Blogs

Matt Barton's picture

Casual Gaming and Upcoming Classic Remakes for Wii

There's lots of interesting news in my Google Reader today. Perhaps the best place to start is an article on Gamasutra called Will 'Casual' Games Dominate the Future of the Industry?. This is a question Bill and I have been asking a lot lately on AA, and it's interesting to see how the opinions of the "professional analysts" GS pulled together compare with our own. I also have some news about upcoming Wii remakes, news of another "eye-based" controller, and more funny ads from GameSetWatch.

Matt Barton's picture

On Dean Erickson and FMV in Gabriel Knight II

Gabriel Knight 2Gabriel Knight 2My friends over at Adventure Classic Gaming have a great interview up with Dean Erickson, the actor who portrayed Gabriel Knight in the second game of the GK series, The Beast Within. As you may recall from my review of the game, I didn't think Erickson did the best job, but now, after reading the interview, I'm feeling a bit more forgiving. Obviously, one of the great challenges of being an actor in a FMV game is trying to "act natural" in a FMV studio, because the end product may turn out so much different than a movie or TV show would. People tend to forget that all of the pioneering FMV games were working without established precedents and tried techniques; they were experimenting and, in my opinion, were abandoned before they grew into their own. What I want to do here is address some issues with acting in FMV that may account for hits untimely (and hopefully not permanent) demise in the mid 90s.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Apple II (2) News and Notes for July 2006

By Ryan M. Suenaga, M.S.W. and edited by Howard Katz:

A2 News and Notes July, 2006

INDEX
* Kansas In July
* Phoenix Rising
* Sweet Emulation
* Name That Format
* Apple I Rebirth
* Apples Online
* Name That Game
* More Storage Options
* Software News
* Emulation News
* SignOff

-- By all accounts, KansasFest (aka KFest) was a success this year. Held

Bill Loguidice's picture

A Personal Journey into Classic Game Development...

Spike Supersports Title Screen (Vectrex): Image from Martijn Wenting's developer blogSpike Supersports Title Screen (Vectrex): Image from Martijn Wenting's developer blog...Or so goes the tagline to the blog, d3singer.com, which, despite the tiresome "leet-speak" (which I refuse to ever learn, thank you very much) in the title, is an intriguing development diary from Martijn Wenting of the Netherlands.

I first "knew" of Martijn from frequenting his Vectrex News Website, which not only obviously provides news on one of the most unique videogame systems ever, the Vectrex, but also a plethora of related information and software tools for the highly collectible unit. Fairly recently he decided to document his software development activities in blog format, and, for those who wish to develop for classic systems or are just interested in programming or even classic systems in general, it's terribly fascinating. He's into everything from the Vectrex (natch) to the ColecoVision and MSX systems to the Atari 2600, GameBoy and beyond.

Matt Barton's picture

Space Synth: The Best Electronic Music Ever Made?

Protonic StormProtonic StormTo put it mildly, I'm a big fan of electronic and computer music. Please don't confuse that with techno, dance, trance, or house music. While I have nothing against these other sub-genres of electronic music, I, er, don't listen to them. Think instead of acts like Tangerine Dream (my hero), Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Jarre, and, to some extent, Kraftwerk. However, my latest obsession is with a genre I've recently discovered: Space Synth. What's great about this genre is that unlike most electronica, these tunes actually have melodies (i.e., you'll be humming them for weeks after you've heard them). I think I've found where all the talent ended up that lost mass consumer appeal in the late 80s! At any rate, I've found a website where you can sample some excellent space synth and see what you think.

E3 gone?

A buzz is going on right now that many people are believing that E3 may be canceled period. According to Gamespot.com, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) are talking about plans to downsize E3, but not cancel it completely. These events can cause E3 to lose its major role as the biggest gaming trade show in the world.

Gamespot: "ESA to

Matt Barton's picture

G4's History of the NES

Someone was kind enough to record and post "G4 Icons: NES" to YouTube. I'm not sure how long this video will be available (I can't believe that anyone involved acquired permission for the file), so you'd better watch it while you can, either at the link or below the fold. While Bill will undoubtedly be able to point out a zillion mistakes, at least they have lots of comments from folks on-the-scene at the time, such as the president of Nintendo America--and there's also interviews with Steven Kent, game historian. There are also lots of nice shots from NES games and Robbie the Robot. While I don't much care for G4's spastic, ADD-style editing, it's an entertaining way to spend 22 minutes--though for some reason the audio sync is off by quite a margin. Nintendo fans will also want to check out 1UP's Ten Great Mario Moments, an outstanding multimedia feature all-about Mario: "It's a look at how the series' influence has triple-jumped from crusty carts to TV shows and home-made videos, speed runs to full theater productions (with Mario and Luigi duetting on the marimba)." It's a bit frightening, but it does demonstrate just how wide an impact Mario and the NES had on American gaming culture (and beyond!)

Doom RPG gives Cell Phones a Wizardryish Delight

So I've settled into Portland, OR quite nicely and one of the first things I do is get a hell of a deal on a Motorola RAZR V3 Cell Phone. After fiddling with the customs settings and downloading a custom ringtone (We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister, of course), I decided to download a cell phone game that isn't exactly new: Doom RPG.

To my utter shock, it turns out to work. I never thought crossing Doom with Wizardry would end up being a fun game, but Doom RPG succeeds for the most part.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Galaga on Xbox Live Arcade - Impressions

Galaga on Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360)Galaga on Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360)Well, it was Xbox Live Wednesday again yesterday and that means a fresh arcade download. This time it was Namco's classic, Galaga, now under the Namco Bandai banner.

Unlike many past arcade ports to the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade, this one is a straight up port - no frills whatsoever. Beyond the standard resolution update to 720p and a concession for screen format - the original was a vertical game and in order to compensate just like with Frogger there's a type of cabinet art on each side - this is a pure emulation. What you got with the arcade game you get here, other than achievment tracking and comparisons via Xbox Live. So, what did I think?

Matt Barton's picture

Big Buck Hunter Pro: That Wild Game Game

The folks over at Retroblast are scratching their heads over a recent MSNBC article concerned with the unexpected rise of Big Buck Hunter Pro in hip NYC bars (among other places). Apparently, the game is set to knock even Golden Tee into the sand trap. What's the appeal? Well, it's obvious--the game combines all of the thrills of hunting while sparing you all the grisly details. Besides that, the psychology of cool requires that you occasionally seek out the "uncool" just to be cool. But seriously, folks...

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