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December 2007

PTB Celebrates 1,500 Entries

Wario Has it been another 500 entries already?  Once again we've crossed another arbitrary milestone as I've managed to come up with 1,500 total PTB entries.  It's taken a bit longer to do this time around; after my health cratered back in February things were very slow going for a while.  As before, let's look back on some of my favorites from the last set of 500.  Since this list reaches back into the end of 2006, we might as well consider this a "best of 2007" list as well.

Tracing The Kong Lineage

Cranky Kong Riddle me this, Donkey Kong fans: what is the familial relation between Cranky Kong and Donkey Kong?  Is the elder Kong his grandfather?  Father?  Some combination of the two?  And where does Diddy Kong fit into the puzzle?  The Mushroom Kingdom lays out all of the evidence and tries to settle the matter once and for all.  The final answer?  Inconclusive and confusing.

There's no question the curmudgeonly Cranky Kong is supposed to be the original Donkey Kong who starred in the arcade titles of the 80's. But who is the current Donkey Kong? Most evidence suggests that he is the grandson of Cranky, and therefore not the original Donkey Kong Jr. Every once in a while, however, Rare or Nintendo will refer to him as Cranky's son.

It's surprising that this sort of thing would become so murky considering how deep most Nintendo storylines can go.  *cough*  I've always liked the conceit that Cranky Kong is the original 1981 arcade villain, but beyond that I try not to think about it too much.  Whoever the current Donkey Kong is, however, there's one thing I think we can all agree on: he has a fantastic sense of fashion when it comes to neckties.

Mario Versus Wario

Mario Versus Wario Seeing as how we started the week with news of Classic Wario's Smash Bros. revival it seems only right that we end the week with a similar topic.  Long before Wario became a microgame-making motorcycle-riding comic anti-hero, he served in the more traditional role of villain... or malicious rival, anyway.  Once upon a time Nintendo Power immortalized the classic Mario versus Wario struggle with a pair of comic stories.  The first installment provided a little backstory for 1992's Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins and reveals where Wario's issues with the heroic plumber began all those years ago.  The second tale features Wario trying to outshine Mario as the two try to pick the perfect birthday present for Princess Peach.  Lucky you, both comics have been scanned and posted as PDF files over at Yoshi Art along with some other Mario-related comics of yesteryear.

Weekly Poll: December Loot '07

Weekly Poll for 12-17-2007Sonic certainly is well represented.  Maybe even a little over-represented.  As for me, I own the game in its Nintendo GameCube and Sony PlayStation 2 forms, although sometimes I teeter towards picking it up on the Virtual Console as well because I like being able to flip between classic games without having to actually get out of my comfortable recliner.  Then I realize I'm being silly and put those Wii points towards something new or otherwise unowned.

As we do every year it's time to take a moment and reflect on the true meaning of the December holidays: gifts!  Especially game-related gifts.  So, once again, I ask you: did you get all of the games you wanted as presents?  Vote in the poll and share your stories of holiday acquisition.  As always, feel free to brag a little, too.

Classic Wario Persona Appears In Smash Bros. Brawl After All

Wario Rejoice, friends, for it is a holiday miracle!  Even though I was excited to see that Wario will join the fight in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii, I was disappointed that the Wario depicted in screenshots and videos was the new motorcycle-riding microgame-pushing Wario instead of the more familiar overalls-and-plumber's-cap Wario we've all come to know and love.  Leave it to the Brawl team and director Masahiro Sakurai to go the extra mile, however, as today the Brawl development blog delivered the good news.  Classic Wario is playable in Brawl.

Everyone can change colors, of course. But Wario alone is special... Look! Wario is in overalls! There may be some people who prefer this one. This is the "classic" Wario. Flab is poking out from his sides. Choose him just like you would any of the other characters. This outfit appears after the six standard color variations. Press the X or Y Button, or poke the pattern to change colors.

Whew, what a relief!  Classic Wario is even available in a variety of alternate colors including Mario's iconic red and blue.  Score another point for making the fans happy.

Stargate Command Wants You

Chevron sevenSo apparently the Stargate Worlds MMORPG is still in development.  Moreover, the time has come for the first real wave of media exposure to promote the game.  To that end, developer Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment is looking for a dedicated Stargate fan to appear in the game.

Beginning January 11, 2008, viewers of Stargate Atlantis will receive a "gate code" which, when registered at the contest Web site, will enter the user into a contest that will put the winner's image or likeness into the video game.

While I know most fans would want to appear in the game as a member of Stargate Command, I have this sneaky feeling that the winner will be added to the Stargate universe as a generic Goa'uld slave or an Ori flunky.  Kree, sholvah!

New Kirby Game To Be Released In 2017

Kirby Let the record show that Kirby fans will not take "no" for an answer.  They also won't take "not now" for an answer either.  When word came out that there was not a new Kirby game in the works for the Nintendo Wii, a persistent fan e-mailed the company with a question for which they most certainly have a concrete answer.

I know that the GameCube version of a Kirby game has been canceled, and I also know Nintendo has no plans for a Kirby game at this moment. But is there still a chance there will be a Kirby game in the future on Wii, or the successor to Wii or even possibly the successor to that?

Now how is Nintendo supposed to answer that?  "No, there will never ever be a new Kirby game."  I know that the company tries to play a few moves ahead of everyone else, but does anyone honestly expect them to have a game in development for the Wii's successor's successor at this point?  Let's all go to GameStop and preorder the new Kirby.  It'll be available for pick-up in 2017.

(via Poison Mushroom)

Gaming References On The Satellite Of Love

Joel and the 'bots TV's Mystery Science Theater 3000 was known for referencing all kinds of topics as heroes Joel Robinson, Mike Nelson, Crow T. Robot, and Tom Servo heckled some of the worst that cinema had to offer.  Now a group of MST3K fans is working to compile a master list of each reference from each episode of the series.  A daunting project?  You bet, but we can easily enjoy the fruits of their labors thanks to their categorized topic list, and seeing as how this is a gaming blog it's only appropriate to spotlight the (seemingly still incomplete) list of gaming referencesSuper Mario references fill most of the list so far, but Atari and Myst get a mention or two as well.  What do you think, sirs?

(Photo credit: Michael Kienitz)

All-Star Mega Man Fighting Game Would Have Been Awesome

Robot mastersCapcom's Mega Man is now twenty years old which means it's time for all the gaming magazines and websites and blogs to gush the blue bomber love.  Before I get around to blubbering, however, I find myself blindsided by the pure concentrated awesome that is Capcom's abandoned all-star Mega Man fighting game.  Word on the street is that there was an idea for a brawler featuring each of Mega Man's many incarnations.

"What I found interesting is that Horinouchi had planned to create a game for the 20th Anniversary of Mega Man where all of the iterations of Mega Man could fight each other. Sounds almost like a Street Fighter or Marvel Vs Capcom type game. Unfortunately there wasn't enough man power to make the game a reality. Horinouchi concluded that he'd like to give that type of game another shot if given the chance."

I hope that idea will come back around some day, and hopefully when it does it will include a sizable chunk of robot masters as playable characters.  Haven't you always wanted to know who would win in a battle between Heat Man and Flame Mammoth?  How about Blast Hornet versus Ring Man?  Hell, what about Sigma versus Toad Man?  Piqued your curiosity with that last one, didn't I?

(via Poison Mushroom)

Weekly Poll: Sonic For Sale

Weekly Poll for 12-10-2007Almost a perfect tie for wacky/silly and serious/realistic story preferences, eh?  Audience preferences sure are difficult to nail down.  That must be why storyline creation can be one of the most difficult aspects of the game development process.  There's no way to please everyone, and judging by the poll results it seems that, at best, developers will turn away half of the audience no matter which of the two plot types they choose.  I'd like to see this question asked of an audience larger than a mere thirty-five people though.  You'd think it was the holiday season and that people were away from their computers or something.

Here's another question to which I'd like to see a large response: do you own the original 1991 Sega Genesis version of Sonic the Hedgehog?  Note that I'm not just talking about the actual Genesis cartridge.  The original Sonic has been re-released and ported more times than most other similar games it seems, as over the years it's turned up for the Sega Genesis (three times, natch), Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2 (twice), PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Xbox, Wii Virtual Console, Xbox Live, Game Boy Advance, mobile phones, PC, and now the iPod.  So, do you own any incarnation of the game?  Just how widespread is Sonic ownership, and is there anybody left to buy it for the first time?