Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Wallet Abuse Wednesday 12-1-10

Posted by nfinit on November 1, 2010

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Cave Story
Developer:  Daisuke Amaya
Publisher:  Nicalis
Platforms:  DSiWare


I’m torn on the DSi version of Cave Story.  On one hand Cave Story is amazing and everyone must play it, on the other hand it’s quite possible that Tyrone Rodriguez is a scumbag who traps indie devs in bad contracts and then takes forever to port their efforts to home consoles.  But then he’ll go and say stuff like this:

As far as gamers and media not being onboard with DSiWare, we all should be in accord that a console is only as good as the games that are available on it. If gamers and the media aren’t happy with DSiWare, it isn’t because the DSi isn’t capable of good games — it’s because some publishers that constantly republish shitty mobile games and charge four times as much for them on DSi. Maybe games likeShantae and Cave Story will make players have something good to download on their DSi.

So you clearly want to pull for the guy and after all, anything that gets indie devs paid is a good thing, right?  But wouldn’t’ it be better for these devs if they weren’t stuck with an incompetent studio that develops strictly for the most marginal of downloadable services?

The frustrating thing about this whole affair is that if you want Pixel to get paid, you sort of have buy Cave Story through Nicalis.  There is no readily apparent Paypal button on Pixel’s own blog.

Also holy shit what is going on at Pixel’s blog?!

Beat Sketcher
Developer:  NoisyCroak
Publisher:  Sony Computer Entertainment America

Beat Sketchers, Beat Sketchers… that sounds like it might actually be a videogame, maybe some sort of DDR clone or a Sketchers-sponsored reskin of Mirror’s Edge, but in today’s post-Move PS3 marketplace I hadI better make sure:

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Ha!  Almost tricked me, Sony Computer Entertainment of America!



Deadliest Catch:  Sea of Chaos
Developer:  Crave Games
Publisher:  Crave GAmes
Platforms:  PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii

The concept behind a deep-sea fish trawling sim based on a reality TV show is wacky, but still fundamentally sound.  There’s no reason you can’t make a good game based on the concepts shown in Crave’s promo material for Sea of Chaos, even if the last game was, well…
What Crave needs to do (aside from, forcing Sunsoft to make a new Blaster Master game) is to take things a step further and incorporate real-life reality TV show issues when managing your crew.  Give us the ability to interact with the crew members and discover what horrible secret forced them to take the most absolute desperate job one can legally obtain in America.  Is the crew member addicted to prescription pain killers?  Pay him under the table in pills while avoiding tax and health insurance regulations!  Is the crew member hiding from loan sharks?  Agree to deposit said crew on the most remote crag of inhabited rock on the Pacific Coast!  Is the crew member a disposed South American general fleeing a failed junta?  Sell them to South Asian pirates for a healthy profit!

Also we can get meta and incorporate increasingly desperate Alaskan Seafood Marketing Institute PSAs featuring Ben Stein assuring everyone that the fishing industry is PERFECTLY FINE KEEP EATING FISH as your pots steadily dwindle in size until your fishing village eventually goes broke and is populated entirely by meth-addled derelicts.




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Echochrome 2
Developer:  Japan Studio
Publisher:  Sony Computer Entertainment America
Platforms:  PlayStation Network

The original Echochrome was unique puzzle platformer that used perspective tricks in  M. C. Escher-like environments as actual levels.  It was well-recieved and was a rare early standout system exclusive for PSN in America.

Where the first Echochrome was special and new and rooted in sound gameplay fundamentals despite it’s seemingly gimmicky premise, Echochrome II is none of these things.  Instead it’s using  the same shadow manipulation tactic you saw in A Shadow’s Tale/Lost In Shadow to showcase (read:  it’s a stunt port) for Playstation Move.  It’ll probably be decent, but I’m unsure how using the Move Wand as a flashlight is any more intuitive (or useful) as using analog sticks like in any first person shooter.

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Epic Mickey
Developer:  Junction Point
Publisher:  Disney Interactive Media
Platforms:  Wii

And now presenting the case for Epic Mickey.

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Warren fuckin’ Spector, bitches!  The man who brought you Thief and Deus Ex and Wing Commander and System Shock!  Everything this man touches turns out good-to-awesome, provided you’re willing to admit he was not in the building when Invisible War was discussed.

Now, presenting the case against Epic Mickey:

He’s never made a platformer before.

Warren Spector is known for storytelling and atmosphere, and indeed the reviews for Epic Mickey praise both of these elements, to the point that some reviewers have noted that the story is the only reason they were interested in finishing the game at all. It would seem  that Warren Spector created a competent if somewhat uninspired 3d platformer in a surreal environment that basically serves to narrate the story Warren wanted tell and little else.  IIn short, Psychonauts with better branding.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, right?  Psyconauts was decent enough, even if it was the sort of game you played simply so it’s evangelists would stop bugging you about it.  Warren always has a good story to tell and he’s a master at making you think about your decisions and the impact they’ll have on the environment, so it’s probably worth playing just for those elements alone.

Epic Mickey feels like one of those games so damaged by it’s own hype it’s impossible to judge correctly one way or another until long after forum discussion has died down.  It may be an excellent experience despite it’s generic 3d platformer roots.  It may wind up being remembered as uninspired palp.  We don’t know yet and we may not for years to come.




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Golden Sun:  Dark Dawn
Developer:  Climax
Publisher:  Sega
Platform:  Nintendo DS

Talking about the Golden Sun seires causes me a great deal of heartache as I take a look at this art

and am immediately reminded that I’ll never play a new true Shining Force game again.

That said, Dark Dawn is doing some rather interesting things:

Those little underlined passages on the dialog box work much like hyperlinks and once tapped on bring up relevant background information.  I mean, I have no clue if the game is any good, I’m staunchly opposed to doing any research regarding Climax games not produced for a Sega console, but at least someone finally found a use for the DS’s twin screens.


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Pixeljunk Shooter 2
Developer:  Q-Games
Publisher:  Sony Computer Entertainment America
Platforms:  PlayStation Network

So they went and made a second one of these.  This time you’re fighting inside the worm that ate you at the end of the first game.  I suppose that means something to the people who played through the first game and is in fact a horrible spoiler for those still playing Shooter 1 and you now hate me forever.  In unrelated news I really need to get around to playing one of the Pixeljunk games, all of them look worth playing and some of them might even be decent.

People keep complaining that Shooter/Shooter 2 are named so despite not being shooters.  I don’t understand this, as to me they seem to be a combination of Defender and Sinistar, and both of those games are shooters.  They’re just shooter puzzle games, which is fine.





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Quake Arena Arcade
Developer:  Pi Games
Publisher:  id
Platforms:  Xbox Live Arcade

The most frustrating thing of engaging in libel against unreleased games is dealing with XBLA publishers that aren’t quite sure when their own game is set for release.  This is why I wasn’t able to talk about Pac Man CE Deluxe the other week despite being deeply in love with the first game and being of the opinion that people who enjoy Pac-Man CE are demonstrably better people than those who do not.  In unrelated news, if you have the ability to play Pac-Man CE DX and have not yet done so, you and I can no longer be friends.

So, Quake III Arena Arcade.  Maybe it’s coming out this week. seems to think so, despite the game itself being officially cancelled by John Carmack  two years ago.  The product that’s been under development since then is being developed by Pi Studios, a devlopment house best known for taking games like Rock Band Beatles and Mercenaries 2 and porting them systems they have no business being associated with, such as the Wii and PlayStation 2.  Also apparently they had something to do with Wolfenstein.

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no, not that one

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Nope, not that one either

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Yeah, the reboot no one liked or asked for.  At any rate even if this was a perfect port of Quake III Arena– and why wouldn’t it be, that thing was designed to run well on a Pentium 2, for chrissake– it’s still just going to remind you you’d rather be playing Unreal Tournament instead.





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Unbound Saga
Developer:  Vogster
Publisher:  Vogster
Platform:  Xbox Live Arcade

Speaking of devs that Microsoft can’t be bothered to communicate with, this might also exist this week.  God knows why, we can only assume it’s part of some elaborate prank Vogster Entertainment is playing upon XBLA-subscribing Squeenix fans who think they’ll buy Unlimited Saga when instead they’ll purchase an utterly forgettable comicbook brawler that no one liked back when it was released on the PSP.




TRON: OLD DUDES EVOLUTION tarts things up with sexy ladies in latex suits


Also since that’s quite possibly the only two games released next week I suppose I’ll do my GAME OF THE YEAR post instead.  LISTEN TO THE PODCAST, ASSHOLES.


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