news: we have accessed the little big planet beta

Hello, internet. We (by which I mean “I”) have obtained access to the Little Big Planet beta.

First impressions: it’s kind of fun! You can run, jump, and grab!

Though it’s the Japanese beta, all the in-game text is in English! Wacky! (Might be the PS3 system settings.)

The tutorial voiceover is a slightly gay Japanese man — “slightly” as in you’d not only let him watch your children, you would beg him to. He’d probably teach them something valuable about shoes!

The level tutorials are exhaustive and exhausting!

The final word: we used to think that beta tests were mythological things, because we applied for literally dozens of them during our serious careers as gamers, and never got in. Now, we got in on the Little Big Planet beta. On the one hand, this kind of sucks, because it’s basically been spelled out for us that we were wrong all this time: beta tests are real, and we just never got into one before because everyone hated us. With Little Big Planet, it’s quite possible that someone somewhere has started to either stop disliking us or (possibly even better) start actually liking us. Either way: hey! We get to play a videogame before some (most?) other people!

We made a YouTube video to commemorate this.

We were too tired and perhaps disinterested to make any rocket penises or penis-shaped moving platforms or grabbable penises made out of burlap or swinging penises made out of dark matter or stalactite penises made out of rock — or even flaming stalagmite penises made out of pink bubble bath foam. So, instead, we just used the penis in our imagination. We hope you forgive our unwillingness to do work with our videogame. :'(

This post was brought to you by Sony and dry-roasted almonds!

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News: Yasuhiro Ono interview

My interview on Gamasutra today was with Yasuhiro Ono, who’s doing Street Fighter IV, which it turns out I actually quite enjoy. The article is here…we talk a bit about jumping arcs changing when you bring the game into 16:9, character balance, and fluid versus choppy animation when bringing a 2D game into 3D. Here’s his explanation for Rufus, the fat character that plays very quickly: “So basically, the idea behind Rufus was to take a character that looks visually familiar, but plays in a very different way than you would expect. It has a bit of a Street Fighter essence in it, too.

If you look at all of the characters until now, they all do crazy, unexpected things. They stretch their limbs or they use electricity, and that sort of thing. So we think that Rufus really fits in to the Street Fighter aesthetic pretty well, in that sense.

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News: More North Korean games – Micro Genius

Photoblogger Eric Lafforgue took a trip to north Korea, and two images of kids playing videogames were captured at the Songdowon international children’s camp . Curiously, the kids there seemed to be playing Double Dragon on a Micro Genius famiclone – the 701 specifically. Thanks to all the folks who pointed this out to me!

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News: North Korean arcade

This is on UK Resistance, so one would expect it to simply be funny, but I’ve always been fascinated with North Korea, and whether they even get games at all. Here now, is proof that they do – the first that I’ve ever seen in fact. Very interesting to me. I can’t identify all the games, but one’s clearly Yie Ar Kung-Fu. Any help on the rest? They have a couple Astro City cabs…someone should send them a couple boards as a goodwill effort.

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News: Cahiers Des Jeux

My pretentiously-titled editorial from last month’s Game Developer has gone up on Gamasutra today. It’s essentially talking to developers about game journalists, what they should know, why it’s still immature, and what would make it better. Many of you have heard from me this before, but it may still be interesting here because of the odd way developers view journalists – and the power they allow them to have, without any sort of accountability in terms of training or knowledge.

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News: Senko no Ronde Duo screens

G.rev has put up some Senko no Ronde Duo screens on the official site after the AM show. Check now, because this link will likely disappear, as they call it a ‘temporary’ site, showing screens that are from a 15% complete build. Very interestingly, they call it the “Jamma version,” indicating firstly that they’re no longer using Naomi as the main platform for one thing, and that there is another version, for another (most likely referring to a 360 port?). Thanks to Rid for the link.

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News: Tatsunoko vs Capcom for Wii

tvcshooting.jpgTvC’s home version will be on the Wii, which is somewhat less import friendly than other consoles – maybe it’ll get a PS2 port as well? Gpara has screens of both the main home game, and the minigames that’ll come with it, including the crappy-looking shooting gallery you see to the left.

Update: I’m told it’s not actually difficult to import on the Wii now, with the softmod homebrew channel. So now I will only complain about how the Wii doesn’t have proper controllers for playing fighting games on, unless you buy a stick, which I guess you’d have to do anyway, but what else would you use that stick for? As long as there’s something to complain about still!

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News: Odd Western releases redux

In my browsing, I noticed a couple more odd Western games being released in Japan. I’ve been covering this for a while, so why not?

First there’s Cyberfront, part of the trend of dating sim companies to release U.S. games – the company is bringing MLB 2k8 for PS2/3, and 360. Multi-platform! Crazy. But Japan loves baseball, so this isn’t the oddest pickup.

This I found even odder. Bethesda has a small publishing outfit in Japan – and it’s through this that 2K has released Bully for both PS2 and 360. Not the Wii version! The product description makes multiple references to GTA, reminding readers that the same company makes that game…while also making sure to mention that this is an “American school comedy.” Odd positioning. Check the official site for the trailer, which is simply subtitled.

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News: Simple series hitting Wii

thepartygame.jpgDon’t know if anyone else picked up on this, but D3’s simple series is finally coming to the Wii. The first in the series is The Table Game, which isn’t too exciting, but at least it’s being developed by recent Samurai Shodown developer Yuki Enterprise. Next comes The Party Game, developed by Tamsoft. I think this was The Inevitable Cash-In, and in fact I’m surprised it took so long to get up and running!

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