News: Games in france, part the second

So, lots more game stuff over the last two days, but I’ll just go through some of it now, and leave the rest for later. Two nights ago, Iggy, Chaz, Tanguy and I went to la tête dans les nuages, which translates to Head in the clouds – an arcade in paris. You can see the outside, and part of chaz, right here.

Once inside, I found it was quite large. We got there just before they were closing (11 pm), so there were only about 20 people in there. Still not a bad crowd though. I was immediately told not to take any pictures so my (numerous) pictures are a bit blurry as a result. They were all taken in haste, with furtive glances around the room. Check out the lay of the land:


I wound up playing Mushiking, even though I knew it was just a glorified game of rock, paper, scissors. It was actually sort of fun, with a very small kiosk that dispenses cards for you to scan, one per play, guess. I got the elephant beetle character card…this was the only game I played because you actually get to keep a card after you’ve paid the ridiculous 2 euro token fee. I took some pictures, but they’re even blurrier than others, as the Mushiking cab was right in front of the guy who told me not to take pictures. A little annoying french boy ran interference for me, even though he also tried to press the buttons while I was playing. Rather nice to see Mushiking/any modern-ish Sega arcade game in english, even if it costs two euros.

They also had the Hokuto no Ken arcade game from Arc Systems Works there, I suppose because french children of my era were exposed to this at a very young age. Hooray! I got a lame demo screenshot (why didn’t I play it? I’m not sure, now), and a pic of the cabinet. Uho.

News: Gen Con HyperScan impressions

A concerned reader wrote in after attending the Gen Con (paper gaming convention thing) somewhat recently, as the HyperScan was there (I posted about it here, and he wanted to share his impressions. So! Here they are. He chose not to be mentioned by name or anything, as his impressions are, well – you’ll see, I suppose! Also, note that the official site is operational now, with some sort of video that I can’t get to load in france. Maybe there’s a hyperscan filter over here. I saw some gameplay in there though, so you should check it out, most certainly! Even after this report, I still want to try it…masochism, maybe. Anyway, here are his impressions.

“So Mattel had a booth at GenCon this weekend for the HyperScan. Holy crap.
For one, the guy who was running the demo said it was still in Alpha… and
the sign said it was going to be $70 in October, for the system, Xmen game,
one controller, and booster pack of cards. The controller felt like a bad
dual shock rip-off that you would buy for a PC for $10 at wal-mart. And the
feel of the system was cheap plastic.. but it’s $70, so what do you
expect?


So as the demo begins, the guy keeps reminding me that this is still a
“preliminary” game, and has not yet gone into beta. The menu has the basic
fighting game options – single, multi-player, options, and i think one that
said training room, where he said you would gain experience points from
winning matches and then could go into the danger room and improve your
character. So he selects multi player and it starts to load… and load.. as
he tells me that it’s a cd-based proprietary 32-bit console “like the PlayStation”.
So once the chacter select screen comes up, I select cyclops, and the person
who was on the 2nd player controller picked Magneto. Then the game asks you
to scan a special move, and he had 3 cards for each player connected by
chain to the table, and he scans one for each player. And then the waiting
begins, all we get is a black screen that says “loading…”. As soon as this
pops up he’s on damage control saying “Like I said, this is still
preliminary, and has not yet gone into Beta. You are also going to notice
that the animation is really jerky and that’s going to be improved before
the release in october. Also, there are 2 punches and 2 kicks, but only 1
kick and 1 punch are working right now, and that’s going to be fixed before
release”… So we are watching the loading screen… I didn’t count the time
but I’m guessing around 30sec to load the match. (Brandon’s note: that sounds quite excessive, so take it as you will) And he adds once again that
this is preliminary software.


Finally we are into the match. It looks just like the picture that you put up on the
net, with the animation of Killer Instinct for the SNES, and the gameplay of
Primal Rage. The L button was your special move, mine was of course
Cyclops’ eye beam, and the Rbutton I think he said was block. Since this
was an Alpha stage game, as the demostrator once again pointed out, I could
just do my special all day and magneto would die, as he couldn’t block or
attack me. Magneto had some weird magnetic type ball he hit me with, that
looked more like something that storm should throw. And that about sums it
up.

After you defeat someone, you can swipe a “finishing move” card, but he said he ran out of them. They were giving out free cards after you tried it, but I said no thanks, as I don’t think my local recycling service could take it.”

Link: New Armored Core 4 screenshots

ac4_01.jpg12 new screenshots were posted up yesterday. They’re pretty sizeable and show a fair amount of detail. The really interesting aspect is that the designwork looks to be non-Kawamori in origin (it’s more akin to Yokoyama really). When From Software were asked whether Kawamori was helming the mecha they refused to comment, which is a tad odd considering that he’s been responsible for the series’ mecha design since 1997.

News: Games in france

awesomeness.jpgAs you may or may not know, I’m currently visiting france. As I can’t turn my brain off, I noticed a few things yesterday, which is the only day I’ve been here so far. Let’s discuss!! First, I got on the train, accompanied by the lovely iggy, and noticed, as always, the incredible amount of graffiti in the train tunnels. But this time, I saw something extra, that I managed to snap a shot of – perhaps a Sega enthusiast making his/her mark, perhaps from the set of the next silent hill. Click for bigger on all images that follow. And yes I’m being a show-off and using the wide angle lens on my new digital camera even when it’s not necessary.


still never played itNext, I went to a couple of game stores looking for things like this. The first store we went to was in a small mall of sorts, and their selection was completely limited to newer releases, and a rather paltry selection, at that. Of course 505 Gamestreet’s games were impossible to find, but I saw some other interesting things when walking with fabien. The first was the image you see to the left. Dragon Quest 8 is actually the first DQ to come to europe, so it’s simply marked Dragon Quest – no number, but sports the subtitle “the odyssee of cursed king”. Curious.





dog trainer grey market thingAt another (and even worse) game store, after which I learned that the entire nation of france has been using the internet or mail order for its game purchase since the 90s, where I also couldn’t find what I wanted, I saw this Dog Trainer thing. It’s a pro action replay of sorts for DS, specifically for Nintendogs (and Super Mario 64 DS for some reason). It unlocks all 20 dogs, and gives you some SM64DS codes of some sort. Less interesting, but I’ll mention it, they also had the Nintendogs edition which starts you off with Dalmation as a selectable breed…europe exclusive, but unlockable in the others anyway, so not that exciting.

in an upcoming gamasutra interview, mizuguchi and I talk about art museums in europe. HMMM!Last, but most certainly not least, I went to the Centre George Pompidou museum, which had some decent exhibits, and a pink room occupied by flowing silk (billowing with air from accompanying wall-mounted fans), and a giant red high-heeled shoe. But that’s not the point. The point is, I saw the series of paintings you see to your left, by françois morellet, born 1926. Check out the identifying card here. The card says that this is a series of six (I didn’t capture them all) variations of repeating black and white squares based on the even multiplications of the number pi. But really it’s just the only combinations you can make with those squares. And really, it’s freaking Lumines. Awesome (and frankly, maybe where he got the idea?). More things as I find them, which might never happen, but also might!

News: Teenage Queen

tqueen.pngYou might’ve heard of this by now, but here it is anyway – Teenage Queen, an upcoming cartridge game for genesis/megadrive. Here’s what the people themselves say: “It’s a straight port of a famous Strip Poker game available for the Atari ST. That game would never have received Sega’s approval in the nineties, so we decided to correct that mistake ;)

We decided to try to get the agreement from the copyrights owner, that might delay a bit the release (or cancel it),but we think it’s the best way to act. We don’t want any misunderstanding about our first intention with the company who got the intellectual property. Our aim is doing and sharing a new game with all sega fans.”

The box art can be found here, and the team responsible is Spoutnick, which has also done things such as…a silly xmas GBA game and a cancelled port. So don’t cross your fingers too hard for the final release of this MD game, though I’ll admit the license will be a bit easier to get. Thanks to Atarianallstar for the link.

News: Takashi Miike’s Yakuza

2006_08_16_ryu.jpgDespite unfortunately having to dub the English language version of Ryu Ga Gotoku to make Sony happy, and compounding the problem by wasting their money on celebrity voice talent, Sega have at least done the right thing by subtitling and releasing the Japanese promo movie for Ryu Ga Gotoku on the (European) Yakuza website.

Little to no fanfare about the movie is available on the site, but the film was originally available in two parts as Ryû ga gotoku – jissha-ban on Famitsu’s website (we can’t seem to find it now, though*), and listed Takashi Miike, the director of Ichi the Killer, Audition, and so on, as “Integration Director”, with the director listed as Takeshi Miyasaka, the director of several V-Cinema Yakuza flicks.

Only the first part (of four) has been posted so far, it plays in a tiny little window, and is as resolutely uncommercial as anything Miike has ever put his name to. Which is strange, because it’s a promo movie! It’s got some cheap looking blood and violence in it, too, so ask your parents first!

*EDIT: Apparently the Ryu ga Gotoku promo was taken off of Famitsu’s website on as Sega decided to sell it in on DVD in Japan for 4,935 yen. Thanks to Redlightning.

Link: Gargoyle’s Quest in under 25 minutes

arremer_gb.jpgFor those enjoying the delights of the recent Goku Makaimura, the following from the oft-overlooked Red Arremer series of games may be of interest.

A chap called MattyXB managed to finish the first Gargoyle’s Quest game on the original GameBoy in under 25 minutes. As with all speedruns it’s impressive, plus it allows those unfortunate enough to have missed this little gaming gem to experience it vicariously (after all the music was and still is fantastic).

One of the more bizarre aspects about the US release was that the box art had Red Arremer/Firebrand portrayed as a green gargoyle. Way to go Capcom.

News: First English Granado Espada info

chara.jpgI have finally gotten the confirmation of the first English Granado Espada beta, which can be found here. The website has been open close to a month already. So far only 2 countries (japan and korea) have gone pay to play for the game out of the 3 countries (taiwan, japan and korea) that it serves. The taiwan version has not started its open beta yet either.

Those who are unfamilar with this game would be able to recongnise the creator’s name Kim Hakkyu – the creator of Ragnarok Online.

Having tried the game myself, it certainly feels different from the traditional MMORPGs. You are controlling 3 characters, and for the first time navigating 3D terrain does not end up having your AI controlled characters stuck in walls or trees.

The English version is due to beta soon. Check out the aforementioned website to send in your registration – like I’m doing right now.