Korg DS-10, schmorg DS-10 (we don't really mean that). Just because we're all in love with Korg DS-10 right now, that doesn't mean we've forgotten about other great music software. The homebrew community came out with a pretty neat program for music sequencing, actually -- Nitrotracker.
So, before we bid adieu and move on to bigger and better things, let's take a look at some of the awesome stuff Nitrotracker can do (like the Mortal Kombat theme song, for instance).
XSeed is gracing us with the amazing DS game based on Game Center CX, so we thought today would be the perfect time to share a clip from the original show. We don't know if XSeed or anyone else has licensed Game Center CX for DVD or TV release yet, but in the meantime we can enjoy untranslated excerpts!
We're of the opinion that you don't need to understand Japanese to enjoy the clip seen here from episode 33, in which the "Kacho," Shinya Arino, is presented with a Game Gear game (Ganbare Gorby, or, roughly, "Go Gorby" or "Do Your Best Gorby") starring a cute chibi version of Mikhail Gorbachev.
This week, everybody freaked out (justifiably) about a port of a thirteen-year-old game. Since we can't manage to think about anything else, we thought we would all sit back together for some Chrono Trigger content today, and celebrate our independence from having to keep another system hooked up.
This animated scene was added to the last enhanced port of Chrono Trigger, made for the PlayStation. Square Enix doesn't seem to have a problem putting FMV on the DS, so we'll probably see it in the new version as well. Hopefully the other new feature from that version -- interminable loading times -- won't also be implemented.
Go back in time to five minutes ago so your popcorn will be ready right now!
We feel like we could score in a fairly high percentage on the TV Game Exam, but right now it's only available to Japanese students. This short commercial for the game, which arrived to Japanese retailers this week, plays up the "exam" concept of the game, presenting the mini-challenges within as tests of specific retrogaming aptitudes.
It turns out that it's not only possible, but easy to make learning fun! As long as you're learning about Galaga. A longer trailer featuring micro-clips of the microgames (and a very happily dancing Picotto) can be seen after the break!
The Arkanoid series appears to be fairly abstract. The paddle and blocks can't be anything other than gameplay elements, right? The Tetris blocks don't represent animals or anything, and Arkanoid is the same kind of non-narrative puzzle-action experience.
Except it isn't. One of the things that elevates Arkanoid beyond other Breakout clones is its ridiculous sci-fi storyline, which pits a cylindrical spaceship called the Vaus against barriers put up by the evil Doh, who is a giant moai. The Vaus's primary weapon is ... a giant ball that the crew bounces off of the ship's own body. The spacefaring backdrop makes the game a lot more enjoyable -- especially once you realize that your every action jostles the crew of a spaceship as if they were in a giant cocktail shaker.
For an example of the kind of epic narrative featured in the series (which, to an extent, is also found in Arkanoid DS), we've chosen to present the ending from the Super NES Arkanoid: Doh it Again.
With our economy in its current dwindling state and the unemployment rate rising, it's nice to hear that some people are still able to find jobs, even if they're fictional jobs for fictional members of a fictional race existing in a fictional game world.
The Korg DS-10 synthesizer program isn't coming out in Japan until July, and it's not coming out elsewhere until ... some other time, but it's already started making club appearances, thanks to AQ Interactive. The company posted videos of a DS-10 based performance at a Shibuya club called Linear. while it starts off a bit slow and chaotic, we think it's really cool to see music being built up from nothing, live on stage, using only the DS.
A continuation of this performance follows after the break. Who knew playing non-games on the DS could be such a public experience?
Friday Video: It's a video, posted on Friday. But it's also our chance to celebrate some of the amazing things that people do with or about their games, whether it's an official trailer or some dude's YouTube skit.
We know it's called the "Easyway Method" and all, but this video of Allen Carr's Easyway Method to Stop Smoking makes the process seem a bit too simple. You just play a minigame that illustrates how disgusting the components of cigarettes are, and then you're free from all desire to smoke? Really? All it takes to be put on the "Path to Freedom" is to be told you don't actually like smoking? We'll save you some money -- SMOKING IS BAD FOR YOU AND EXPENSIVE. Congratulations! You just quit smorking. Maybe they skipped a few steps, like the step in which the game gives you some effective motivation or encouragement.
We must say that we are glad to see the line-art style from My Weight Loss Coach return for another training game.
This series of videos makes us happy, but it also makes us a little sad. Why? Because we had the idea a while ago to try a recipe using the exact ingredients, instructions, and timings found in a Cooking Mama game, and never actually had time to try it. And now Thwomp Factory has undertaken a very similar experiment. It's actually part of an ongoing series of theirs about making recipes based on video games! Check it out if you want to try some Contact or Harvest Moon-inspired cuisine.
They skip to the last hilarious step in Cooking Mama 2's chili dog recipe: catching all the ingredients with the bun. "Why does Mama make her chili dogs like this?" Thwomp Factory's Amelia wondered. "Does it improve the flavor, allowing the subtle spices of the chili to mature in the open air? Does it work up an appetite, with all that running around and panicking?" Mostly it makes a risible mess. But it's a surefire recipe for awesome videos.
Okay, so this isn't a video so much as it is a series of still pictures. But we like to showcase visually interesting work in our Friday Video feature, and Jason Dunn's Rembrandt studies, "painted" in Colors! certainly qualify. We think that posting them in our normal video feature emphasizes how amazing they are to look at. It turns out that the DS screen is, apparently, quite well-suited to Impressionist-style brush work.
So, uh, if you're into painting in that style, and you don't mind doing so on a 3.5-inch surface, the DS might be a good investment! It also plays games and stuff. Check out another brilliant work after the break, and if you're really upset about it not being in motion, just move your head around as you look at it.
If there's anything that our gaming brethren have taught us, it's that bottles make for great musical instruments when performing video game songs. Even if the video doesn't involve an RC car, we still love this rendition of everyone's favorite Tetris song. You know, the one that goes like this.
Even better is that while performing "Korobeiniki," these folks are clearly having fun with it. That's enough to make us want to drink a few gallons worth of wine ... uh, just to get enough bottles to try this out for ourselves, of course. We also appreciate the stop-motion effect, because it just makes the whole stunt all the more impressive.
Can we request a track from Mega Man 2 for their next bit?
Or, as the overacting on display in this video conveys, the agony of playing the DS in general. Maybe the kind of extreme, wild gesticulation associated with visual depictions of game-playing are what make non-gamers leery of our hobby? Don't worry, non-gamers -- it only looks like you're receiving periodic electric shocks. Playing games is, for the most part, a sedentary experience.
We must admit that we love seeing the classic "gaming" pantomime -- jumping up and down, flailing in the air, and exaggerated motions of exultation and disappointment -- applied to our favorite handheld, in a manner that is quite appropriate to the DS's unique character.
There may not currently be a game in this particular series on the DS, but there are some that are compatible with the DS. That's enough reason in our minds to post the latest video from Mega64. Those fellows certainly enjoy making funny videos about video games! Coincidentally, we enjoy watching those videos!
Chances are you're very familiar with the game referenced by this week's video -- it's very well-known, and it involves cars. We won't say any more than that.
We love the kind of hyperenthusiastic trailers that Japanese game companies produce. When such a chipper announcer tells us how awesome a game is, we're inclined to believe them. And we have no reason to believe that Meccha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS: 7-tsu no Shima no Daibouken is anything but great, between the tried-and-true fake-drumming gameplay and the endless march of beloved characters.
But even if we didn't care about the game, or didn't even know what the hell it was, the super-adorable moment at the end of the trailer when the boy, dejected after a loss, raises a drumstick stylus and sleepily asks for another game would have sold us as our hearts were melting.
Ever wonder who those aquarium games are made for? It may seem unlikely to you that anyone would want a game about staring at fake fish. But the commercial (and pretty much all the other advertising) for GungHo's Sakana to Asobou! Aquazone DS (Play with Fish! Aquazone DS) lets us know exactly who these games are for: cats.
"Healing human (stress? something like that) is a cat's job," the ad's star thinks. "But I want to be healed too." Cue a contented curl into a DS Lite running Aquazone. And cue our hearts totally melting. We went for the Aquazone cat wallpapers right away, and we're considering ordering a copy of the game for our own feline family members. Click on the mellow cat above to access the video!