– Aaron Couch of The Hollywood Reporter has a good, long interview with Darkwing Duck creator Tad Stones, which you can read here. Among the revelations? The show wasn’t a spin-off of DuckTales, as instead, it took place in an alternate dimension. And by the way, check out our DuckTales episode here.
– In a good interview with MCV’s Alex Calvin, Sega’s European boss Jurgen Post admits that the company was pushing out too much crap during the Wii-era.
– From Polygon and other sites, Blizzard’s Chris Metzen is retiring. He was serving as the senior vice president of story and franchise development, and joined the company in the early 1990s as an illustrator and animator. He was responsible for expanding the lore of Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft.
– Did You Know Gaming covers Super Mario World this week, via Nerdist.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– Animal Crossing came out today in 2002 in North America. It was yet another blockbuster series established by Nintendo.
– Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance was released on Sept. 16, 2002 for the Gameboy Advance. It was fun! It mixed the classic gameplay with RPG elements.
– A Dragon Quest IV remake, Chapters of the Chosen, came out on Sept. 16, 2008. It took the gameplay of the original, but included manual control for the later chapters (yay!), but also gave everyone weird accents (boo!). New this week is a remake of Dragon Quest VII for the 3DS, which turns it into a much better, playable game, per Attack of the Geek’s Dean James.
– FTL: Faster Than Light came out on Sept. 14, 2012. No, it’s not a classic game, but it’s hella good! You definitely need to play it if you like games.
– Legitimately cool, but some NSFW text and language: Canadian punk band PUP has a ton of re-purposed vintage video game stuff for its music video of “DVP.” Check it out on YouTube! It’s definitely a must-watch for any old games fan.
– James Trew of Engadget has a cool retrospective on the Atari Lynx, which is one of those obscure systems from the early to mid-1990s.
– Are you in the Austin, Texas area on Feb. 21? You’re in luck! You can attend the NBA Jam Invitational Tournament at Empire Control Room & Garage. Find more details here. Also, from FOX Sports and several other sources, the University of Florida used NBA Jam graphics for a promotion.
– In “WTF Sega???” news, The Worldfolio has an interview with the president and CEO of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., and he said development continues on a live action-animation hybrid Sonic The Hedgehog movie. It’s tentatively scheduled for a 2018 release.
– A hat tip to Friend of the Show Hypermotard, as he passed along this Reddit AMA with Don Rawitsch, one of the co-inventors of The Oregon Trail.
– From the appropriately named This Is Why I’m Broke, it’s a Nintendo console lamp. The price of $95 seems a bit steep to me, but still, it looks pretty cool.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– In 2014, Square somewhat buried the third installment of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning Returns, by releasing it in this traditional “dead” period. The game itself is a bit of a mess, but it has some cool concepts, like the ability to hunt enemies to extinction and the setting of the end of the world. Like a lot of recent Square efforts, it’s undone by some meh storytelling in the third act.
– We typically don’t use Japanese dates for “anniversaries” on the old YPB blog, but for whatever reason, Feb. 11 is a banner day for the genre in Japan. In 1990, Dragon Quest IV came out, and as usual it did major business in Japan. It didn’t hit American shores until October 1992, and it was very much a “niche” title with seemingly only 15 copies released. A Nintendo DS remake came out in 2007 and 2008; it tends to be controversial, because while it cleans up some gameplay and “where do I go next?” aspects, it gives all of the characters ridiculous accents.
– In 1998, Xenogears was released by Square in Japan. It has a strong cult following to this day because of its unique RPG system with martial arts and robots fighting, along with a plot that focuses on religion, psychology and identity crisis. The reaction is still mostly positive, even though the second half of the game falls apart a bit for behind-the-scenes budget reasons.
– Square released Final Fantasy VIII in Japan in 1999. It was the second Final Fantasy game for the Playstation, and drastically different from the preceding game, and as a result it’s somewhat a black sheep in the series. Although it has sold more than 8.5 million copies, it’s been passed over for remakes in favor of VII and X, even though its story and “look” hold up somewhat better. It’s not really a game for Final Fantasy newcomers though, as the battle system takes some getting used to, and exploit knowledge on a second playthrough can let you become an all-powerful character within the game’s first few hours.