It’s Like Earthbound, But With Hipsters

April 14, 2014 - By - Tags: ,

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.

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I Definitely Need A EXEDSTAR SOLDIUS SALAMANDER XEVIFORCEZONE BRAIN BEETYPE Shirt. Extra Large, Please

March 28, 2014 - By - Tags: , ,

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

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How To Astro City, The Dave Mauro Way

March 12, 2014 - By

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!

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The Next Great Movie Might Be Filmed With The Oculus Rift

February 24, 2014 - By

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.

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Game of the Year 2014 Will Not Be Titanfall, But Dad Face

February 14, 2014 - By - Tags:

Time once again to survey the Instragrammed landscape, and admire all the weird and wonderful ways in which video games are represented.

That also includes people doing their best to deal with the cold weather. We’ve seen how Israel slides down a mountain already, around this time last year, come to think of it.

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…

Who out there enjoys scarfs? Pixelated scarves, to be exact. Well, be sure to check out what Dannel is sporting! Something that Jeff Donaldson, aka Notendo, has come up with…

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…

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Let’s All Help Make Tiny Cartridge Even More Awesome

February 6, 2014 - By - Tags: ,

Fellow Attract Mode Collective members Eric and JC are best known as the driving forces behind Tiny Cartridge, aka best damn blog dedicated to portable gaming out there, period. They also do a superb job of covering toys, apparel, zines, fan art, chiptunes, and game culture in general!

But it’s not easy keeping the good ship Tiny Cart up and running, and every single day without fail. Which is why they’re asking for a modest amount of support, so I say we all chip in and show them our love! Because the fact of the matter is this: not only is Tiny Cartridge the greatest thing ever, it’s also part of a dying breed.

Specialized blogs maintained by everyday folk have fallen to the wayside, who have largely moved onto social media to spread their word. In their place are blogs that are owned and operated like businesses, with a staff of many. Which is cool, but many attempt to be all encompassing, since they seemingly have the resources. Yet something’s always missing…

And that’s what Eric and JC do best; Tiny Cart highlights things that either no else has/would otherwise, or perhaps more importantly, the things we take for granted in video games. All in such a warm and inviting manner to boot. So please check out their Patreon page; toss them a few bucks and get some really cool stuff in return! Along with their heartfelt gratitude.

Might I recommend the Gold level? That way you can swap friend codes with the guys. Why, I remember checking out Eric’s Animal Crossing town once, and out of the blue, the creator of Nyan Cat showed up! So who knows what surprises await for supporters of Tiny Cartridge. And I have been told that there are plenty in store!

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I Love Buttons Too

January 29, 2014 - By - Tags: ,

This blog isn’t usually a platform for discussing current events, but here goes anyway: as you may have heard, Nintendo has seen better days. Perhaps due to disappointing Wii U sales, coupled with the belief that their future lies with iOS &am Android among industry analysts and people on the street alike, a rumor began circulating that the house that Mario build was going to finally cave and produce mini games for smart phones.

Nintendo flat out said that’s not happening, and speaking as an old school Sega fan, one who still remembers what going multi-platform did to that company, that’s a huge relief. And it’s not like Nintendo couldn’t do a kick ass job; they were working with touchscreens before the iPhone even existed, after all.

I love all the games that my iPhone 5S has been able to deliver; it’s why I want an iPad Air as well. Heck, I also want a Nexus 7 or Moto G, just cuz. But when it comes to gaming that’s entirely in the palm of your hands, I simply prefer the games on my 3DS (and Vita) a tad bit more. And that’s because I just love buttons, hence the video above.

Oh, and buttons are much easier to deal on days like these, when you need to wear gloves. Touch screens, not so much! BTW, the above is by Nicolas Magnier, who also runs GamOvr, which has long been a favorite place of mine for random game related imagery.

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