News

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Regularly updated news on all topics relevant to Armchair Arcade.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Spike's Circus for the GCE/Milton Bradley Vectrex Now Released!

Spike's Circus animation: (Image from Vectorzoa Website, creators of the Vectrex game)Spike's Circus animation: (Image from Vectorzoa Website, creators of the Vectrex game)Well, the Vectrex continues to battle the Atari 2600 for the best homebrew console award. It's almost difficult to keep up with all the new announcements for the unique Vectrex system and yes, the new product releases, the latest being "Spike's Circus" from Vectorzoa, who previously released "Logo" and "Star Sling". (for those who don't know, the character of "Spike" appeared in a platform game of the same name during the system's initial run. It actually featured pretty good speech synthesis, requiring no special add-ons. Spike and the associated characters from the game have become the system's unofficial mascot since then, appearing in several homebrew titles from various developers)

http://vectorzoa.com/circus/gi_circus.html

Hey, if you don't already have a Vectrex or are trying to get one off of eBay, what the heck are you waiting for? ;-)

From the Vectorzoa Website:

Modojo names Top 15 GB Games

Mobile gaming blog Modojo recently featured an article on the Top 15 GB Games.

I enjoyed how they kept their list to only the old-school black and white GB games, but disagree with several of their choices.

However, they did make a few decent ones. Here's one of them.

Gargoyle's Quest This spin-off title takes it's main character from the famous Ghosts n' Goblins series. However, you won't be playing as Arthur, but instead as the fiesty gargoyle Firebrand. Firebrand is destined to become the Red Blaze, the mighty savior of the Ghoul Realm, and defeat the evil King Breagar. The gameplay differentiates between an overhead world map, and side-scrolling combat levels with light RPG elements. Missing out on this wonderful GB gem is a shame that's not so easy to live down.

G4 Icons Ep on ESRB Ratings

Just watched an episode of Icons on YouTube that was fairly decent-- it covered the formation of the ESRB. While I didn't learn a whole lot from the episode that I didn't already know, its political slant made it appear more professional than the usual "cowabunga dude" casual demeanor G4 typically presents in its tripe it calls original programming. Check out the full link after the jump.

I wish the episode would have gone more into the controversy with the ESRB. Not too long ago, a Punisher video game was released for the PS2. The designer of the game was greatly upset at how the ESRB insisted upon censoring the special "violent kills" in the game; originally, they were in color and showed the full kill. In the finished version of the game, they are shown in black and white and sometimes fade to white or cut out early.

G-Phoria 2006 Awards - Vote Today!

Head on over to G4TV's website and vote for your favorite games of the year. Sure, this television awards show had a rough start but it looks like it's the closest we'll get to a respected televised awards show recognizing excellence in gaming, if you ignore all the blatant corporate sponsorship. Besides, it's really

GAGs are dead! Long live the GAG!

Game design blog Sirlin had an article about the death of the Graphical Adventure Game genre. While this is nothing new, he has a theory on how to craft a GAG with more dynamic gameplay elements. Here's a clip.

It’s probably not technically feasible to allow different outcomes to branch into a huge tree of totally different stories, nor is it even desirable. The opponents of interactive fiction state that any story is really 1,000 possible stories where the author intelligently chose the one, single best story to tell. It would still be possible, though, to create a game world whose major story arc was resistant to change, while allowing change on the smaller scale. It might even be fun.

Matt Barton's picture

NES Worlds: Novels based on NES Games

1UP is running a hilarious feature called 8-Bit Lit: Behind the Worlds of Power. These were books for children based on such popular NES games as Castlevania, Metal Gear, and Ninja Gaiden. The authors of the article do a great job providing snippets from these amazingly poorly written books published by Scholastic. Apparently, Scholastic was even more draconian about censorship than Nintendo!

Matt Barton's picture

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Platform Games

GamaSutra has just publicly released an updated edition of a massive (if somewhat roughly edited) feature called A Detailed Cross-Examination of Yesterday and Today's Best-Selling Platform Games by Daniel Boutros. It's a labor of love of almost Bill Loguidice proportions, and if you're at all interested classics like Super Mario Bros. 3 and later platformers, you should definitely check it out. He not only describes the top platform games, but introduces a helpful terminology to help analyze and compare them.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Protovision Update for the Commodore 64 (C-64, C64) - English and German

Advanced Space Battle (C-64): Galaxy ViewAdvanced Space Battle (C-64): Galaxy ViewThe latest updates from Protovision regarding some of the latest and greatest developments in the ongoing world of the Commodore 64 in both English and German follows:

(German version below)

ASB REVIEWS

ADVANCED SPACE BATTLE has been reviewed in the German magazines Cevi-aktuell 6/2006, GO64! 03-05/06 and Digital Talk #79.

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.

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