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March 2011

Venture Into The Mega Man Robot Museum With New OverClocked Remix Album

Robot MastersOne of the most interesting stages in Capcom's Mega Man 7 for the Super NES must be the interstitial Robot Museum level that features a mishmash of classic Mega Man stage themes compiled into a single too-short medley.  OverClocked Remixer Joshua Morse has decided to take that medley concept a few steps further with his new Mega Man: The Robot Museum arrangement album in which eight classic themes from the classic Mega Man franchise have been remixed in a single long flowing composition.  Here's what Morse himself has to say about the new freely downloadable album:

The Robot Museum is an idea I've had up my sleeve for a while now. Ever since playing Mega Man 7 years back and reaching the mid-game robot museum stage, I thought the concept of a robot museum was a great one. It wasn't until I played Mega Man & Bass that the thought of an arrangement album in the style of a robot museum had occurred to me.

The following is the idea that has come into fruition. I've arranged a robot master's theme from the original Mega Man all the way through Mega Man 8 with the addition of a bonus track from Mega Man & Bass.

And you thought your Friday would be musically dull!  The Robot Museum is packed with great remixes based on memorable source material that doesn't seem to get a lot of play these days.  We all know Cut Man's theme by now, but when is the last time you heard a reworking of Dust Man's theme?  How about Spark Man's theme?  Or Astro Man?  My only real regret here is that there aren't more tracks included, but I'm greedy that way.  I can never get enough well-done remixed Mega Man music and I've always enjoyed Morse's creations.  Consider this one highly recommended.

Jennifer Parker Returns In Back To The Future: The Game

About a month ago I'd heard a rumor that someone from the original Back to the Future film had signed on to reprise her role in Back to the Future: The Game from Telltale Games for the PC, Mac, Sony PlayStation 3, and Apple iPad, but I wasn't able to confirm it, so all that was left to do was wait and hope that the rumor turned into fact.  Now it has.  Telltale has announced that Claudia Wells will return to the part of Marty McFly's girlfriend, Jennifer Parker.  However, since we're talking about a game revolving around time travel and altered timelines that have skewed into different tangents, the version of Jennifer that we're going to see in Episode 3: "Citizen Brown" of the episodic series is a bit different than we remember her from the film.  She's gone punk with purple hair and a bad attitude.  Check out this video that explains Jennifer's new look and presents a little skit about how Wells took the voiceover job at A.J. "Marty" LoCascio's behest.  It's great to hear another familiar Back to the Future voice back with the franchise.  With another two episodes to go after this next installment, hopefully she won't be the last.

Kratos Kompletely Kills Kombatants

When Sony's God of War series is good, it's really good, and a large part of that goodness is protagonist Kratos himself.  He's a larger than life character with plenty of intriguing backstory and a massive attitude.  That said, you can imagine why I'm glad to see him guest starring in the PlayStation 3 version of the upcoming Mortal Kombat.  A new trailer has been released that shows Kratos giving the business to the other kombatants.  The downside is that he's not in the single-player campaign with the other characters.  That is a major disappointment as I'd love to see a storyline (even one that "doesn't count" to either franchise) that properly crosses Kratos with the Mortal Kombat realm.  You know as well as I do that it would be an amazing tale and I believe that it begs to be told in an official capacity.  It seems like such a lost opportunity to omit him from the primary action here. Oh well; I suppose this is what half-hearted poorly-written fan-fiction is for.

Always Bet On Duke Nukem Forever Being Delayed

Duke Nukem ForeverGearbox Software's upcoming Duke Nukem Forever continues to be, well, upcoming as the company has announced that the game's release date has been delayed from early May into the middle of June.  June 14th for North America, to be exact (June 10th internationally).  When my co-worker pal heard the news, he asked me "When was that game supposed to come out?"  Without missing a beat, I replied "1998."  So, really, considering all that this game has been through in the past decade and slightly beyond, what's another few weeks?  I suppose we had to have just one more delay for old time's sake.  I really don't have much else to say about this.  I just wanted to write one last "Duke Nukem Forever delayed" update before the old joke is taken out back and shot at last.  In a way, it's kind of cathartic to return to such well-tread stomping grounds.

Hey, Paisanos! It's The Super Smash Bros. Super Show!

MarioNintendo licensed the worlds of Super Mario Bros. 2 and The Legend of Zelda over to childrens' animation for Super Mario Bros. Super Show a little over two decades ago in order to bring Mario, Luigi, Link, Princess Zelda, and many other beloved characters to syndicated television.  Some years later, Pikachu and the Pokémon made their animated debut, and in the years since we've seen Kirby, Donkey Kong Country, and F-Zero get the childrens' cartoon treatment.  As more time passes, however, new generations aren't quite as drawn to Mario and friends as they used to be.  During my childhood, for instance, Mario was a landmark iconic hero.  Today's kids are more drawn to Angry Birds for some misguided reason.  Over at Games Are Evil, Lucas DeWoody thinks he has the key to restoring Nintendo's characters to greatness in the eyes of today's children that involves something a little old and something a little new.

Nintendo needs a cartoon that will help indoctrinate a whole new generation of children into the cult of Nintendo. Many people think of the Nintendo family tree of characters/brands as a cohesive family unit. Super Smash Bros. likely has a lot to do with that mindset. Henceforth, I propose a brand new collective Nintendo comedy (half) hour: The Super Smash Bros. Show!

Think of it as a Looney Tunes structure where there is no running plot, no long term story ramifications, and no potential damage to be done to the core brand of games. Each show can consist of a collection of six to eleven minute shorts featuring Nintendo characters, both A-list (Link), D-list (Tingle), and everything in-between (Pit). Newgrounds, Video Game Director’s Cuts, and College Humor have long proven that Nintendo properties are endless sources for parody and humor. Why not make it official? Disney has been doing this for years. Does the existence of Goof Troop make any difference on the long-term image of Goofy as a character? No. Neither would a Smash Bros. cartoon.

I have no idea if this would work as Lucas intends.  It's an interesting idea, but consider those online parodies at places like Newgrounds and College Humor for a moment.  Most of them aren't meant for kids.  They're meant for the generation that grew up with Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, and so forth who remember the old glories and get all of the in-jokes and twisted logic required for the jokes to work (plus, most of those gags are over-the-top profane, pervy, and/or gory as part of the punchline which Nintendo would never allow in an official capacity).  Somehow I think that television comedy skits based on classic video games are better left in the hands of Adult Swim's Robot Chicken which has shown a talent for coming up with gags that are hilarious, require a little working knowledge of the subject, and rarely outright cross the line of good taste.  Let's today's children have Angry Birds if that's what they really want, and guess what?  In twenty years or so I'm sure those children will wonder what it will take to make Angry Birds relevant again for their own kids.

Dr. Nefarious Joins The Team In Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 OneRatchet & Clank: All 4 One from Insomniac Games for the Sony PlayStation 3 was announced several months ago with an intriguing trailer that showed archvillain Dr. Nefarious working together with heroes Ratchet, Clank, and Captain Qwark.  How could such a thing come to pass?  What event led to this unlikely team-up?  A new trailer for the game goes deeper into the storyline and explains just how the unlikely foursome came to work together in the upcoming adventure.  Take a look:

I'm glad to see that the trademark Insomniac humor is well intact, as is the fantastic voice acting behind each character.  Dr. Nefarious is my favorite of the Ratchet & Clank villains, so to see him to take center stage in a more protagonistic role has me very interested.  Armin Shimerman has always brought just the right manic energy to Nefarious, and I can't wait to hear what he and the writers have in store for the character next.  The doctor is as twisted as they come, yes, but he also seems reasonable at times and capable of stepping outside of the expectations one would have for an antagonist.  For example, consider his confused response "That's not one of mine" in the trailer when an external threat interrupts his latest bid for galactic domination.  It's good to see a wicked villain show a little humanity (even when he's a robot).  All 4 One is due out later this year.

Big Gaming Sale At Today

Buy somethin' will ya!Amazon is running another of their one-day-only sales on video games with a special emphasis on games you may actually want to play this time (no mere clearing of the warehouse here!).  Dragon Age II for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC is the spotlight deal today at $39.99, while other offers that will come and go during the day include sales on Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Dead Space 2, Bulletstorm, de Blob 2, and more.  As usual, a portion of every purchase you make through the green link here goes to help support PTB, so if you're going to buy something, why not do us a both a favor?

Power Button - Episode 42: Joey Gives Us The PAX Experience In The Age Of Dragons

Power ButtonFresh off the plane from the Penny Arcade Expo (or "PAX" to all of you in the know), Joey Davidson holds court on this week's episode of Power Button to tell us about some of the impressive and interesting things he saw while covering the event for Crave Online.  A discussion on the storyline and technology behind Rockstar's upcoming L.A. Noire takes center stage along with a quick mention of Swarm from Hothead Games.  Then we dive into Joey and Brad Hilderbrand's latest adventures with Dragon Age II, and then I beg forgiveness for not listening to Brad's anti-recommendation for Test Drive Unlimited 2 back in Episode 40 and explain why the demo for the upcoming Mortal Kombat works so well for me.  Finally, we wrap things up with the results of our latest contest.  Even if you didn't win, there's still an opportunity for you to get your hands on those Wii remote jackets, Nintendo DSi cases, and Sony PSP Go cases from CM4, so be sure to listen to find out how that works.  It's seventy-five minutes of your recommended allotment of weekly video gaming discussion.  Take one episode and join us again next week.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, or subscribe via iTunes, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach all three of us via  and you can even follow all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons,@aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.

Power Button - Episode 42: Joey Gives Us The PAX Experience In The Age Of Dragons

Ghostbusters: Sanctum Of Slime Revives Janosz Poha

Janosz PohaWell, now you have my attention.  I've been a bit ho-hum on the imminent Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime downloadable title from Atari for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC due to the lack of involvement from Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, et al as we enjoyed in 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game, but perhaps there's something interesting going on with Sanctum after all.  As the PlayStation Blog reports, the game is tied to the Ghostbusters mythology after all beyond the use of a few key weapons and a theme song.  Peter Venkman and Ray Stantz may be sitting this adventure out, but guess who's back for an encore from Ghostbusters 2?  As it turns out, Sanctum's storyline is kickstarted by the former head of the restoration department at the Manhattan Museum of Art: Dr. Janosz Poha.

In Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, the story begins 4000 years ago with a strange cult mourning the death of Dumazu, an ancient demon of death and destruction. Fast forward to 1989, when museum curator Janosz Poha is sent to a mental institution following the events in Ghostbusters 2. There he meets Ismael, the self-proclaimed last member of the cult of Dumazu. Ismael seeks a Shard of the Relic of Nilhe, a mystic artifact that possesses the power to bring Dumazu the Destroyer back to life, and he tasks Janosz with obtaining it. Janosz’s reward: Dana Barrett.

Some years later, following Janosz’s release from the mental institution, a wave of unusual paranormal manifestations start appearing all over New York City. The Ghostbusters can’t handle all the heat with this latest outbreak, so they recruit a young group of paranormal studies enthusiasts to lend a hand. And that’s where you come in, guiding the rookie team in their first adventure to find the truth behind Ismael, the Relic of Nilhe, and Dumazu the Destroyer!

Even if the game turns out to fall below expectations, I'm now at least interested in hearing more of the story.  I have little interest in a Ghostbusters adventure that completely breaks from the characters from the films, but with Janosz featured in Sanctum in a way that ties the title to the established franchise continuity, I have to admit that I'm much more open to trying this title than I was before.  Any time a new installment of a favorite franchise can answer "And then what happened?" in an entertaining form, I'm inclined to check it out.

Giant Augmented Reality Mii War Escalates

First there was the life-size Mii brought to life via the Nintendo 3DS's augmented reality feature.  Then there was the mega Mario that crossed over to our world.  Now the escalating war that is creating the largest possible augmented reality image has been taken to new heights as seen in this video clip from Japan.  Thrill at the attack of the Mii that measures fifty feet tall (if only there were a more snappy way to say that)!  How much further can the massive AR Mii movement go?  Tiny Cartridge has a theory.

At the current rate of AR Card size escalation, astronauts will soon be taking photos of Miis jumping from one side of the Pacific ocean to the other in just weeks. And in a couple months, the Zlothorians will clap their tentacles in amusement as they watch their avatars prance around the Orion-Cyngus arm of the Milky Way galaxy.

Then you just know that the Zlothorians will want in on this action.  But seriously, at some point there has to be an upper bound on how large a homemade AR card can be.  The next step after that (as PTB reader Squiggy suggested recently) is to do away with taped rows of paper and instead move on to just painting large plazas and paved surfaces with the image of a massive card.  Only then will our favorite Nintendo characters be able to lean against national monuments.  Someone find a way to project Donkey Kong on to the Empire State Building, stat!