News: Darwinia demo released

darwinia.jpg DIY Games is noting that the playable PC demo of Darwinia has been released, giving “a single level from the [real-time strategy action] game, which is scheduled for release on March 4th, called Pixel Mines.” Darwinia is from from the UK-based Introversion, also creators of the excellent ‘War Games’-style hacking simulation Uplink, and Darwinia itself has a good unofficial Beta guide available for it which also helps explain the gameplay, Darwinians, Centipedes, Triffids and Jellyfish alike.

News: Zoku Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke

Iggy found what are apparently development notes of Zoku Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke on PSP, a sequel to the acclaimed, yet far too little-heralded PlayStation RPG Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke (more conveniently abbriged Orenoshi by fans). The original game, “set in Japan sometime during the Edo era”, which some of you might have heard of through an insightful post by IC forum member Cocaine Socialist, was the child of Shouji Masuda, praised scenario writer of the two first Tengai Makyou games, director of Linda Cube and producer of Sony’s latest foray into the RPG business, Waga Ryuu o Miyo.

News: Wayforward’s Sigma Star Saga announced

sss.gif Although Nintendo Power had leaked it a couple of weeks earlier, Namco has officially announced the signing of Game Boy Advance ‘RPG with an action-packed shooter battle system’, Sigma Star Saga. The game is developed by Shantae (yay!) and Ping Pals (uhm?) creator Wayforward, who were recently interviewed by Monsieur Sheffield for Gamasutra, and there’s an official website up with some interesting screenshots of the side-scrolling 2D shooter and RPG overworld parts – it’s due out in June 2005, but looks dangerously cultish already.

News: Mutant Storm to Xbox Live Arcade

mutant-storm.jpg Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade seems to be a great idea – paying for easily downloadable, ‘casual’, often indie Xbox titles that get downloaded straight to your HD. Although it’s somewhat underpromoted and, some say, overpriced ($10-$20 per game, instead of $5-$10), it already has neat titles such as Fuzzee Fever. Now, PomPom Studios has announced that its rather beautiful, Jeff Minter/Robotron-inspired psychedelic shooter, Mutant Storm, is available via Xbox Live Arcade. This, we reckon, is good news.

News: Korea makes EyeToy: Edukids

eyetoykids.jpg There are already a bunch of collectible oddities for Sony’s EyeToy, from PAL and JP-only Konami sports games, through Japanese-specific licensed kids titles, all the way to very unofficial video messenging add-ons. The latest weirdness? Try checking out EyeToy: Edukids, an ‘edutainment’ title created specifically by SCEK (Sony Korea) that teaches basic music, counting, and motor skills. It’s due out in South Korea on January 20th, but there’s no news yet on a translated release in other territories.

News: Official Ibara site

ib.jpg Cave has launched an official site for Ibara. Included so far is a story outline, character descriptions and artwork, and a handful of screenshots. The game will be present at AOU 2005 on February 18, 2005. [UPDATE – S! – Namako Team has an excellent geeked-up analysis of the game’s screenshots, looking at new stylistic influences: “So, while original Cave staff are likely handling at least background art, the responsibilities of former Raizing staff working on the game would seem to comprise at least game design/direction and sprite design.”]

News: Another Type-X shooting game.

Skonec, of Psyvariar fame, and one of the initially announced supporters of Taito’s Type X PC-based arcade system, had previously announced its new title ‘Homura’, a new shooter with 3D art, and apparently, the Type X version is currently on location test at Akihabara Hey in Tokyo – more info/screens soon. [UPDATE – Neo-Arcadia now has location test screenshots of the game.]

News: Super Mario Movie, revisited

mario_movie.jpg On the IC forums, Fort90 gives us advance warning of an art exhibit opening in New York tomorrow (Jan.15th), called ‘Super Mario Movie’ by long-time game-related artist Cory Arcangel and Paper Rad. Apparently: “it is a hacked Super Mario Bros [NES] cartridge… instead of the game, you are presented with a 15 minute movie using all original graphics from the game.” There’s no news on the appearance of Hoskins, Leguizamo, and friends, mind you, but the exhibit will be showing at Deitch Projects until February 26th. [UPDATE: Fort90 has now posted a report on the opening, including pictures of the in action.]