News: Cloud Game

Cloudgame.jpg
Speaking of vanity projects, vincent diamante, of this very website, has worked on a new game, after Dyadin, which was in last year’s IGF. The new one is called Cloud Game, and vince did the music and effects. There’s a playable demo on the site, so check it out! If you hate it, you know who to blame.

Vanity?: Games in Preview

For those unaware, I do this thing on Mondays, at Next Generation (sort-of competitor to Brandon’s GamaSutra). I often get facts wrong and I often get more angry than is completely required. In general I’m told the column’s pretty good, though! This week’s episode is, I think, on the better end of the scale. So go read it, if it you so desire. You might learn something! Or not!

News: KOF Gals Mahjong

yuri.jpg And SNK Playmore marches on with the exploitation of its popular IPs for cellphones. After the dating sim Days of Memories comes KOF Gals Mahjong – the title is pretty self-explanatory. Yuri, Athena and Mary have already been confirmed, and the game is once again running on FOMA90 mobiles. From the first tiny screenshots, KOF Gals Mahjong will use powerbars and fonts taken from The King of Fighters 2000, and characters will be designed by a different person than the one that did DoM. Thanks to MN for the news.

News: Impressive start for Wanda

It’s hard to escape the buzz going around Wanda To Kyouzou (Shadow of the Colossus in the western world). One major interrogation was whether the game would be a better commercial success than Ico, which started pretty slowly despite rave reviews, before reaching cult status among a wide array of players. Iggy found out that Wanda managed impressive sales figures over its first days in japanese retail, already breaking the 100,000 units sold. Over the same period, the opportunist re-edition of Ico’s “Best Hits” version is almost a sold out as well. As a reminder, Tim reviewed Wanda and would love to see you confront his ideas here. There is certainly a lot to say and read about the game, and the IC forums are actually a good place to begin with – whether you just started the adventure or want discussions filled with spoilers by people who already finished it.

News: King of Fighters XI out

So it‘s been released now, in Japanese arcades; you can find a few gameplay videos drifting around the places you’d expect to find them.

Characters now seem to respond quickly and hit hard. The game engine seems to have gotten a big overhaul since last we saw it, and doesn’t feel a lot like past KOF games; more like Mark of the Wolves, really. Blows have weight and substance to them. Some people have commented that character animation has been improved significantly over previous games. It’s hard to tell from the videos, however.

It seems like players now get the chance to pick a team leader before every match, a feature that kind of hints at the way strikers were done in ’99-2001, except in reverse, with the focus being on who’s most important rather than on who’s most disposable. So really, it’s most reminiscent of 2001 (or a modified Capcom vs. SNK 2 – BS).

The intro sequence says the game is “The King of Fighters Episode XI” – which is… a strange thing to claim, if you consider that the previous episode was number 8. “XI”, of course, comes from counting the dream matches; same origin as the actual game title. Thing is, until now only the plot chapters were counted as “episodes”. So. Well. Huh.

Moving on, K’ now apparently has a logo to represent him; that logo is the shadow of Kyo’s eclipsed sun. Curious! There’s also an androgynous guy woman (thanks Count_Hihihi) with a spear, if you’re more into that kind of symbolism.

UPDATE: Also, the music is some of the highest quality, at least production-wise, SNK has ever put into an original game. Yimminy!