Good news for English-speaking masochists on the go!

The DS version of Shiren the Wanderer is coming out in the US. If you’re a fan of Rogue-likes (Rogue, Nethack, etc.), and especially if you think most of them are too easy, you will love this game. It is very deep, and pretty, and well-designed, and will make you cry like a little girl. If you can’t wait for the DS version, AGTP has created an English translation patch for the Super Famicom version.

For further reference, Dessgeega has written a good synopsis of the Super Famicom version, here‘s a little more on it from GameSetWatch, and… uh… I thought Brandon Sheffield or somebody wrote a review of the Japanese DS version, but I can’t find it. Oh well.

As for me, I’m gonna hide under the covers from it. I totally cheated and only beat the Super Famicom version via liberal save-state exploitation, and without such trickery at my disposal I live in abject terror of the DS version.

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you down with 1CC?

The frequently-brilliant Alex Kierkegaard has written an excellent article on what arcades are really about, what Japanese players understand about them that keeps them in business, and what Western players didn’t understand until it was too late. I’m going to spoil the article by telling you right here that it all revolves around never continuing, and is perfectly summarized by this paragraph about 2/3rds of the way down:

We discovered that arcade games are much like sports. You start playing and the game gets harder and harder, and soon enough you hit a wall. And the whole point of it is getting strong enough to break through that wall, and then reach the next wall, and become even stronger to break through THAT wall, etc. etc. If every time you come to a wall you are carrying a little folding ladder and just use that to climb over, what’s the point of the exercise?

Go check it out, and don’t get scared off by the length of the article, because it’s really good and worth reading all the way through.

Although I do check in at insomnia.ac from time to time, I hadn’t been by recently (for the love of all that’s holy, Alex, set up an RSS feed so people can know when you update!!) so thanks go to GameSetWatch for noticing and specifically pointing out that article.

I can only take credit for 1CC-ing two arcade games; Strider and Last Blade 2, although since I own both of them and had plenty of time to play them over and over and credit-feed to my heart’s content before 1CC-ing them, it really feels like I cheated.

The article also makes me wonder if “continues” might be a dying breed; it would seem perfectly reasonable to me to see arcade games abandon them, and go back to the “3 lives is all you get” mentality of the first decade of arcade games, putting more focus on skill where it belongs, and it would seem equally reasonable for console games to move away from continues as an extension of moving away from “game overs”, since they (usually needlessly) interrupt the flow and immersion that console games do best.

gamma gamma hey!

A Québécois group called the “Kokoromi Collective” are asking for simple game submissions for a party called gamma 256. No prizes, just the warm fuzzy of a whole party full of French-Canadian hipsters “ooh la la”-ing over your game. What makes this interesting to me is the restrictions; pick-up-and-play mechanics, no audio, playable with a 360 controller, resolution under 256×256, and the weirder the resolution, the better. The submission deadline is November 1st, and discussion is being hosted on TIGSource’s forums. Hopefully Squidi — from whose game concept “Tiny Crawl” I stole the image for this post — will enter something.

And speaking of TIGSource and game competitions, remember that there’s only one week left to make your B-game for their competition. It looks like I’m going to sit that one out; I’m still not quite back into the swing of things with game design, and nothing ever really came to mind, but hopefully I’ll get something made for gamma 256.