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Can’t contain my hype!

Just over 3 weeks away. This is my #1 game this year. I honestly did not think I would be THIS excited about it. I thought I was tired of the whole Dynasty Warriors formula, but you know what? This really works for me. Digging the heavy metal Zelda.

What I’m even MORE excited about is Square Enix and Sony’s announcement of a limited edition metal slime PS4, which will probably never reach the states.

metalp4

And of course the announcement of Dragon Quest Heroes! Oh joy of joys! For those who know me, you know I love me some Dragon Quest. Another Dynasty Warriors cross over spin-off, and a first for the Dragon Quest series, stepping outside of their standard RPG style. And will also probably never reach the states.

Maybe I’m Just Tired…

For the past few hours I’ve been trying to figure out how to get the trial of Dragon Quest X to work on my PC. Download it and install it. Right, sounds easy enough. But too bad the whole friggin thing is in Japanese and  I had to create a Japanese Yahoo account, which itself took around 2 hours. You know those, ‘captcha’ things they use to authenticate you’re a real person when creating an account for something or posting on a forum? Well I had to do one of those in Hiragana and I spent way too much time staring at symbols that mean nothing to me. Anyway, I finally got it to download and install and now the updater is at…5%…

So I happened to have a NES cart of, “Where in Time is Carm Sandiego” sitting on my desk in front of my this whole time and I had my daily epiphany (I don’t really have daily epiphanies). That’s supposed to be Carmen stealing the crown from some olde tyme aristocracy. Why, throughout my entire youth when this game was relevant (was it ever relevant?) did I not realize what this picture was SUPPOSED to be? I always thought it was just a bunch of people dressed up in periodic clothing to let you know the game was about time travel. Never did it dawn on me that Carmen had uncrowned a noble and absconded with the treasure while armed guards do NOTHING.  And is she even really trying to get away? So let’s analyze this picture:

carmen

Woman in red – She’s actually dead and not really there. That’s why no one noticed her dismay and calls for help when Carmen came in to take the crown. This is where M. Night Shyamalan got his idea for the 6th Sense.

Man on Left – he is a dandy fop and unable to act

Pregnant Woman – initially I thought she had just fainted, but by her body language and angle of leaning, you can tell she’s beginning to go through contractions. The placement of the gentleman’s hands behind her lends an idea of her condition as he seems to be gently holding her mid torso, making sure to not wrap fully around her stomach.  Also, it’s obvious her water broke and is evaporating from the heat given off by Carmen’s time machine

Man on Right – he’s attending to the pregnant wench

Guard on Left – Is posing for a picture. Since the first cameras took 10+ minutes to take a picture, he has to stand around looking assertive until it’s finished. Also, they’re not invented for several hundred years later.

Guard in back – May or may not have Downs Syndrome. It’s typical of those with such a disorder to become confused easily under stressful situations and are ill equipped emotionally to deal with them appropriately. Hence this man’s fearful, yet menacing gesticulations. BTW, who gave him a sword?

Carmen Sandiego – What the hell is she riding? I would want to say it’s some sort of motorcycle, but I’m not sure there are any wheels. It looks as if it’s got some sort of Knight Rider-esque front frame, but instead wheels it appears to be mounted on a roman column. As a kid, being a fan of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and having knowledge of their method of time travel, this method seemed no less strange to me. But recently I noticed that her legs are actually placed up beside her like riding a bike and now it doesn’t make sense. How is she supposed to make a swift get away when her vehicle of choice doesn’t appear mobile. I suppose it doesn’t matter when you under assault from guards of this nature.

7% update complete…. Ok DQX I guess you can wait until tomorrow.

Dragon Quest X Petition

Apparently it’s already started. Thanks to my last post, it was brought to my attention there IS a petition to bring DQX to America. So what are you waiting for? Get on it! Go sign!

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

If for some reason that link doesn’t work, go directly to their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Operation-Hero/324420011042007

They were already toying with the idea of bringing this game to our shores, so if they see that enough people are willing to buy it, it’s more likely to happen. Nintendo of America had already been talking about the possibility of porting Xenoblade when the petition for that began. Reggie Fils-Aime claims that although they were aware of the petition, it had no impact on Nintendo’s decision stating that, “100,000 signatures does not mean 100,000 sales”. So what does that mean? We have to double, no, quintuple that? Well we’re a bit behind. At not even 2,500 signatures, there’s quite a bit to go. So go sign it. Let Square Enix and Nintendo know that you’ve got $60 set aside for them when the game is released here.

563071_7969681_lz

Bring Dragon Quest X to USA

But not in the US. See that release date? 2012! Could have been localized by now!

But not in the US. See that release date? 2012! Could have been localized by now!

Since I’m a huge fan of Dragon Quest, possibly my favorite RPG series ever, I was having a hard time waiting for Nintendo to localize Dragon Quest X here. I see dates on a few websites referencing a 2014 release date for Dragon Quest X on the Wii U, but I don’t believe it. It wasn’t even mentioned in passing at E3.  I think I’ve finally come to terms that they will NEVER bring Dragon Quest X to America. I don’t understand why not. Were the sales on the DS titles really that poor? You would think a game that’s primarily online would do well here considering, on average, Americans do more online gaming than Japan especially since playing video games as an adult in Japan isn’t as socially acceptable as it is here.

I hadn’t bothered to mod my Wii yet, even though it’s relatively easy. I just never really saw the need. I don’t particularly agree with pirating games and there were no import games I thought were interesting enough to make the purchase. So I grew tired of waiting for Dragon Quest X and conceded to grabbing an import and mod my Wii. Then it became abundantly clear to me this wouldn’t be a simple matter. The 2-disc Dragon Quest X doesn’t run off the discs, they are simply for installation. But as you are all aware, the Wii has a “fun sized” hard drive. So aside from just modding the Wii to play import games, you have to install the game onto a USB flash drive. Minor inconvenience, whatever, pressing on. Now I come across the really bad news. The game isn’t just region locked, it’s ISP locked. In order to play this game, you need to be on an Japanese server provider. Yeah well, I dunno how to do that and I haven’t been able to find information on how to do that and even if I did, I think the hassle would be too extreme. You know what I think would be easier? LOCALIZING THIS FRIGGIN GAME IN AMERICA!

Now for some good news. Apparently that might happen? Square Enix is toying with the idea of expanding the game outside of Japan. Doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get it, or even get a full version of it if we do. It’s possible we may only get an offline only version, WHICH WOULD BE TOTALLY OK! I Just NEED this game. What do you want me to do? I will suck your dick for this game! Two girls one cup? Is that what you want me to do? I’ll do it…I won’t like it, but if it gets me this game, I’ll do that….

Who wants to start a petition? Not the sucking thing. I don’t think anyone wants to see a petition for that. I mean a petition to localize this game. It worked for Xenoblade after all, right? Anyone know how to get one of those rolling?

Jimmy Peterford – The Nintendo Prophet, Shaper of a Dynasty

I’ve wanted to do this post forever now, since before I even started this blog. However, I don’t live in NY anymore so it’s not like I could just go see Jim in the span of one afternoon, and even if I could, it took a lot of coercion to get him to sit in front of a camera.

You may remember awhile back I posted about Jim’s predictions on Nintendo’s new console – Nintendo’s Real Video Game System Coming Back At You Suck it. This was of course a joke based on the parody of him that arose from a letter he wrote to Nintendo Power’s Player’s Pulse, which premiered in the Dec 1991 issue. Sometime back in 2006 it was brought to his attention that this letter had caught some underground admiration. Joystiq did a small piece on him, referring to Jim as a modern-day Nostradamus. Later we learned that Sore Thumbs, a manga-style web comic, had introduced Jimmy Peterford as a character in their story who had psychic powers. Yet, to this day, the actual Jim Peterford remains unnoticed and uncredited.

Sore Thumb’s Jimmy Peterford

The REAL Jimmy Peterford

I always found it funny that they couldn’t have gotten Jimmy Peterford more wrong.  Fictional Jimmy Peterford is a skinny, green haired guy whereas the real Jim shaves his head and has a body builder’s physique. I’d also like to note that I actually would pass more for the fictional Jimmy Peterford, as I’ve actually had green hair in the past, and even a mohawk, which I believe his doppleganger had.

Jim also works in the video game industry, but I won’t say to what degree because I don’t want to incriminate him. Despite his career path, he definitely has no real direct power over the future of Nintendo, though I’m sure he wishes he did.

Below is a short interview I conducted with Jim in a room he fashioned out of a derelict cistern, buried deep under Syosset, where he plans to erupt a magma geyser (not necessarily a volcano) and destroy much of the surrounding neighborhood.

For those of you who doubt that this is indeed the same Jimmy Peterford that wrote into Nintendo Power, this is the best proof I can offer you.

NYS driver’s license, not fake, not doctored. Born in 1978, which would put him at just the right age for a child of the Super Nintendo era. His parents still keep a copy of that issue that their Jimmy wrote to.

Wii U Getting Renamed – Nintendo’s Next Console

Last year Nintendo revealed their next home console. The Wii U was unveiled to a less than overwhelming reception and it was pretty much unanimously agreed it had the dumbest name in console history. But it was just the project codename… or so we hoped. Nintendo is now rumored to be considering a new name for the console. When I heard this, I knew there was one person I had to contact immediately.

I had the pleasure of sitting with the Nintendo prophet, Jim Peterford. Yes, THE Jimmy Peterford, who back in a 1991 issue of Nintendo Power, predicted the Wii console. Hoping that lightning would strike twice, we united our brains together until divine inspiration bestowed us with the NiRVGSCBAYSi. That is, the “Nintendo Real Video Game System Coming Back At You Suck it” (see how I worked those two lower case i’s in there like the Wii? Clever huh?) This no holds barred approach to naming is symbolic of Nintendo’s intention to show gamers that they’re back and they mean business and they’re more than just a toy for the whole family.

Peterford came up with his own artist’s rendition of what he believed the NiRVGSCBAYSi will look like. The front panel of the console itself seems to resemble a TV remote, which probably implies Nintendo is going more towards being a multifunction entertainment unit. There doesn’t appear to be any ports for inserting external media, which hopefully means there’s a substantial hard drive inside and any data transfer will be wireless. The most notable aspect of the new console is probably the controllers. Taking a more SNES look and style, the remotes are wired, forgoing the wireless motion controllers, thus restricting any sort of motion gaming programmers would throw in. Which is fine, because flailing your arms around and dancing to video games is stupid.

I’m pretty confident Jim Peterford is right on the money with this one. If our predictions are accurate, and they almost certainly are, Nintendo will once again be the top contender in the home console market for hardcore gamers.

Retro City Rampage

If you haven’t heard of Retro City Rampage yet, you either didn’t grow up with a NES or you’re one of those people that doesn’t play anything but Madden. But if your gaming library consists of more than just the past 3 years of EA sports titles, please, read on.

Retro City Rampage is a Grand Theft Auto open world style parody, but done in glorious 8-bit! In development now by Vblank Entertainment, a process which has almost reached completion after 7 long years. I had a chance to chat with Brian Provinciano, the founder and lead developer, briefly via email. He’s a busy man and has already done a handful of interviews with people far more important than myself, plus I didn’t want to hamper production of this game any further, so I kept the questions short.

Greg – Clearly there were many influences you had going into this game; Mega man, Duck Tales, Metal Gear, Grand Theft Auto, Bionic Commando, Jackal. You didn’t seem to stick to just games either, I see Back to the Future* in your logo. Did I miss any? What else was on your mind?

Brian – I got into games because of the games I loved growing up. Retro City Rampage is an homage and celebration to pretty much everything that I’ve held a controller to and enjoyed. I’ve lost count!

Greg – How did you find ways to fit all the parodies* in? Was there a massive brainstorming sessions or just work them in as they came to you? I feel this is a pertinent question because every time I watch a video, I notice another little easter egg.

Brian – There were some brainstorming sessions, mostly in the beginning, but otherwise it’s mostly me. Maxime (the other artist on the project) has some great ideas though too when we’re adding some extra cherries on top.

Greg – I know Grand Thefttendo was the original title. I hear it was even originally supposed to be on a cartridge. What other major changes have taken place since? Are there things that have been taken out of the game that couldn’t fit?

Brian – Grand Theftendo was an entirely different game, but same end goal –an 8-bit Grand Theft Auto style open world game. I developed that on the NES, whereas Retro City Rampage is running on current platforms and does far more than an NES actually could. It still retains the same feel but packs are more punch, fun and is dosed with more sprinkles.

Greg – I guess with the cost of production, I can see why you chose to go digital, but will we ever see a physical copy?

Brian – It’s possible, but I wouldn’t expect something like that to happen for over a year if it did. Digital is far better in many ways. It costs 6-7 figures to release a retail game. Some XBLA games gross less than that. We may sell retro boxes/manuals with download codes though. It’s still up in the air.

Greg – Can you make just one? Or two. One for me, one for you of course. I’ll pay for both.

Brian – Unfortunately you can’t just start the presses for a couple copies of a console game.

Greg – The soundtrack fits perfectly with everything I’ve seen so far. What kind of direction, if any, did you give to your composers? It all seems to be very reminiscent of NES Konami games.

Brian – Konami’s been a great influence, but they’ve been very focused on experimenting with every style, from those of different NES games to music genres that didn’t even exist in those days. The soundtrack covers everything! Some of the songs were designed to be specific homages or fit specific missions, but I also told them to just have fun and play around for many others. In both cases we ended up with amazing tracks.

Greg – I remember last year hearing that Retro City Rampage was coming out holiday 2010. It was then set to release this summer. Any final words on a release date?

Brian – Likely mid-late January 2012. For business reasons I need to wait until the AAA and holiday season craziness is over.

Greg – This has clearly been a labor of love, taking you 7 years to complete. How do you feel? What are your plans afterwards?

Brian – It’s absolutely a labor of love. I’m very happy with how it’s turned out and all of the extra time I spent polishing it makes all of the difference. I was just playing it last night and a cutscene happened which I’d polished last month. I stopped for a moment and said to myself “Wow, those little extra touches really make it feel extra special”. I’m still polishing things as we speak. That’s what makes a game great.

I have a half dozen ideas for games I really want to make, but we’ll see which ones come to fruition, as games take a long time to make.

Greg – Do you still have a classic gaming collection of your own?

Brian – I do. I think I collected about 1/3rd of the NES library. However it’s all in boxes at my parent’s place. I don’t have room for it at my place, or money to continue collecting. Every last penny these days goes directly into funding RCR.

This game is parodies within parodies. They really threw everything into a blender with this one. My personal favorite I’ve seen so far is when the player gets bitten by a radioactive plumber and gains the super stomp ability. This is the type of genius you’ll encounter throughout the game.

Retro City Rampage, coming out early first quarter 2012 for XBOX Live Arcade and Wii Ware. You can check out Retro City Rampage‘s homepage for updates as the game nears its final stages, check out the developer blog, and watch some trailers. Being a big chiptune fan myself, I really dig the soundtrack. If you like that old 8-bit style of music you can download the tracks from the game there as well. The artists do an awesome job putting together a soundtrack that feels completely retro yet altogether something new. I strongly recommend checking out each of their own sites for some rockin’ tunes.

Retro City Rampage Soundtrack Demo Mixtape from Vblank on Vimeo.

As always, don’t forget to share this post. And don’t forgot to drop Brian and his crew a line as well. They’ve put a lot of work into this game. Let them know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

*I know Back to the Future was a game too, but does anyone really care about that awful thing? Let’s forget it existed, ok?

Dragon Quest X MMO

As promised, the update on Square Enix’s press conference. Since I wasn’t man enough to stay awake and get the information from Square Enix as it unfolded, I’ll just give you all a link right to IGNs report on Dragon Quest X. If clicking on that link is too much work for you, I’ll break down the key important elements here.

  • Dragon Quest X will be coming to the Wii and Wii U
  • It will be a MMORPG
  • There will be 5 playable races along with a job class system
  • Player crafted items
  • Turn based battles
  • There will be an offline mode as well
  • Release date set for sometime 2012

My thoughts:

Considering there’s an offline mode I wonder how this will work as an online game. Will it be like Final Fantasy XI but in a Dragon Quest setting, and I have to pay $15 a month to play? Or will it be like Diablo, where I can experience the whole game at home by myself and then if I choose, play online with others but at no additional cost? I prefer the latter and hopefully that’s what they decide. Actually, there’s a 3rd possibility I suppose. Phantasy Star Online. Same deal as Diablo, except you still had to pay money if you wanted to play online. Let’s hope that’s not the case, I’d rather it be more like your standard MMO if I have to pay money.

Will there be multiple factions with a PVP system? Will there be a raid system with huge dungeons? If they go with the Phantasy Star Online paradigm, I suspect that won’t be the case. My personal speculation is that it will be PVE heavy and will probably allow you to form groups of 4 -6 people. I base that mainly on the fact that you can play through the game offline. I don’t see a 20 man raid happening with 19 NPCs. I suspect that towns will be hubs where people can gather, then once venturing out into the field, it will act like an instance and only those in your party will be present. Since the battles are turned based, this is the only way I can think of that makes sense.

I am excited by Dragon Quest becoming an MMO. When Dragon Quest IX came out with multiplayer support I thought that was a great idea, but it was too limited by it’s lack of an infrastructure mode. I am worried though. A console MMO hasn’t really “worked” yet. You can argue that Final Fantasy XI was successful and then I’d argue that game was trash. Perhaps excitement with a tinge of nervous anticipation.

The Wii U really didn’t impress me initially, but now that I know this is coming out for it, I guess I’ll have to get one. I am a little disappointed though that they didn’t make any solid announcements for a 3DS game.

I leave you with some gameplay footage from the press conference. Sorry there’s no subtitles, couldn’t find one with any.

Don’t forget to share this post!

And thanks for reading!

Dragon Quest 25th Anniversary – Dragon Quest X?

Dragon Quest, my favorite RPG series of all time, celebrates its 25th anniversary with oodles of goodies. This is the best Dragon Quest news I’ve heard since they announced they were finally porting Dragon Quest VI to America. Much of the 25th anniversary information is already common knowledge with fans, but apparently on Monday, Square Enix is going to be dropping a bombshell. This Monday, September 5th,  Square Enix will be unveiling a new entry into the Dragon Quest Franchise! Popular speculation believes this will be the big reveal of Dragon Quest X, which has been in development for the Wii for some time. With Nintendo publishing the last few Dragon Quest releases, this makes the most logical case. It’s also no secret there is a 3DS Dragon Quest title in the works, so maybe even both will make a showing.

The press conference begins at 2pm Japans time, which is 1am eastern for us. You can watch the action unfold live on Square Enix’s USTREAM Channel

Other Dragon Quest releases on the way:

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 – Like Pokemon, but with Akira Toriyama‘s monsters. Release Date: Sept 19

Dragon Quest Collection – Containing both the NES and SNES versions of Dragon Quest I, II, and III, unmolested and unchanged, in their original form.  Set to release this Sept. in Japan, but still no word if it will ever hit us stateside.

Fortune Street – Not really a Dragon Quest game per se, but it has Dragon Quest characters in it. Itadaki Street in Japan, this series has never been released in America before. Plays like the bastard child of Monopoly and Mario Party. Release Date: Holiday 2011

There’s also a handful of Dragon Quest swag to pick up, including this cute little guy; a 1/1 scale of a King Slime. Unfortunately you’ll most likely have to end up importing these as well. Check eBay because these will probably never show up on our shelves.

I’ll be sure to drop an update once Square Enix makes their announcement.

Finally, I leave you with the Japanese trailer for the Dragon Quest Collection.

Don’t forget to share this post!

And thanks for reading!

Get sum edyookashun!

I would like to take this moment, before you dive into this post at length, to warn you that this is a post of unbridled anger. I’m not reviewing anything or giving my opinion on anything. Call this social outrage if you will, but I am one who believes America is getting dumber. Being what this blog is about though, I’m staying clear of politics and economics, budgets, and what have you, it’ll simply be about business as usual: video games.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was just released this Tuesday and it’s fueled the burning hatred inside me that’s been building for years. Oh, no, I have no problem at all with Deus Ex. I think it’s a great game. It’s the rape of language that’s related to the title that I have a problem with. There seems to be a mysterious collective group out there that promotes the mispronunciation of various video game related terms. I’ve heard the same mispronunciation from many people in various different parts of the country, so this is far from an isolated event, which leads me to believe that this is an insidious intentional spreading of incorrectitude. Now is incorrectitude a real word? No. But I made it up and I can do that. Making up words in fine, at least I’m not butchering the pronunciation of a word that already exists.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the culprits comparing their correct and incorrect pronunciations, starting with the most recent.

Deus Ex

How I’ve been hearing it: Deuce. And if you can’t pronounce that either, it sounds like GOOSE but with a D. It’s not deuce, that’s a slang term for pooping, which also means number 2.

Correct way:  Day-us. Which is Latin for, God or Deity. As in, “Thank Deus that the game isn’t called “Deus Ex Machina” because then we’d have everyone calling it “Deuce Ex Masheena”

Pokemon

Now this one I haven’t heard in a while but every now and then it creeps into my world and it causes me to regurgitate in my mouth a little bit. It’s mostly parents to blame for this one and I just don’t understand what their problem is. Kids will say it the right way right in front of their parents and then the parents still say it wrong. This is why I said earlier that these are intentional. Someone is purposely spreading these verbal crimes. I hear this one pronounced po-ke-MAN. Man?! Where is there an ‘A’ anywhere in that word? Granted it’s a foreign made up word, but we can’t just go injected and omitting letters as we see fit. New England, you are the worst perpetrators of this crime. You know what I’m talking about….

L.A. Noire

At its worst, I’ve heard this one called La Noyer. Sometimes it’s half right and someone will know enough to at least realize there are periods after the ‘L’ and the ‘A’. But then I also get, L.A. No-ire. Noire i’m willing to forgive to an extent. It’s a a french word which means black. Most specific to the game, it would refer to the genre of film called, film noir, which is what the theme of the game is supposed to be. If you don’t understand, think of the movie, L.A. Confidential. It’s a film noir style movie. Hence the game, L.A. Noire. Now you understand the meaning behind the title. Now let’s say it correctly. L.A. should be easy enough to figure out. Noire can be tough, I admit, because we really don’t have this exact sound in our dialect. Don’t think of is as a monosyllabic word like noise, where the ‘O’ and ‘I’ flow into the rest of the word, think of it more like two syllables. It should almost sound like “new-are” but slurred together.

Grand Theft Auto IV

This is simple and quick. This is not Grand Theft Auto Eye Vee. IV is the roman numeral for the number 4. So this is Grand Theft Auto 4. You would hope only young kids would get this wrong, but no. Adults are just as at fault here as well. If you feel your roman numerals are a bit spotty, you can check out Nova Roma‘s website.

Nunchuk

In this instance I’m referring specifically to the Wii Nunchuk. Nothing is more like nails on a chalkboard than this one. I hate hearing people call this a NUMBchuck. There’s no ‘M’ or ‘B’ in this word. Even after hearing the correct pronunciation and seeing the word spelled on packaging, people still refuse to say it the right way. Ignorance at its finest. Maybe I’m spoiled because I grew up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Michelangelo wielded the nunchaku. Which leads me to another point. Maybe I shouldn’t be so annoyed by this. I mean it’s officially nunchaku anyway and not nunchuk, though both are accepted. The nunchaku come originally from Okinawa, and I don’t know exactly how it went from that to nunchuk so maybe we made that up and it doesn’t matter anyway. No! You know what, it’s spelled Nunchuk right there on the box. So they can say it that way.

That’s enough anger for now. If anyone else has got some they’d like to share, please feel free.

Don’t forget to like and share this post on whatever social networking medium you prefer.

Thanks for reading!

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