The magical fairies who let me play video games before they come out in the U.S….

…tell me that you should keep an eye out for Drill Dozer, the American title of Gamefreak’s Screw Breaker. Made by the same… well, “game freaks” who created Pokemon, this game plays absolutely nothing like Pokemon. Instead it’s a side-scrolling adventure, more like a cross between Klonoa and Mr. Driller. You control a little girl who rides around on a big grinning drill-tank, using its drills in tons of clever ways. Along with the “destroying stuff with the drill” you’d expect, you also use it to navigate threaded tunnels, turn cranks, propel yourself underwater, and numerous other things. The zany graphics, gigantic bosses, and excellent controls make it feel VERY Treasure-like, so fans of games like Astro Boy: Omega Factor, Silhouette Mirage, and Dynamite Headdy will feel right at home. The weird “gear and gauge” overlay you see in most screenshots of the game (including this one) appears whenever you use the drill; the gauge shows you how much longer the drill will run, and the number on the gear indicates the drill’s current speed/power.

Incidentally, I couldn’t figure out why they changed the title until I heard myself say the words “Screw Breaker” out loud. I felt kind of dirty.

Update: Curses!! According to Kotaku, the game won’t be coming out states-side until February. (As opposed to Gamespot’s previous guess of November.) If you just can’t wait that long, an import is certainly viable, since it’s entirely playable with no knowledge of Japanese (you just won’t have any idea what’s going on). The only sticky point I can think of would be the combination lock; post in the comments here if you have trouble with it, and I’ll help you out.

Equal parts Katamari Damacy and Vicodin

Cloud is a very mellow, very artsy game that was created by a group from the USC School of Cinema and Television on a grant from Electronic Arts. You fly around the sky, attracting clouds to you and mushing them together to make bigger clouds, which you then either “paint” into shapes, or push against “pollution” clouds to create rain and lightning. No enemies, no time limit, no chance of losing, which makes it more of a “toy” than a “game”. It is, however, very very restful, and I fell right asleep after playing it before bed last night. I recommend that you do the same tonight, but by all means do not try to operate heavy machinery after playing.

Thy next foe is…

I clued Kotaku in to Giantology, a viral marketing blog for Shadow of the Colossus a couple of weeks ago, when they posted their “tsunami giant video“. They also link to another site with pictures of the “fish colossus“, and another site that looks like it’s shaping up to be the “flying snake” colossus. On October 18th, the release date of the game, the site went dead, but now they’re back up again, with another video of Russians digging up the “mer-cow” (“lobs-taur”?) colossus in Siberia.

And speaking of Shadow of the Colossus, anyone who hasn’t played it yet will be first against the wall when the revolution comes, so you owe it to future generations to go get it immediately. …by which I mean “it’s really really good”.

The free MMO tactics game with the unfortunate name…

Dofus is a French massively-multiplayer tactics game, done entirely in flash, and now it’s completely free! The artwork is gorgeous, and gameplay-wise it feels a lot like a turn-based version of Ragnarok Online. It doesn’t really compare to commercial tactics games like Disgaea and Tactics Ogre, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction, and most importantly goes a long way toward establishing flash as a feasable platform for “serious” game development.

Daddy, help me! Daddy, where are you?

There’s a Silent Hill movie coming out next spring. Other blogs have noted that it’s being written by Roger Avary (of Pulp Fiction, Crying Freeman, and Killing Zoe fame) and directed by Christophe Gans, but noone else seems to remember Brotherhood of the Wolf, the Dangerous Liaisons meets Soul Calibur 2 movie that proves that Christophe Gans is the perfect person to make a movie out of a video game. It’s not the best movie ever made, but it’s definitely one of the most “video-gamey” movies I’ve ever seen, and gives me a lot of faith in his treatment of Silent Hill.

In the meantime, here‘s a completely-unrelated amateur Silent Hill trailer.

(Image nabbed from

You can not run away from extreme striking sensation.

Rakion is now in open beta, which means it’s completely free until December 1st. After that it’ll still be completely free; you’ll only have to pay for premium in-game items (which is the same system that Softnyx uses for their other game, Gunbound), or to become a “Power User” and gain a slight edge over other players.

Rakion is sort of a multiplayer third-person melee deathmatch game with controls similar to City of Heroes, but without the annoying “recharge” delays on all your attacks. Most of the gameplay is PvP, but the game automatically adjusts the teams between rounds to make up for disparities in skill, and when you want a break from beating up on other players there are also “quests” which pit you and a few other players against a gauntlet of monsters for large GP and XP rewards. Here‘s a Wikipedia entry on it that I wrote most of.

Go start downloading it right now, so it’ll be done about the time you’re done with whatever it is you’re doing.

Holy crap! Gunstar Superheroes!

ss_gunstar_12Here I was so busy putting together my lovely new blog today that I totally failed to notice that Gunstar Superheroes is out!

I must consume it, AND work on my Halloween costume tonight, AND take care of my poor sick wife! Why do all things happen simultaneously at the end of October???

P.S.: Hey, look, I have a video game blog. It’s really ugly, but once I start getting inundated with the swag that’s SURE to come now that I have a video game blog I’ll use some of it to throw a contest to make this site look better.