PAX East 2014 just wrapped up, and all the major gaming outlets are currently filing reports on what they saw. And I’m curious to see who else noticed what was, unquestionably, the most exciting thing on the entire show floor (imho). And that’s Y2K by Ackk Studios.
Granted, it wasn’t nearly as polished as some other offerings, but given that the build on hand was pieced together in just over a month, that’s completely understandable. Y2K‘s the creation of some crazy kids in Jersey, who decided to make a JRPG that takes place in the US, and set during the turn of last century, as the title implies.
Plot details are a bit hazy, but I believe it stars some college graduate who’s still living at home with mom. But instead of looking for a job, he becomes obsessed with a girl’s death, which leads to much wasting of time on circa late 90s message boards. And along the way he discovers that some alien force is going to destroy the planet, or something like that.
Him and his two friends must save the day, and each attack enemies in a manner that you’d expect from hipsters. By throwing vinyl records, taking pictures, and playing the keytar. Personally the twentysomethings remind me more of the hipsters I encountered during the 2000s, back when I frequented makeoutclub, but that’s a minor nitpick.
Did I mention that the entire game is essentially one huge Deathcab For Cutie in-joke? Sorry for the possible spoiler. Anyhow, I asked Ackk Studios if there was a trailer, and was told not yet, so for now please enjoy this brief snippet of gameplay footage that I captured via Instagram.
I Definitely Need A EXEDSTAR SOLDIUS SALAMANDER XEVIFORCEZONE BRAIN BEETYPE Shirt. Extra Large, Please
You know how it goes: one minute you’re on Twitter, catching Cory tell someone else about the upcoming deadline for this year’s My Famicase Exhibition. Then that leads you to stop by METEOR’s website, the first time in a while. Which in turn causes a mild heart attack upon seeing the shirt above.
Basically, if you’re into Japanese shumps, you simply have to have one, end of story. It’s by an artist, or collective of artists, who go by the name MOUNTAIN GRAPHICS. He/she/they have several other video game related shirts in the METEOR shop, though you can get a slightly closer/better look over at MG’s own dedicated store…
My good pal Dave Mauro is the lucky owner of not just one, but two Astro City cabinets, which are truly the ONLY way to properly enjoy shmups and 2D fighters. Now, if these were ordinary cabs, the kind you’d find in some dark and dank and beautiful Japanese arcade, they’d be totally awesome as is. But they’re not! Thanks to Dave’s unparalleled ingenuity, the best way to play games has been made even better.
Tucked inside one you’ll find a PC, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, and Wii, plus to the side there’s even a Japanese Xbox 360 (since 360s are prone to overheating and Japanese systems are hard to come by). Meanwhile, the other Astro City is able to easily access all the additional hardware that the first one contains with zero fuss or muss. Anyhow, Dave recently updated his super detailed, yet easy to comprehend “how to” guide here.
I actually came close to taking part in the group order he mentions, from which his two cabs originate, but my gal pal at the time wasn’t too thrilled with the idea (my apartment is fairly big by Manhattan standards, but it’s not that big). And my pangs of regret, upon basking in the splendor that is PS2 DoDonPachi DaiOuJou in an arcade housing, were immediately squashed when I heard of all the things Dave had to do get such a set-up functional.
Though I know plenty out there are not as faint at heart/far more technically inclined, hence the heads up! Bonus link: here’s a clip of myself going head to head with our pal Joe in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, in which my “secret button tapping technique” is highlighted. Dave also uploaded a vid of me playing Dance Dance Revolution on the Astro City once again, but you’ll have to find that one for yourselves!
It’s Friday! And at least here in Los Angeles, it’s hot and sunny, so I decided to put together a tiny list of songs to listen to while hanging out with Dante and playing some 3DS. (Hat tip to Diego Garcia for making most of these show up in my SoundCloud stream.)
Recommended 3DS games to play while listening: Tappingo, Pilotwings Resort, Aero Porter.
The trailer for Zero Point, the very first movie produced specifically for the Oculus Rift, was revealed last week to not much fanfare. Unfortunately, another AAA studio went belly up around that same time, which ate up everyone’s attention.
It also doesn’t help that, alas, the trailer above doesn’t quite do the job. There’s another version that’s a bit more interactive, giving you a 180 degree viewing angle, but even then, it hardly suffices.
Two weeks ago, I got the chance to view a portion of Zero Point in the manner it was intended for; via Oculus’ VR headset. You know how just a few scant seconds of video game with the thing will make you go “Oh my God, the future of gaming is NOW”? I felt the same exact way as it pertains to movies. As well as theater.
The demo consistent of two portions; the first was the camera operator walking through the crowded expo hall of E3 last year, and was neat I guess. I’d later learn that it was using an early version of their set-up, hence why there wasn’t a perfect 360 degree view of the action. More like 350, with black bars to the right and left, where the two viewing angles meet.
Though the primary issue was how the cameraperson was walking, so I felt the same bit of disorientation when playing a game via the Rift (along with the slight pangs of anxiety that I might become motion sick, which didn’t happen, thank God). But yeah, I still find movement with the VR headset to be an awkward thing.
The second portion, meanwhile, had no camera movement. Because of this, along with how a more advanced set up that was employed, I had a full 360 view of the action. And it was simply amazing. This time I was in middle of a Marines training exercise in Afghanistan, involving a bomb that needed to be defused I believe.
The atmosphere was tense and confusing; soldiers and civilians all over the place, all yelling and screaming at each other. It was a challenge to comprehend who was coming and going, let alone figure out what I was witnessing. It honestly felt like I was transported into another world; this was seriously the stuff of Star Trek.
Granted, I couldn’t walk around, like you can in the holodeck. So I guess it’s one of those sci-fi movies/shows in which you’re just a silent observer to some calamity that’s underway. Still, the effect was mesmerizing, and just thinking about the possibilities is ten-fold.
Our friends at Area 5 are finishing up their Kickstarter for Outerlands, a “6-episode doucmentary series on the people and culture of videogames.” I think it’s fair to say that if you are reading this post, Outerlands is exactly the kind of thing you are all about. Cory and Phil are even helping out with art!
They already reached their funding goal of $210,000, but more funding equals a better series (even more episodes). So get to it!
Time once again to survey the Instragrammed landscape, and admire all the weird and wonderful ways in which video games are represented.
And if you’re thinking of doing the same, better dress for the occasion. In that instance, I’d highly recommend Infinity Shred’s brand new line of winter apparel…
Though as Angela Musser demonstrates, sometimes you just need the right tools to tackle the cold. Like Minecraft blade, IRL. Also, a chainsaw and Guy Fawkes mask…
Or you could just stay indoors, where it’s nice an toasty, and play some games! Doesn’t even have to be the electronic kind either, like Diego‘s kid sister(?) demonstrates…