News We Care About Wrapup – 5.30.08

Beyond good and sequels
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was recently released much to the joy of gaming forums everywhere. Sequels are exciting because it means more of something good. That we long for sequels seems to stem from a few things but most of them point to problems in the industry. It means we expect crap and usually get crap and when a game that’s worth playing actually comes out we want more because the other option is crap. We want sequels because we do not trust developers to make good games. If Ancel is given full reign over his next project and allowed to do what he wants, then let the man create something new. Shadow of the Colossus is the perfect example – a great game by the same designer as a game you love is even better than a sequel. →  May God smite me if I stop reading here!

Review – No More Heroes

No More Heroes looks to be another feel good indie hit, which means it will be used as fodder in a growing debate in the entertainment world. These days, a surefire way of garnering critical acclaim and a small but fanatical following is to produce something that appears to have hipster/geek chic and indie cred. Do this, and watch people fawn over how “charming” your work is, while still containing a powerful message about something. Go far enough, and you will have something that goes beyond the rest, reaching a level of acclaim it has no right holding.

Examples of this are not too hard to find. On television there was Gilmore Girls, a show whose every DVD boxset had to include a booklet explaining every pop culture reference used in the season (making sure it looked like an old marble composition notebook for those who thrive on nostalgia). →  Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing memory cards.

Out of Print: The Trouble of Finding Old Games

When I began college, the Peer to Peer filesharing scene was dying. With campuses clamping down on the networks, and with iPods making the concept of actually purchasing music legitimate again, the likes of Kazaa and Limewire were hard to find. Despite this I managed to acquire a massive amount of music as a student. Rather than search for high quality files, my freshman self tore through the CD binders of my friends, ripping any album I thought to be interesting. This method of sampling made me not just a fan of new music, but of whole albums. In a world where the single is all the rage, classic rock albums became my poison of choice. And when I got out of college, I realized I wanted physical copies of most of them. →  Devil Summoner: Readou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Article

Mario Galaxy and gaming mindshare

Super Mario Galaxy is officially out. With any luck, I’ll be the first person on Videolamer to discuss it, though I am probably the only one who doesn’t yet have it (though you are all welcome to buy it for me during my almost ended state of unemployment). That’s okay however, because I’m not really here to discuss the game proper, but the buzz surrounding it. Simply put, this is being called a return to form for Mario, a game that is the rightful successor to Mario 64. This sounds eerily similar to the remarks made about Twilight Princess, which fits the mold created by Ocarina of Time better than any other Zelda to succeed it, even Majora’s Mask. For most people’s money, these are the top two games on the Wii, Metroid Prime notwithstanding. →  In all ages, hypocrites, called producers, have put crowns upon the heads of thieves, called publishers.

Destiny of a Fan

Everyone has a couple of games they particularly like, regardless of how good they are, because of the memories they have of them. Unless, of course, they don’t like video games, in which case they must be card-carrying communists. For me, one of those games is Capcom’s greatest RPG: Destiny of an Emperor for NES.

I have to avoid making this into a Best Game Ever, but I still want to summarize: The game runs very quickly, with fast text speed and auto-battling. You can recruit many enemy generals after defeating them, over 100 in total. The tactic system is somewhat more fleshed out than many other RPGs magic systems, although it can also be more restrictive. The game’s backdrop of China’s Three Kingdoms period makes the world a bit more solid than many other games of the time. →  Fine, but this article then no more.

Second helpings of the DS list article

Yesterday we covered 65 DS games as something of a jesting response to a PSP Fanboy article. Some readers decided to ignore the point of our piece, which was that games are, at least by our standards, the real reason to buy or not buy a system. For those people, we now present a second reason (in their view) to buy a DS — backwards compatibility.

The entire GameBoy Advance lineup is available to a proud DS owner. While a majority of games on that handheld were licensed kiddy garbage, it was still home to some excellent titles you should make sure to play.

After some GBA games, we will then take a look at 10 upcoming DS games that look promising. Like the GBA games, it didn’t seem appropriate to include these yet to be released games on yesterday’s list. →  Uncharted Waters: New Horeadin’s

EDGE lists Top 100 Games, Internet explodes

God I hate these Top 100 Lists. Not because they number the games wrong, or omit key games, but of the inevitable backlash they endure from our happy and always intelligent flock, the Internet. Some were so mad that they got pissed off at the site they read the list on, even when it wasn’t originally written by that specific site.

If you’re man enough to go through every single game and not have some derogative comment after, then I will let you view the winners, courtesy of Next-Gen.biz.

As I went through the list, I started to see what they were trying to do. You’ll see that EDGE included Super Mario World as the sole 2D Mario platformer. Surprisingly, Super Mario Bros 1. and 3 did not make the list. →  You may say I’m a gamer, but I’m not the only one

Sony’s “big announcements” at GDC07

I’m really unimpressed with Phil Harrison’s GDC07 presentation. Not one of the announcements made me re-think my choice to not purchase a PS3.

Playstation Home is basically “Second Life” or “There,” and not in any way new or innovative as the press keeps saying. Why would I want to use a $600 console to make an avatar and hang out in an online version of the Sims? And then pay real money for digital clothes and furniture to show off to people I wouldn’t want to talk to anyway? No thanks. This just seems to be Sony’s lame attempt at cashing in on the Web 2.0 market (the MySpace generation). “Hey kids, you can use this boxed computer and internet connection to talk to other people online. Don’t forget to make your avatar your own by giving us some cash for generic yet ad-supported mechandise. →  This post are sick.

OCRemix.org is da bomb

Have you ever said to yourself, “Man, I really wish someone would remix the Super Mario Bros. theme with some jazz vocals. That would be sweet.” Seriously, who hasn’t wished that at least once in their life? Well, if you have, then your prayers have finally been answered. OCRemix.org is a site completely dedicated to hosting remixed versions of your favorite video game tunes.

Want a Salsa-flavored remix of Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s Special Zone? Or what about a techno version of Actraiser’s first level? This site is just filled to the brim with some awesome tracks. The songs themselves have to go through an approval process, so don’t worry about finding a song with some nut job screaming the vocals to FFX’s “Sudeki de Na” track. That shit won’t fly. →  Who is that standing behind you?

PC Gaming dead!? But it’s so young and innocent!

In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, I’ve actually started reading a book. Yeah, I know. Simply amazing.

My friend at work let me borrow Masters of Doom, the book that details the two men that helped shape the PC gaming industry into what it is today: John Carmack and John Romero of id Software.

A very interesting part in the book was when Carmack, in only one night, recreated the first level to Super Mario Bros. 3 on a PC. For an IBM PC at the time (1990), this was an amazing feat. No PC was powerful enough to simulate the scrolling effect that Nintendo did so easily on their NES system, but Carmack created an algorithm that somehow faked the effect, calling it adaptive tile refresh. Basically, the screen changed only what needed to change, and it would be the starting point for what would later become id Software. →  It’s not you, it’s me.

Launch Game Revelations

In less than three weeks, the Wii and the Playstation 3 will be let out of their respective cages. And let me tell you, they’re definitely not a nice bunch, those two. They’re always making you feel bad for playing with those traditional, non-motion-sensing controllers like that of the Xbox 360. They’re just a couple of jerks. Best thing to do is to not pay them any attention. And what better way to do that than remember the launches of old systems?

If we take a look at previous launches, you will notice one interesting thing: many consoles launch with at least one game that goes on to be one of the greatest games of all time. I’ve listed them below.

Best Launch Titles

For those of you who haven never heard of it, this is what Super Mario Bros.

 →  All happy games are alike; each unhappy game is unhappy in its own way.

Life as a Game Tester: Episode 1

Hello everyone! I’m here to introduce to you to a new segment on videolamer that delves into a part of the industry that is rather unknown: Quality Assurance. It’s no picnic, I can assure you, but I wanted to spill the beans on what it takes to be a game tester, seeing how I am one. Through these articles, I’m going to try to open your eyes to how the games industry operates, and maybe let you decide if it really is something to pursue as a career. Not many companies actually detail how they go about day-to-day business, so I’m here to help you out a little. I don’t know how long this will go for, as I’m not sure if it’s entirely legal to talk about some of this stuff, but I really don’t care. →  Welcome to the Fantasy Zone.

Review – Megaman Powered Up

Megaman Powered Up
Developed by Capcom
Published by Capcom
Released 3.14.06

Here, Megaman faces off against Cutman, who would later go on to challenge a variety of social norms by becoming the first gay hairdresser robot.

I often wonder whether games have gotten easier over time, or if I’ve just gotten better. This weekend I picked up Megaman: Powered Up, Capcom’s PSP remake of the original Megaman, and I can now definitively answer this question: old-school games were, and still are, hard as fuck. Still, a potent combination of 1337 gaming skills, perseverance, and far too much free time on my hands allowed me to conquer (at least a significant portion of) the game and bring you this delectable review!

For those who didn’t catch the Blue Bomber’s debut back on the NES, the game takes place sometime in the year 20XX, which I guess is a really long time from now because we still just use numbers for our years. →  The King of Articles 2002: Unlimited Match