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April 2005

March 2005

Metroid Prime Turned Inside-Out

SamusThere are game reviews and then there are complete game analyses.  Someone by the name of "fondue" has written a complete analysis of 2002's Nintendo GameCube modern classic Metroid Prime.  Fondue covers the typical territory of a game review, but also delves into how the game fits with the rest of the Metroid universe, how Samus Aran's arsenal provides players with unique abilities, and explores the varying conditions of each area of Tallon IV and how they come together to form the Prime experience.

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DS To Get Camera?

UPDATE: It's all a hoax.  Damn.

SnapdsAlso in Nintendo DS rumors this evening is the appearance of this logo for something called Snap! DS which some are speculating is for the vaporous camera add-on for the Nintendo DS.  Nintendo's long advocated that the DS's Game Boy Advance slot could be used for more than just playing GBA games (Play-Yan anyone?), so it stands to reason that a camera could attach to the system through this port.  It's unclear what plans Nintendo has, if any, for a camera device for the DS but it could be used for either a traditional digital camera or a game that involves players snapping pictures in the world around them; a kind of Pokemon Snap done in the real world with actual items and/or animals.  Again, all just speculation but it is intriguing to think about.  Nintendo needs to come on strong with these kind of peripherals if the company wants to combat Sony's convergence plans with the PlayStation Portable.


Katamari DS-macy?

KatamariUPDATE: This game has vanished since Katamari's creator left Namco.  Its future is currently unknown. 

There's a rumor circulating confirmed report that the new issue of Nintendo Power magazine confirms that a Nintendo DS version of last year's sleeper hit Katamari Damacy is in the works.  Katamari (released by Namco for PlayStation 2 and pictured to the right) casts players as the Prince who must roll a katamari (ball) to collect objects in order to rebuild the stars.  Or something like that.  For those who haven't experienced Katamari, it's one of the strangest games you'll ever encounter, but that's part of its charm.  A Nintendo DS rendition of the game would be a big help in boosting the DS's sales, as the system's touchscreen and WiFi abilities offer loads of potential for a game like this.

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Not-So-Final Phantasy

Speaking of Sega, the company has also officially announced the next installment of the Phantasy Star Online franchise. GameCube Advance reports that the new title, Phantasy Star Online Universe, is on the way for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and PC. There's no word on a Nintendo GameCube release and considering how thus far the last PSO adventure remains the only Internet-enabled GameCube title it's understandable why Sega would want to pass Nintendo's console by this time. Just how many PSO players are playing on the GameCube? MMOGChart.com doesn't currently list the PSO titles, but I'm curious to know just what kind of a market share the GameCube version of the game accounts for of the total number of PSO players.


Sega No Longer Gunshy?

Gunstar HeroesGameCube Advanced has picked up a report detailing how Sega has recently registered a trademark for something called Gunstar Super Heroes.  Sega declined to comment on the trademark, but it does seem likely that the company is planning a revival of their Contra-like Gunstar Heroes series from the days of the Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and Master System.  It's nice to see that Sega has finally remembered that they own other characters and licenses besides Sonic the Hedgehog.  After all, we're talking about a company that once passed on a proposed Streets of Rage 4 for the Sega Dreamcast because the executives in charge forgot that they owned the license to the original games.  This is also the same company that turned down a third Eternal Champions game for the Sega Saturn because Sega of Japan wanted the next installment of the Japanese-developed Virtua Fighter series to be the Saturn's killer app.  Sega, please don't waste this opportunity.


Compass Sold Separately

OnettThe next time you're planning a trip to the Mushroom Kingdom or Eagleland don't forget to bring a good map.  VGMaps.com has an entire archive of maps of video game worlds, spanning the Wing Fortress Zone to the Kongo Jungle to Airman's Stage and beyond.  There's some impressive screenshot stitching going on here and it's worth checking out just for the novelty value (even if you can navigate World 1-1 in your sleep).


Get Off My Lawn!

It seems that both Nintendo and Microsoft have plans to expand their North American headquarters. What makes this worth noting that is since the two companies are located in the same vicinity, they each have plans to develop the same plot of land. GamerCentric.com notes that Nintendo owns the land in question, although Microsoft's planned expansion would encroach on Nintendo's proposed construction. The article omits the fact that Microsoft's plans involve building a massive facility that will lose money during its first few years of operation while Nintendo's plans include constructing a building so revolutionary that few will properly appreciate it when it first opens for business.


Plumber For Hire

Newsmb_1Another piece from Spong.com, this one detailing the supposed deal that went down between Nintendo and Konami regarding the Dance Dance Revolution featuring Mario that was announced a few weeks ago.  According to the report Nintendo wanted Konami to develop exclusive versions of Pro Evolution Soccer for the Nintendo DS and upcoming Nintendo Revolution.  Konami, on the other hand, wanted the keys to the Mushroom Kingdom for their upcoming DDR for the GameCube.  So obviously there's a little trade off between the two companies going on here.

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Capcom Apparently Caught In Time-Warp

Capcom Spong.com is reporting that Capcom has released two new "greatest hits" collections in Japan for the PSOne: one disc loaded up with Ghosts 'n Goblins and its sequels and another with the 1942 line of shooters.  So what we have here are games from the 1980s released on a console from the 1990s.  I knew that Capcom took forever to release new material, but this is ridiculous.  They'd better hurry if they want to get that Strider Collection for the Nintendo 64 out in time.

But seriously, I love a good compilation disc if the material on that disc holds up to the test of time.  Last year's Mega Man Anniversary Collection was loads of fun, although the Game Boy Advance equivalent seems to have fallen down a bottomless pit; Capcom hasn't said a word about it in nearly a year now.  The amount of material that Mega Man had to offer was worth the purchase, but I can't see myself rushing out to pick up the 1942 trilogy.


Games Are Sure Different In Illinois

Gamasutra.com is reporting that a new law in Illinois would make it illegal for stores to sell violent or otherwise adult video games to minors.  What caught my attention was this phrase, a quote from House member Chapa LaVia: "An industry that is making so much money selling these things to your children is dealing with things like decapitation, defecation on people. There's vivid pictures of nudity. It's an industry that needs help being policed."

Defecation games?  Well, there's a whole new demographic just waiting to be tapped.  There's some weapons I just don't want my favorite game characters to have access to, if you know what I mean.