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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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Previously Unknown E.T. Atari 2600 Game (Another One!) Discovered

October 4, 2011 1:00 PM |

Almost every gamer knows about the Atari 2600's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which many cite as a leading cause of the video game industry's crash and near demise in 1983, but apparently there was another Extra Terrestrials game developed for the system, that wasn't found until last week!

Skill Screen Games, a now-defunct three-man studio that was based in Ontario and only released one game, produced Extra Terrestrials in 1984, shortly after the crash, and only managed to sell a couple hundred of the game's shorter-than-usual cartridges to local retailers.

Somehow, the game escaped the attention of even the most hardcore collectors, and it didn't resurface until last week, when a family member of one of the developers donated the cartridge (no packaging materials, unfortunately) to the Personal Computer Museum:

"Museum curator and founder Syd Bolton found himself in a state of disbelief when fellow volunteer George Yallop delivered a 'contribution' from someone he knew, who had recently visited the museum. The envelope contained an Atari 2600 cartridge called Extra Terrestrials.

Searches of the web didn't reveal any information about the game. It was at this point that Syd realized he may have found a long lost game. This was an important discovery to the muesum and the Atari community as well."

The game is said to be a two-player-only combination of "Freeway, E.T., and Pac-Man." Bolton is currently looking for help to dump its ROM, and invites everyone to come play Extra Terrestrials at the PC Museum's October 15 public open house and October 22 game night.

You Can Finally Play Ys Origin In English

September 29, 2011 5:00 PM |

After working on the project for more than three years, a small group of translators (Doppiapunta, Deuce, and Gho) have released an English patch for Ys Origin, Nihon Falcom's prequel to its long-running series released for Windows back in 2006.

The action RPG takes place 700 years before the events in Ys I & 2, and is the first title in the series that doesn't star red-haired warrior Adol Christin (naturally, as he wasn't born yet). You can read more about the game's plot and heroes at HG101.

Doppiapunta says the patch translates the text, graphics, and executables of Ys Origin into English. It also removes the region check, and the Windows Japanese version check. You will need a copy of the game to play (not pirated, please!), and should follow these instructions closely.

[Via ROMhacking.net]

R-Type SMS And Its Special Level Disappearing From Virtual Console

September 28, 2011 1:00 PM |

Just as Irem's R-Type makes its way to Android devices, the Sega Master System version of the side-scrolling shoot'em up will be soon disappearing from Wii's Virtual Console. According to Sega, the SMS port will be taken off the download service on September 30.

This follows several weeks after Irem removed its titles (e.g. various R-Type releases, Irem Arcade Classics, and various PSP games) and PlayStation Home lounges from Japan's PlayStation Network, hinting at serious troubles for the Hakusan-based developer.

Earlier this year, the company cancelled two significant titles, Disaster Report 4 and Bumpy Trot 2, both for the PS3. Even more bad news, veteran designer Kazuma Kujo left Irem in May to join new studio Granzella. At least the studio has new games still coming, like a Pachinko title for 3DS.

The TurboGrafx-16 version of R-Type remains on the Virtual Console, as does the SNES Super R-Type and R-Type III games, but completionists/series fans will lose something special with the removal of the SMS edition. HG101 outlined the port's unique offerings:

"It was brought to the system courtesy of Compile, who was know for various MSX and SMS shooters such as Aleste/Power Strike, and had a closing working relationship with Sega. While the port was obviously scaled down, it looks astounding for the time period, and other than the expected flickering and slowdown, made an excellent transition to the home screen.

The Sega Master System version also had a secret exclusive level. In the fourth stage, in the part where the screen is filled with those green dots, there's an opening in the ceiling at the top. Fly in that opening and go backwards, and you'll enter the secret level, complete with weird green frog mechanisms and a uber-freaky boss."

FileKiller: 'Malware With A Win Condition'

September 24, 2011 11:00 AM |

Two years ago, Zach Gage (who went on to create games like Bit Pilot and Halcyon) produced Lose/Lose, a controversial little shmup that deleted your files as you killed enemies -- definitely an interesting idea but probably one most people would've preferred to not see further explored.

Independent developer Sophie Houlden didn't know about Lose/Lose until after she released her own project, but she created a very similar "game" -- the most horrific she could think to make -- called FileKiller, which has a very simple set of rules:

- The game selects 20 files from your computer at random

- To win, you must delete them all [Note: It looks like the files sometimes survive deletion attempts]

- You don't know what each file is until AFTER you’ve deleted it
- Files 10 and 20 are folders, deleting them deletes everything in them

- There is no undo

I put game in quotes because there's not much gameplay, but then again I guess there isn't much gameplay in Russian Roulette either. Houldens says the main difference between this and Lose/Lose is "you can win in this game; whether it’s worth it, though, is something else".

You can download FileKiller -- though I don't know why you would want to -- to your Windows system here.

[Via IndieGames.com]

C64anabalt: Canabalt For Commodore 64

September 23, 2011 11:00 AM |

Following up his Commodore 64 conversion of Terry Cavanagh's platformer VVVVVV, Paul 'Paulko64' Koller is working on re-creating another modern indie game for the 8-bit system: Adam Saltsman's popular Flash/iOS one-button game Canabalt.

You can immediately tell that there's still a bit to code, like the collisions, falling buildings, birds/shattering windows, and more, but it's amazing to see the game capture the speed, procedurally generated level layout, and feel of the original on the nearly 30-year-old system.

He's received permission from Saltsman for the project, and is building it for RGCD's "C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition". Koller hopes to release the game as a free download and a limited run of C64anabalt cartridges when he's finished.

[Via RGCD]

Of Course There Are Angry Birds Halloween Costumes

September 21, 2011 5:00 AM |

Their apps permanently occupy the top sales spots in the Android and iOS sales charts. Their plush toys have taken over the aisle at Fry's that used to be populated with unsellable Band Hero bundles. Now, Rovio's Angry Birds characters will terrorize your next Halloween party thanks to a variety of costumes available for preorder at Costume Discounters.

Along with the attractive headgear seen above, Costume Discounters also offers full-body costumes for the angry Red Bird, the angrier Yellow Bird, the angrily confused Black Bird, and the sickly King Pig. Adult and child costumes are available, along with buntings for any unsuspecting infants you have lying around.

[via Touch Arcade]

Remember Sega Saturn? It's Back! In Pog Form.

September 20, 2011 9:00 AM |

Game Developer Research Institute's Twitter feed linked to a Sega Saturn pog auction this morning, and immediately after I blinked, a text editor appeared before my eyes with this post's title already typed out. Such is the power of an eleven-year-old Simpsons episode.

According to Time Passages Nostalgia Company, the Sega Saturn and Cherry Coke pogs were given out at the 1995 Sega Saturn Tour. All of the pogs, including the stylish purple case, are up for sale on eBay. With just four hours to go, it's still priced under a buck, so you could probably win this if you act quick!

New Video Game Zine Alert: JumpButton

September 19, 2011 11:00 PM |


For those looking for something to add to their video game zine library, have you heard of JumpButton yet? Making its debut literally 48 hours ago, editor Drew Taylor describes it as "a quarterly art/gaming/lifestyle magazine with a focus on the art and substance of videogame culture".

Much like Scroll, it's available via MagCloud, so you have two options: $17.00 for a hard copy or $4.00 for a PDF. The first issue came out in 2005, but due to financial issues, the follow-up never saw print.

But as Taylor notes, things have changed over the years; not only has the scope of game writing evolved significantly across the board, hence why the potential audience is now far greater, but so has the means of distribution.

The 64 page strong return features articles originally written in late 05/early 06 for #2, but are now in #0, and sports an update look that will accompany the official re-launch that's forthcoming. And despite being several years old, everything is still quite relevant today, including a look at the genesis of the iam8bit art show and an interview with artist Ashley Wood.

Though age is what makes some articles especially compelling, like the tribute to Beyond Good & Evil before a sequel was finally green lit, or the interview with Quantic Dream's David Cage before there was Heavy Rain. For those interested, JumpButton #0 can be acquired here and comes recommended.

But for those who need a little more convincing, or even those who don't, be sure to check out Taylor's GSW column from back in the day, which was one of the ways JumpButton was kept alive between format changes.

[via @DeMarko]

Who Needs iOS Zelda When There's Zanda: Linked Swords By Top Best Adult Entertainment?

September 13, 2011 11:00 AM |

Since the chances of Nintendo porting any of its beloved franchises to a rival platform like iOS are next to nil, the closest thing you can get to playing Nintendo-style games is downloading homages and knock-offs from other developers.

Like Zanda - Linked Swords, for example, which resembles a certain green-capped adventurer more than just a little. The goal of this $1.99 top-down adventure game is to "expore [sic] the forests collecting coins, killing monsters and talking to locals."

The company behind this game, Top Best Adult Entertainment notes that this is an "award winning game of 2011", but the folks at Touch Arcade's forums aren't too fond of the quality of this blatant clone (Real talk, how does this even pass Apple's approval process?).

In a forum thread calling Zanda "a fraud", a fellow named Squarezero comments, "We're not saying that this is a bad game; we're saying that it is no game at all, just assets from a GameSalad template. Anybody who posts here to say otherwise is a shill."

Ubisoft/Eidos Vets Form Tribute Games, Releasing Wizorb This Month

September 9, 2011 11:00 AM |

The makers of the much anticipated (well, at least to me, and not just because it features a Tiny Cartridge cameo) 16-bit-style pinball/RPG hybrid Wizorb have decided to create Tribute Games, a Montreal-based startup focusing on "retro games with a modern twist for home consoles and mobile platforms."

Tribute is made up of Ninja Senki creator Jonathan Lavigne, Justin Cyr, and Jean-François Major, whose names have graced the credits of Ubisoft and Eidos titles like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, TMNT, Shaun White Snowboarding, and Star Wars: Episode 3.

"We chose the name Tribute Games because when we make games, we want to pay tribute to all the cool games from our childhood," says Lavigne. We’re passionate indies aiming at making entertaining games with a focus on pixel art and classic game design (sometimes with a modern twist)."

The studio's first game, Wizorb, will release for Xbox Live Indie games some time this month, and a PC version will follow. You can see a trailer for the title after the break: