Internet people have been talking about WiiWare game Bit.Trip Beat, and posting videos of it, and now they are beginning to email me, asking if I've played it. The answer is no, I haven't played it yet, but I feel like I ought to plug it anyway, for two reasons.
Number one, look at it. Just look at it:
If that's not a brilliant videogame, it does a really good job of looking like one.
Reason number two is that according to reader Jesse G Collins, who sent me a very nice email, the sound designer for Bit.Trip Beat is NO NO WRONG fantastic chiptune musician Bit Shifter. Bit Shifter! So I feel like I ought to help spread the word about this game, just on principle.
This game is phenomenal. I recently purchased Madworld for $55, but for 600 wii points, I am much more excited and enthralled with deflecting pixels to chip tunes than cutting dudes in half with a chainsaw prosthesis.
So there you go! You can purchase Bit.Trip Beat by turning on your Wii and doing the thing.
ANOTHER EDIT: I got another very nice email, this time from Bit Shifter himself. He writes:
I needed to mention though that while I contributed two songs for the game's title and credits screens, that was the extent of my musical involvement -- all of the in-game music was done internally by the Gaijin Games development team. Wanted to bring it to your attention just because I wouldn't want to be unduly taking credit. The in-game music sounds great -- I wish I could say it was mine. [emphasis mine]
So! Trying to make a fool outta me, eh, reader Jesse G Collins? Why I oughta!!
By the way, people are talking about Bit.Trip Beaton the forums now, if you wanna join in.
Apologies in advance for the audible pops and clicks – apparently my mic is a giant piece of shit. I need to buy a new one, but I have no idea what kind to get. Suggestions, as always, are appreciated.
(Blue text indicates music)
0:00 – Intro and grumbling
1:26 – The Legend of Princess by Konjak 10:36 – Player-generated vs. designed narratives 16:26 – Street Fighter is rad 18:45 – Street Fighter 3: Third Strike – Gill's Stage 22:31 – The insanity of Kaz Hirai 45:11 – Nobody – Live at Magfest 49:28 – Chiptunes and SID music 52:13 – Great inauguration, but where were the videogames? 60:15 – Wrap-up 62:51 – Dan Staines – Titan
First of all, thank you. You are wonderful, attractive people and I love you all.
Secondly, go to this forum thread and fill out the questionnaire there. If for whatever reason you don't want to post your answers on the forum, you're free to email me instead.
Finally, does anyone know of any software/plugins/scripts I could use to manage the database? I'm not entirely sure how I want to set it up right now, so I'm open to any suggestions.
On an unrelated note, have you dudes and ladies seen this excellent indie game roundup by Eegra friend, James Murff? It's a pretty good read, although James inexplicably forgot to include links to any of the games he talks about. Good thing Indiegames.com is on the case!
Remember back in March, I posted part one of a long and interesting interview with well-known genius Kenichi Nishi, creator of Chibi-Robo, Archime-DS, Captain Rainbow, Newtonica and happiness? And I probably said something like, "Shucks, I'll post part two real soon, hurpa durp!" in a dumb voice like that.
Well, here it is. A bit late I suppose, but it's not dated at all because I didn't ask any stupid questions like, "HUR, WHAT IS YOUR NEXT GAME KENICHI, THE WORLD MUST KNOW IMMEDIATELY!??"
As a result, this second half of the interview is as completely wonderful as the first. Click the link below to begin your enjoyment.
Are you a ‘bedroom’ game designer? Better yet, are you a would-be bedroom game designer – passionate about videogames and eager to make one, but you don’t know where to start, or you’re finding it a bit overwhelming? Toronto’s Artsy Games Incubator may be of great interest to you! Oh yes. Great interest.
Yes! Here is an interview with Dessgeega, the creator of Mighty Jill Off, Calamity Annie, and other excellent things. I can tell you, honestly and enthusiastically, that this is a bloody good interview: long and meaty! She even tells us a little bit about her next game. But more importantly, she tells us about her ideas, her life, and her philosophy of game design. I bet you like a hundred dollars that this interview is way more interesting than the next interview you read with, say, Shigeru Miyamoto.
“What what? More interesting than Shigeru Miyamoto? But he is a very important genius!” True, dearest reader. But consider that the only people who get to interview Shigeru Miyamoto are cock-gobbling suck-ups, who ask stupid questions like, “Will there be another Zelda game? Is Nintendo planning another DS redesign?” Like that shit matters, you idiot! Just wait and find out! You get to interview Shigeru Miyamoto, and that’s what you want to know? Jesus christ, you must be the most boring fucker alive.
In this third and final video, Kenichi Nishi tells us about Newtonica’s ‘space chick’ – the little bird that flies past every so often, bearing bonus points. We learn how it came to be, what it might signify, and what Kenji Eno had to do with it.
This is probably my favourite part of the interview! I asked a silly question about the space chick, but didn’t expect there to be a real answer. I hope you enjoy these AMAZING INSIGHTS from a REAL GAME DEVELOPER.
* * *
FAKE EDIT: Oh and hey, look what just appeared; how's that for timing: It's the official (and very silly) promotional video for Newtonica:
It’s a few days later than I’d planned, but here is part two of Kenichi Nishi talking about Newtonica, in a karaoke room in Ebisu. This time, Kenichi explains the deeper meaning of this simple iPhone app, and how, ultimately, it connects to the Buddhist concept of ‘shogyou mujou’. No, really!
The video is a little long, since almost everything is said twice – once in Japanese, and once in English. But the advantage of that is, you can send this video to your hundreds of Japanese friends!
A little later today, I’ll post the third and final video, which is all about the ‘space chick’ in Newtonica.
On Friday night, in Ebisu, I met with Kenichi Nishi and his partner Hikaru, for a demonstration of his iPhone game, Newtonica. But first we had dinner – and Kenji Eno turned up too! (Eno is responsible for Newtonica’s music.) The dinner is mostly irrelevant, except for a couple of pieces of trivia I can remember that came up in conversation, that may interest you:
Despite having left Skip, Kenichi was involved with Captain Rainbow (as its scenario designer), since the game began development before he left. (Speaking of Captain Rainbow, it’s soundingfantastic.)
Ko Takeuchi, one of the key designers of Rhythm Tengoku (among other things), used to work for Kenji Eno at Warp.
Following dinner, we – minus Eno, who was very busy – went to a karaoke room, where we recorded this demonstration of Newtonica. This one right here:
Then Ken performed some Oasis songs, complete with air guitar. (I didn’t film it; sorry.)
As you can see, Newtonica is a very, very simple, though fun, game; definitely worth getting if you have an iPhone, but definitely not worth getting an iPhone for.
That was the demonstration – come back later this week for the explanation: Kenichi explains the deeper meaning of Newtonica, and tells us a bit about the game’s development.
DISCLOSURE-TYPE ADDENDUM: Yes, this post originally featured more, and more detailed, bits of trivia. Turns out they weren’t ‘extra information’ so much as ‘personal information’, and weren’t meant to be passed on – so, on request, I’ve removed them. This would make me a terrible, soft, journalist, if I were a journalist, which I’m not.
It’s the 28th of the 8th of 2008, and it should not be surprising that, on so auspiciously numbered a date, destiny should draw events together to create a vortex of neato: Kenichi Nishi reports on his blog – following some anxious entries over the past couple of days – that at last, Newtonica is available for iPhone owners to buy, and what do you know, it just so happens that today is the release date for Captain Rainbow, the new and wonderful game from Skip, the company Nishi founded.
It’s not world peace, but one can’t help but feel that if God hasn’t smiled on indie gaming today, he has at least absent-mindedly flicked a booger at it.
And you know what else? I’m going to a YMCK show tonight! And one of the support acts is Sexy Synthesizer! And, I didn’t sleep at all last night, because I was busy making 2D sprites for a game. See how I lick your boogers, O Lord. They are rolling hills of candy to this unworthy mortal.
That means news about Newtonica – get it? Pretty clever, right?
Newtonica, as you may remember, is the new game from Route 24, aka Kenichi Nishi, formerly of Skip and Lovedelic, and designer of Chibi-Robo, Archime-DS/LOL/Bakushow, and so on. Newtonica is made for the iPhone, and will be released worldwide very, very soon. Even Kenichi doesn’t know when, but the game went ‘gold’ recently, and has been submitted to Apple for approval, or whatever it is that you do, so it shouldn’t be long now.
The interview reveals some interesting facts about Newtonica – for example, that the background music was composed by none other than Kenji Eno (Kenichi’s good friend), and the game itself was inspired by an iPhone wallpaper that Eno designed. So those of you waiting for Kenji Eno’s big comeback – well, maybe this little comeback will do for now.
I’ll be meeting with Kenichi sometime this week for a proper look at Newtonica, and I intend to get VIDEO FOOTAGE of the game in action, so stay tuned for that! (Also stay tuned for the second half of my months-old interview with Kenichi which I swear to christ I’m in the process of transcribing.)
Described by the author as a cross between Lemmings and Hapland, FIG is a fun little game in which the goal is to guide a brainless protagonist through 35 beautiful-but-deadly islands, each of which comes with its own unique set of traps and puzzles.
Hey, does everyone know about Phun? ‘Cause I didn’t!
Phun is an easy-to-use physics toy; sort of like The Incredible Machine, but better. You simply draw shapes and set them to behave in certain ways. It’s a wonderfully flexible creative tool, and of course the possibilities are infinite. And it’s FREEWARE, HURRAY! You can watch a demo video here, and download it here.
Anyway... mostly I just wanted to post this:
There’s a YouTube group – right here – for people to show off their Phun creations. Some pretty okay stuff there; give it a squiz!
(Thanks to Swimmy on the TGQ forums for bringing Phun to my attention.)
At long last, I am very, very happy to present the first half of my interview with Kenichi Nishi, the designer of LOL: Lack Of Love, Giftpia, Chibi-Robo, and most recently Archime-DS, soon to be released in Europe and Australia as LOL.
I also interviewed Fumihiro Kanaya, the programmer of Archime-DS, and Miki Tashiro of Skip, the game's publisher. This is because I am an interviewing machine that cannot be stopped.
Click the linky bit to read words -- words about Archime-DS, Skip and Nintendo's bit Generations games; words about Nishi's approach to game design; about his philosophies and dog. Meet a living treasure of the world of videogames.
Created for a B-Game competition at TIGS, Jazzuo'sHermies the Game is a testament to the power of elegant simplicity. A frantic action game ... a confrontational commentary on gender stereotypes ... a profound and brutal metaphor for the human condition ... Hermies is all these things and much more besides. It is, in a word, genius.
(P.S. If you want to download and play Hermies - as well as all the other games created for the B-Game comp - then click here.)
How much free time do you have today? Not much time at all? Good, because that's exactly how long it takes to play Mighty Jill Off, the best freeware game released last week. You can read all about it in my review! How convenient for you!
We received an email from a nice man called Ash, who has started a blog dedicated to awesome and defunct indie game company Lovedelic, and Lovedelic-related companies such as Skip (Chibi-Robo) and Vanpool (Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland), and generally anything or anyone connected in any way with Kenichi Nishi (who you will remember from our Archime-DS review). Needless to say, this blog is right up our alley, and here it is: Lovedelic Life. Go there an' things!
AND! From Lovedelic Life comes the happy news that Archime-DS will be released in the UK in May! Good gracious! KEN-CHAN YOU GOTTA TELL ME THESE THINGS, MAN. Anyway -- good time to be a pom! Or in May it will be, at least. Provided you're not too busy WALLOWING IN MISERY. Oh isn't the weather terrible. It's shocking the things these days.
Although the name makes it sound like a DJ compilation album, Spin the Black Circle is in fact an enjoyable, addictive, and profoundly challenging browser game not unlike LocoRoco. The goal is to guide a little ball through a series of simple trap-filled mazes using THE POWER OF GRABBIDY. So, what you do is, you tilt the maze and the ball rolls around and - oh for Chrissakes, what the hell am I explaining it for? The link is right there. Click it already.
EDIT: I was just informed that 'Spin the Black Circle' is in fact the name of a popular song by Pearl Jam. But see, I didn't know that because I don't listen to shit music.
Jesus, I don’t know why I bought this. I saw that it said Warhammer on the box. I saw that the cover-art featured a bellowing space orc carrying some kind of giant mechanical steak-knife. I even saw the quote on the back: “AND THEY SHALL KNOW NO FEAR...” But for reasons that remain mysterious, I still bought the stupid thing. And now I regret it.
It’s not a large regret. I don’t regret buying it in the way a person might regret running over a kitten. But I do wish that I had spent my money on something else. Which I guess is pretty much all I need to say about it. If you buy this game, you will wish you had bought something else. End of review.
NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2: MASK OF THE BETRAYER (PC)
So far as expansion packs go, this is some real top-shelf shit. The narrative is meticulously constructed and surprisingly imaginative, as are the characters and dialogue. It gets a bit heavy on the dungeon-crawling sometimes, but thankfully the ratio of tedious-corridor-slogs-to-actual-interesting-bits is considerably lower than it was in the original campaign. Plus, one of the available party members is a talking ghost-bear. So that’s pretty ... yeah.
Second update of the year and I'm already late. It's not my fault! There were monsters.
This is a long, long review of Archime-DS, the latest game from Kenichi Nishi, the creator of Chibi-Robo, Giftpia, and other, similarly unique and neato games. This review is so long that most of it isn't even a review. What is it, instead? Who knows. Not me! I already forgot! It is so amazing and cool and good that my brain just couldn't hold on to it.
Totally cool. I don't know who that little munchkin is, but I love him so. Anyway, GameSetWatch has a nice little Q & A with the guys who are making Fez, in which they reveal the true identity of the mysterious Jason DeGroot! Who is Jason DeGroot? He is the man who is doing the music for Fez! That's who!
In what's quickly becoming a habit of mine, I've gone and turned what was supposed to be a concise summary of the new Wizball remake into a lengthy screed filled with profanity and Cockney slang. I don't know why I keeping doing this. I guess I just love you guys TOO DAMN MUCH.