Brush off the dust and have some fun!

Mario’s Closet

Clothes do make the man.

Clothes do make the man.

Glen Brogan has submitted this t-shirt design to Split Reason for production. How many of these options can you identify, and from what games?

Panic like it’s 1982!

If you’re a Mac user, you are familiar with Panic Inc. (and if you aren’t, you should be ashamed of yourself!). Producers of several fantastic programs, including FTP powerhouse Transmit and programming environment Coda, Panic Inc. certainly has a sense of humor. They recently commissioned Portland, OR area artist Lukas Ketner to produce package artwork for their main software offerings in a particular style:

“The concept: what if Panic was around in 1982, and our apps were early Atari 2600 games?”

The results feel right at home next to Defender and Homerun.

Pick up the full set of four as cartridge boxes...

Pick up the full set of four as cartridge boxes...

... or as posters suitable for any den with wall-to-wall shag.

... or as posters suitable for any den with wall-to-wall shag.

Check out Panic’s blog for a better look at the artwork!

12 Failed Game Consoles and Add-Ons

While some items on this list of failed consoles shouldn’t be there in my opinion (the bottom four items, actually), it’s still interesting to see what companies have tried over the years. The Nintendo 64 Disk Drive in particular is a curiosity.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if you’re a huge company like Sega or Atari. All it takes is one bad idea put into production to bankrupt you, which is the case with many of the systems on this list. Many had less than 20 games developed for them and one (Gizmondo) even had its founders linked to organized crime.

“It’s 8:35 a.m. on a Sunday morning…”

“…and I’m lost in Norfair.”

Thus begins one of the best discussions I have read on what makes Metroid and Super Metroid so good.

And then, something curious happens. A bomb placed haphazardly at the bottom of a vertical shaft explodes… and takes with it a chunk of the floor. This surprises me, because while I know certain floor and wall tiles are vulnerable to explosions, those had always been set apart with cracks. This section of floor, on the other hand, didn’t look any different from the rest of Norfair — an extrusion of what appeared to be purple bubbles of different diameters. Curious, I let the floor regenerate and bomb it again. And again it boils away beneath my bombs. So, I start rolling around to see what else I can destroy. A few more floor tiles evaporate, but ultimately this leads to nothing. Still, I’ve made an important discovery. I run to a nearby room and start bombing everywhere: on the floor, in the air, against the walls. And here’s where it all pays off, because a bomb placed at head height against a nearby wall as my spherical hero is lifted into the air by explosive force shatters a block. I bounce into it, Samus still tucked into a ball, and roll until I can go no further. Another bomb clears this latest obstruction, and another, and another, and suddenly I’ve uncovered an entirely new room. I’ve cracked the mystery of Zebes.

Bombing in Norfair

Bombing in Norfair

Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Nintendo’s Wii website has a series of articles called “Iwata Asks”. In these interviews Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co. Ltd. talks with developers of upcoming Nintendo games to find out their thoughts on the titles they produced and the development process in general.

Satoru Iwata, President, Nintendo Co. Ltd.

Satoru Iwata, President, Nintendo Co. Ltd.

Coinciding with the recent release of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Iwata sits down with the creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto to talk about the mustachioed hero and the design choices that went in to NSMBW.

Shigeru Miyamoto, Senior Managing Director, Nintendo Co. Ltd.; General Manager, EAD

Shigeru Miyamoto, Senior Managing Director, Nintendo Co. Ltd.; General Manager, EAD

Iwata In this interview, we’re going to talk about New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but rather than diving straight into a discussion of the new title, I’d like to begin by talking about Mario’s roots. There will of course be a lot of readers who know all about this, but I think there are also people who are completely in the dark about how Mario began.

Miyamoto Yes, you’re right.

Iwata Shall we begin by talking about the period of Mario’s initial conception, when he was known as “Jumpman”?

Miyamoto Sure. Now, this is something I’ve been asked about in hundreds of interviews, so I’ll make it quick! (laughs)

Be sure to check out the rest of the interview!

Estpolis 2 (Lufia 2) Remake Site Opens

Having acquired Taito, Square-Enix gained the rights to their back-catalog and is getting ready to release a remake of one of Taito’s RPG games: Estpolis 2 (called Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals outside of Japan). Estpolis 2 is an RPG with a lot of Zelda-style dungeon puzzle elements. The official product website has opened with samples of music, artwork and voice acting to get you ready for its February 2010 release (in Japan)!

A Land of Adventure

A Land of Adventure

The cross battle menu was an interesting solution.

The cross battle menu was an interesting solution.

Puzzle elements in the dungeons are a nice distraction from level grinding.

Puzzle elements in the dungeons are a nice distraction from level grinding.

Square-Enix is going all-out for the remake, to be titled Estpolis: The Lands Cursed by the Gods. New artwork, 3D polygonal engine (similar to Final Fantasy IV‘s DS remake), and I believe there will be some voice acting in the game as well, if the website content is any indication.

Maxim has been redesigned, and I'm sure the other characters have as well.

Maxim has been redesigned, and I'm sure the other characters have as well.

3D polygonal goodness

3D polygonal goodness

The character illustrations are nicely done.

The character illustrations are nicely done.

The website lists the release date as February 25th, 2010, for ¥5,980 (currently about $68 US).

the handhelds no one loved! ;-)

the handhelds no one loved! ;-)

the handhelds no one loved! ;-)

Originally uploaded by bartotainment

Clockwise from the upper-left: Gizmondo, Neo Geo Pocket, Atari Lynx, Wonderswan, and GameGear.

All had potential (except for maybe the Gizmondo), but couldn’t compete against Nintendo’s portable juggernaut.