, and it raises some interesting questions on the neglected title.

The intro notes: "To some, poor sales are almost a guarantee of probity – a coded message that invites the initiated to come inside and get devotional. Look at Beyond Good and Evil, say, or Jet Set Radio Future: they didn’t hit the sales jackpot, but they struck a deep chord with certain players all the same. What’s odd about Capcom’s P.N.03, then, is that unlike other games that vanished at the point of retail, there are few people willing to speak up for it."

But, as with so many perverted gamers who delve deeper, there's a bold claim: "Maybe it’s because P.N.03 is awkward. Its controls make it awkward to play. Its commercial failure makes it awkward to track down in the shops. Crucially, the skewed challenge it presents makes its peculiar appeal very awkward to explain. This is a game that confounds on many fronts." Will anyone else admit to a 'peculiar' attraction to P.N.03 in public? Feel free to do so in the comments, if so.

The Land Of The Rising Fun

April 15, 2006 6:46 AM |

rfun.jpg We haven't been ignoring 1UP this week - we've just been waiting until their excellent, week-long 'Rising Fun' cover feature is entirely online so that we can, like, link to it.

The six-feature combo is "a tribute to [abstract Japanese] games: sometimes nonsensical, but as entertaining as anything to come from western minds", and uber-frog Jeremy Parish burbles on: "Whether it's the Earthbound-esque post-modernism of Contact or Odama's completely ludicrous combination of pinball, real-time strategy, and feudal Japan, the five games we're highlighting this week are as entertaining as they are strange."

Also good news: getting a v.fun interview on the delightfully weird kissing sim Chulip, and a super-smart interview with the Loco Roco folks - talking of which, we only just found out that American-in-Japan Greggman is the lead programmer for it. Also, bonus article on Devil Summoner's controversial past - great stuff, 1UPers.

Nintendo's Booth Babe Speaks Out

April 7, 2006 12:15 PM |

e3bb.jpg The Revolution Advanced website has a relatively new article called 'E3 Though The Eyes Of A Booth Babe', in which one of the girls manning the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess booth for Nintendo at E3 2005, Yvonna Lynn, talks about her experience.

The article is a little on the drawn-out side, but includes a few amusingly sketched claims: "What makes a booth babe cool or uncool is often not related to her position. In fact, many times the fully clothed model doing the “Vanna White” with some upcoming gadget has far more obnoxious arrogance than the Playboy model hired to hang out of a tiny outfit in the next booth."

Of course, recent alleged news from the E3 organizers notes that: "Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the Show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the Show." But Yvonna, as simply a welcoming female demonstrating a Nintendo game, is arguably less of the stereotypically exploitative booth babe, thereby rendering this entire story and the headline vaguely pointless. So that's... good? [Via PressTheButtons.]

COLUMN: 'Shmup Me Up, Buttercup' - Ibara Is Hell For Bullets

March 1, 2006 3:24 PM |

ibara.jpg ['Shmup Me Up, Buttercup' is a bi-weekly column by Jeremiah ''Nullsleep' Johnson, dealing with the latest shoot-em-ups, or shmups, from Japan and the West, and covering the frantically cultish game genre that refuses to die, despite many bullets aimed in its direction over the years.]

Ibara Attacks The PlayStation 2!

Thus far, February saw the release of a variety of exciting new shooters, reaffirming the vitality of a genre based largely on navigating through ungodly swarms of bullets.

Combining the sex appeal angle of Mushihimesama with a rank and scoring system reminiscent of Battle Garegga, Ibara is the latest bullet-fest to hit the PS2. Although it carries the Cave name, with Shinobu Yagawa's influence as lead programmer some are calling it the first new Raizing shooter since 2000. Cave fans will have to deal with the larger hitbox, heavy debris and needle bullets, but hey, the cute Rose sisters dolls should make up for it.

Radilgy Gets Dreamcast Love?

radi.jpgOn the other end of the spectrum is Radilgy, brought to everyone's favorite undead console, the Dreamcast, by developer Milestone - it's also now due for PS2 and GameCube. Where their previous effort, Chaos Field (which recently saw a US Gamecube release) came across as unpolished and somewhat derivative, Radilgy shines with vibrant, cel-shaded graphics and more engaging and original gameplay.

And while they may not have the luxury of releasing an entire line of figures to coincide with the release of the game like a certain other company, they do have papercraft!

gradpsp.jpgGradius, Gunner's, Bullet...

Add to this the Gradius Portable collection for PSP (well worth importing, but is it worth firmware upgrading?) and access to the previously-Comiket 69-exclusive releases of excellent doujin shooters Gunner's Heart and Shoot The Bullet, and it all adds up to shooting heaven!

Stay tuned til the next instalment of 'Shmup Me Up, Buttercup', where we'll be discussing more of the latest shooters for console, PC, handheld, mobile, and whatever other formats we can get our hands on. Feel free to contact us with feedback or tips for the column.

[Jeremiah Johnson is co-founder of chipmusic and computer-art collective, 8bitpeoples.com based out of New York City. Working with Game Boys and NES consoles to create music, he has been featured in various publications ranging from Wired to Vogue.]

On Being A Good Animal Crossing Neighbor

February 19, 2006 12:22 PM |

acpoo.jpg The UK-based RLLMUK Forum has a rather amusing Animal Crossing-related messageboard post, thanks to user 'Frood42', who discusses his wife's attempts to remove an objectionable neighbor from the GameCube version of Nintendo's far too cute Animal Crossing.

As he explains: "This week a new animal came to stay in our town; 'Snooty' a rather rude aardvark, who for some reason is pink and looks a bit like a Clanger. My wife has taken offence to Snooty's rudeness and has been harassing her." The solution? "So far on her campaign of hate, she has hit Snooty repeatedly over the head with an insect net - when poor Snooty didn’t die she set up a pitfall and maliciously pushed her into it. When that didn’t finish her off she started a smear campaign outside of Snooty's house... She has finally resorted to the following hate mail."

While this obviously isn't going to work, nonetheless, the message of togetherness sent by Frood42's wife resonates throughout the ages: "You are a sh*thead, leave our town or you will die!!!!! We ALL hate you and your great big nose. BE GONE CLANGERCHOPS." Nice!