October 17th, 2009

I don’t know about the last twenty years — I haven’t been paying attention to console releases that long — but I agree that Fall 2009, while still exciting, has felt less stressful than at least the last four Falls.

This is the saddest story that I read all week. I just wonder if the moment was really as sombre as the writer conveyed it.

I forgot all about New Super Mario Bros. when I wrote my plans for Fall ’09. It looks amazing; add it to the list.

Assuming they aren’t just glorified advergames, Flash games made by a major developer could something great.

Moments later, zombies burst through the window.


July 2nd, 2009

You read it backwards!!Official Casebook Vol. 2: The Miles Edgeworth Files is the second entry to the Del Rey-published manga series based on Capcom’s Ace Attorney video game franchise. Over a dozen creators contributed stories to The Miles Edgeworth Files. It was released in the US in February of 2009.

Just as The Phoenix Wright Files was chocked with fan-service and silliness involving fan-favorite characters from the Ace Attorney games, so is The Miles Edgeworth Files. If you aren’t prepared for absurdity such as Edgeworth going to extreme lengths to keep Pearl Fey from being exposed to the sad ending of a TV movie, or seeing Edgeworth fight a bear while armed only with Pink Princess Chocolate bars, look elsewhere. Or just skip those stories, because there’s plenty more where they came from. Over twenty, in fact! Many of which have obviously been written with the swooning fan-girl in mind, but any fan of Ace Attorney should still be able to appreciate even the most frilly stories. Not every entry in The Mile Edgeworth Files is a stranger to seriousness, though; the very first tale in the manga concerns Edgeworth considering ending his career in prosecution. The legendary “frienemy” relationship between Miles and Phoenix is also spotlighted throughout the book.

That is to say, if you’re a fan of Ace Attorney — and especially if you’re looking forward to the upcoming Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth game — you should definitely pick up Official Casebook Vol. 2: The Miles Edgeworth Files.

June 6th, 2009

It’s impossible to not make this weeks’ Bearly Noteworthy post completely about E3 and E3-related announcements. Since most of the E3 coverage that I consumed originated at GiantBomb.com, I’m also finding it difficult not to make this a post that links solely to GiantBomb.com. So fuck it. They simply killed it on coverage with basically five dudes. Tons of video content, daily podcasts, interviews, wrap-up posts, and very little of the premature, judgmental snark that is endemic to rapid-fire coverage.

Bullet-point highlights from the Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft conferences. My favorites from Microsoft: Crackdown 2, Alan Wake. From EA: Crysis 2, hooray! The Saboteur looks rad. And Ubisoft: I am stupid amounts of excited for Splinter Cell. Rabbids make me sick.

Sequels! More Mario looks good.

Price drop? Aw. Really, though, I was glad to see Final Fantasy XIV will be coming to PC in addition to PS3 just as XI did.

Brink is the game that I most wanted information about when going into E3. I haven’t made up my mind on S.M.A.R.T. yet (it’s explained in the video embedded below), but I think it may make more sense within the context of the game. I hope we get to see some gameplay soon. I’d also like to know what Bethesda’s involvement is with this project; they haven’t said much, only Splash Damage has. I’ve got a feeling Bethesda may just be publishing on this one.


October 15th, 2008

Video game lore that extends beyond the games themselves, specifically through comic books, has traditionally been disastrous. With the high volume of video game comics these days, however, there are bound to be a few hits. For instance, I found that The Darkness Levels comics released just prior to the video game’s console debut in the summer of 2007 complimented it nicely and enriched my experience when I played through the game. Conversely, I had a bad run-in with the World of Warcraft comic and its lack of substance. Then again, as evidenced by the Halo comic, sometimes a venture into the wonderful world of sequential art can fail simply by being tardy; Issue #1 released in August of 2007 with #2 arriving that following November. We didn’t see issue #3 until August of 2008, a year after the series started. Disaster!

Unbeknownst to me until very recently, a manga based on the Ace Attorney series of video games have been coming out in Japan since 2007. Fortunately for us fans, Capcom has a hit on their hands and in September of 2008 they, along with Del Rey Manga, brought it to the western world under the name Official Casebook Vol. 1: The Phoenix Wright Files.
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October 1st, 2008

Third party Wii titles are a dime a dozen. Many don’t succeed, mostly due to quality, but also in no small part due to underexposure and Nintendo’s failure to properly promote them. A couple recent examples are Zack & Wiki and Boom Blox. Fun, well executed games that just didn’t have very stellar sales. One game I am hoping will not fall by the wayside is the Wii version of De Blob. You may remember this as one of the first cheap games featured here as Downloadable Suicide.

In my original article I mentioned that THQ is bringing it to Wii and DS sometime in 2008. The Wii version dropped a week or two ago and seems to have been met with critical success. It’s currently the 17th highest ranked Wii game on Metacritic with an average score of 82. Worthplaying gave it a 90 and said “It is a rare game that can appeal equally well to both the casual and hardcore crowds, yet de Blob does just that.”. EuroGamer had a grim comment that I hope won’t turn out to be true, “Probably the best and worst thing about de Blob is that it’s got ‘Destined For Cult Status’ written all over it.” GamePlayer felt De Blob worthy of a perfect 10 saying that it is “The first third-party Wii game that would have Mr Miyamoto bowing in awed respect.” Nice.

Reviews aside, the purpose of this post is simply to remind you about De Blob and its roots as a student project on the PC. While the breadth of its gameplay has evolved significantly during its transition to the Wii, its whimsical spirit and aesthetics appear to have stayed intact. Check it out on PC and consider giving it a look if you happen to own a Wii. The DS version looks like it’s going to bake a bit longer before it’s ready for consumption; it’s the version that I’ll be giving a try.

July 28th, 2008

If you know anything about me, you know that gaming is my passion. I love this medium. I love this artform. I love this industry. I feel fortunate to be alive during a time of such innovation in the melding of visual and interactive entertainment. But for the last few weeks, ever since the beginning and ending of E3 and its aftermath, I’ve been worried about the state of certain facets of our industry — namely, our gaming press.

I have been wanting to write a post addressing certain issues for quite some time, but I could never collect my thoughts well enough to put together a case to present. So during this year’s E3 I made a point of listening to responses from both the gaming community and the gaming press via forums, comments, blogs, and podcasts.

It is apparent to me that the press is not happy about where E3 stands as an event. I haven’t been able to discern whether or not if, overall, they are dissatisfied as games journalists or simply as gamers, but I am not sure that it matters. I don’t know that they have much reason to be upset either way.
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July 3rd, 2008

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of new and interesting ways of interacting with music in video game form. That’s why I’m eager to share this video. It’s from another episode of The 1UP Show that was released a few weeks ago. It’s just the one segment of a full episode, but this in particular is what I wanted to share.

The video is of an interview with two developers of a Nintendo DS application called KORG DS-10. It’s a full-blown synthesizer for your DS that allows you to create entire songs that you can output to external mixers and even save to the flash cart. As I am a huge fan of 8-bit music and especially music that is generated using GameBoy systems (pornophonique, anyone?), this application is quite relevant to my interests! I have read in a couple of places that this will be coming to the States at some point, but in the video they are unsure. I don’t know who to believe, but I’ll import it if I have to. I’m pretty sure it’s coming out in July.