Yearly reminder: Friday is April 1, so any of these stories have a chance of being false in the future, unfortunately.
– From a site called MEL, Sam Stecklow has a great read on Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill, a cancelled video game for the SNES and Genesis based on the Clintons’ cat… OR IS IT CANCELLED?!?! There might be a Kickstarter campaign to get it properly released.
– Sam Machkovech of Ars Technica has a long write-up of some of the cooler panel talks at the Game Developers Conference. Among the revelations: Ms. Pac-Man began as a speed-up kit, and Diablo was originally going to be a turn-based game.
– Atlas Obscura has a good, long read from Eric Gundhauser on the non-rise and quick fall of the Phillips CD-i.
– Speaking of failed systems… Deuce of WRRV 92.7 and 96.9 links to a 30-minute Atari Jaguar informercial, which is crazy go nuts.
– And speaking of Atari, Joey Morona of Cleveland.com has a slideshow of their ads.
– Seth G. Macy at IGN has a neat piece on some trivia about classic NES games. Covered are The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, Mario, Mega Man, Metroid and the Konami Code.
– In current events news, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has done about $193 million at the domestic box office, and $501 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. This means we’ll probably get more of them, despite the 29 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Yaaaay… Esquire’s Tyler Coates has a piece that is titled perfectly: “How did Batman go from being fun and gay to sad and boring?”
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– Depending on the platform, Lego Star Wars came out this week in 2005. It was the first of many Lego games by TT Games, and almost all of them have been well-reviewed. They’re perfect for your sweet baby boys and girls at home to get into!
– Although the SNES rightly gets a lot of credit for popularizing the RPG genre, the PSX probably remains the platform that just had the most “what the hell?” RPGs, and a surprising amount made it to the U.S. Such as… Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, from Nippon Ichi, the makers of the Disgaea series. It’s the same sort of tactical, turn-based RPG game as later Nippon Ichi titles, but it came out in 1998, four years before La Pucelle: Tactics and five years before Disgaea.
– In 1997, Doom 64 came out for, you guessed it, the Nintendo 64. While it didn’t get much attention, it is Steve’s favorite version of Doom because it adds some weapons and looks a bit nicer than some of the older PC versions.
– Cyan, the makers of Myst, have released a teaser trailer for their new game, Obduction. Check it out on their YouTube channel.
– There are a bunch of new screenshots and tracks released for the new Toejam and Earl game, per TechnoBuffalo.
– Amazingly, you can still play Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast! Well, if you’re willing to buy some modded games and/or systems. But, hundreds of people still do, and Jason Evangelho has the details on Forbes.
– Atlas Obscura’s Eric Grundhauser has an awesome read on the “treasures” offered in an old Atari contest for Swordquest. It’s long, but good. (For some of the neat-looking ads, including the one on this entry, go here!)
– Today’s “Shut up and take my money!” moment: Nintendo plans to open up a theme park at Universal Studios Japan. The Telegraph in the U.K. has a good write-up here.
– Bryan Cranston has been in a lot of commercials, including one for the Atari 2600 game MegaForce. Zap2It has a listicle here.
– From Allegra Frank at Polygon, and a bunch of other sites, the Coleco Chameleon is now dead.
– Per some mod makers, Microsoft wanted $500,000 to license Shadowrun for an X-Com 2 mod. Niche Gamer’s Carl Batchelor has a summary of the Twitter stuff here.
– On Kotaku Australia, Jason Schreier has a 20-year retrospective on Super Mario RPG.
– Are you going to SXSW? (Sweet baby boy Huell is!) Well, they’re having a bunch of video game and tech-focused panels! Check out the list here.
– In re-releasing news, the rumored Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is now a reality for North American audiences! Per Sega and Sony, it’ll come out May 17, and feature upgraded graphics and full trophy support.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– On March 11, Mega Man & Bass came out for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, which is close enough for our purposes. It was the only main series game for the GBA, and was generally well-received.
– PlatinumGames’ MadWorld, an incredibly ultraviolent game, somehow came out for the Wii in 2009. It’s one of the few Wii games that is not kid or family-appropriate, as it is about a murder-related game show. Think of Smash TV, but gorier, and more of a beat-em-up.
Whew, the weather is heating up just as July is on its way out! But thankfully, there is some good gamin’ news to help you through these miserable temperatures. (Note: Your region may vary.) On to the proper post!
– Ernie Smith of Atlas Obscura has an incredible piece on the Brazilian video game market, where the Sega Master System still sells 150,000 units a year.
– A cool documentary idea: Two guys try to buy as much of a NES collection as they can in 30 days. The film is called Nintendo Quest, and Geek & Sundry’s Robert Workman has an article on it here.
– In other Nintendo news, the company posted a surprising first quarter profit, per Financial Times and many other sites. The gains were attributed to better cost controls and the performance of Splatoon, a new shooter IP for the Wii U.
– Per Wired and other sites, Dragon Quest XI is the first confirmed game for the Nintendo NX, along with the 3DS and Playstation 4, confusingly. In comparison to Square Enix’s other big series, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest games are usually simpler graphically, so the series could be on multiple, divergent platforms.
– The podcast I’m sure everyone was clamoring for: A game-by-game one on the Atari Jaguar! You can check it out here.
– From Wired’s Klint Finley, an article and linked YouTube on the “hot tech rivalry” between Amiga and Atari.
– James O’Malley at Gizmodo UK writes about a poll of British gamers and voters. Conservatives love Candy Crush, whereas Labour voters like that and Grand Theft Auto.
– In 1993, Ecco the Dolphin came out for the Sega Master System. The release date does vary depending on what site you look at, but the general dates are from July 29 to July 31 for the game’s release.
– Pokemon Crystal, a Game Boy color special edition of the gold and silver versions of that game series, came out in North America in 2001.
– And since it is still July, almost nothing else came out. (For the second week in a row!) Womp womp womp.