– Speaking of Orland, he had a cool link in his weekly newsletter to an older piece about how insider leaks happen. (If you’re not subscribing to Orland’s weekly newsletter yet, you should! That is, if you love vidya games.)
– On Engadget and other sites: A prototype for a SNES version of Rayman has been found.
– Pokemon Sun and Moon, which release Nov. 18 for the 3DS, are Nintendo’s biggest pre-ordered games of all-time, per a release by the company published on Polygon.
– Nathan Grayson of Kotaku summarizes some of the issues hitting up mod support for Sega games on Steam here.
– On Polygon and other sites this week… The official Sega employee song from the 1990s.
ON THIS DAY (OR CLOSE TO IT!) IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– The PlayStation 2 came out on October 26, 2000. It was pretty popular.
– In 2002, a little game called Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came out. It was pretty, pretty, pretty popular. Almost exactly two years later, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came out, and it was also pretty, pretty, pretty popular.
– Another lil game, Fallout 3, came out on October 28, 2008. Again, it was pretty popular.
– Gizmodo has an awesome write-up of the find of a Seattle man: The incredibly rare Nintendo 64 disk drive.
– Of all places, Playboy has a long read on how the really good 2009 Ghostbusters game came together. You can read it here, although your work’s spam filter might block. And hey, listen to our show on the NES Ghostbusters here!
– Engadget has a good summary article of Ben Heck ripping into the “newly” discovered Nintendo-Sony CD unit.
– There is now a Kickstarter for the old NES Wisdom Tree games, which were pretty horrible games based on Bible stories. But still, if you want to support it, go here.
– Gizmodo’s Adam Clark Estes has a review of the Analogue NT, a souped-up clone of the NES. It’s basically like a great version of the NES Classic going on sale this November. And, oh, it costs $500.
– From Mashable and Reddit, Matt Damon might be interested in doing some video game stuff.
– Posted on a bunch of sites, including the developer site: Obduction, a spiritual successor to Myst, has been delayed from July 26 to the week of Aug. 22.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– On July 22, 2008, a remake of Final Fantasy IV came out for the DS. It was… really bizarre. Developed by Matrix Software, it was in 3D and had an augment system that allowed you to power up characters after they left your party. The difficulty was also ramped up, and some story segments were added back in.
– It’s been on a bunch of different sites, but I believe Julian Horsey of Geeky Gadgets first reported about a coffee table, non-digital version of Pong. Read about it here!
– FiveThirtyEight has an entire piece on Your Parents Basement! Unfortunately though, it’s not about, well, this show.
– This week on Cinemassacre’s popular Mike and Bootsy segment: Win, Lose or Draw for the NES! Yikes. Check out the video here.
– There are now action figures based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game.
– Vans and Nintendo now have a partnership, if you’d like some 8-bit themed kicks! Read more from Engadget’s Edgar Alvarez.
– Worlds colliding! Artist Adam Lister does 8-bit watercolor paintings of popular movies. Check them out on Creative Boom.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– Huell favorite Quest 64 came out for the Nintendo 64 on June 1, 1998. While the Imagineer-developed game isn’t all that good, gamers were so starved for content for the N64 that it still was a moderate financial success.
– 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.
First, some important show-related news! You can now support us whenever you’re making a purchase on Amazon. Got something to buy? Do it via this link, and we’ll get a cut of your sale, at no extra cost to you. It can be for any goods, even non-vidya game stuff, and we’d definitely appreciate it! (Let us know if you make a purchase, and you’ll get a shout-out on the show. ❤ )
Surprisingly, even though we’re now in the dog days of summer, it was a great week for news. The biggest of which…
– A prototype of the 1991 collaboration between Nintendo and Sony on a CD-based system has been unearthed [right]. Polygon’s Brian Crecente had a good interview with the guy who found it, and that’s also where the picture comes from. That system eventually became the Playstation. (And to hype that Amazon thingy once again, there is an awesome breakdown of the rise and fall of Sega, and how Sony’s Playstation factored in, via Console Wars.) Some folks online aren’t convinced the prototype is real, but no one official has come out strongly to refute it.
– Speaking of failed Nintendo projects, Jon Fingas from Engadget details how Project H.A.M.M.E.R. became vaporware over the course of six years of painful development.
– Have you ever played Missile Command, Centipede or Asteroids and thought, “Man, wouldn’t this be cooler as a graphic novel???” … Okay, me neither. But hey, Dynamite Entertainment has you covered, via an article from UK Wired’s Matt Kamen.
– A neat feature, if you like readin’, from Matt Gander at Games Asylum. In “We’ve Got Issues,” he covers the Dreamcast magazine wars of the United Kingdom.
– I must begrudgingly give credit to Food and Wine’s millennial section for featuring “the ultimate bar setup for Nintendo nerds.” It includes Mario pipe shot glasses, Legend of Zelda ice cube trays and NES Zapper bottle openers.
– The Wizard’s Castle was released in 1980. Like many other games “featured” in this here blog in July, well, there really wasn’t much to choose from in terms of releases. However, the awesome CRPG Addict has an exhaustive review of the game available. It should not be confused with the wonderful Home Movies episode “The Wizard’s Baker.”