Fez and the $40,000 Patch

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jul 19, 2012 in Videogames

Fez 07

A few weeks back, Polytron decided to release a patch for their Xbox 360-exclusive puzzle platformer Fez. The patch was meant to address a number of issues from being unable to run the game on older consoles, to simply fixing a series of crashes that can occur in specific situations. Unfortunately, while the patch seemingly eliminated the majority of the issues being experienced by players, a new bug was introduced which rendered certain end-game save files unusable. The patch was quickly pulled but after reviewing the issue with Microsoft, Polytron has opted to once again release the patch as is. According to some sources, Microsoft would charge them nearly $40k just to implement a new one!

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Playdead’s Limbo Gets Physical

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jul 3, 2012 in Videogames

Limbo special edition

One of the artsier puzzle-based platformers to be released in recent years, Playdead’s Limbo, has finally received a physical release. Originally published as a digital-only release for Xbox Live! arcade, and later ported to steam, Limbo was met with critical acclaim and has since garnered quite a few awards while maintaining an impressive aggregate score of 90/100 on metacritic. While it’s not exactly a lengthy game, the praise its received might justify the hefty $25 price tag this physical edition carries. If that’s not enough, they’ve included a few extras to sweeten the deal. The set features a DRM-free copy of the game for both PC and Mac, a stand alone soundtrack, seven art cards, sticker, a free steam gift key and a pair of 3D glasses!

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Ni No Kuni Gets an English Trailer

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Apr 12, 2012 in Anime, Videogames

If you haven’t had a chance to catch this brand new English trailer for Studio Ghibli & Level 5’s upcoming role-playing epic Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, prepare to be amazed. Initially, I was a bit worried when I heard the game had been delayed until 2013, but after viewing the trailer, I’m convinced they’ve done it for the right reasons. Some things are just worth waiting for, and I wouldn’t want anyone to rush such a wonderful looking game. It’s better they take their time and really make everything shine. The voice-overs, for example,  fit so well, I’m convinced I wouldn’t want to settle for a Japanese language track, and subtitles. The game is still scheduled to ship sometime in the first quarter of next year for PS3. Hopefully someone plans to pick up its DS counterpart at some point.

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The Brilliant Art of Mass Effect

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Mar 1, 2012 in Design, Videogames

The Art of Mass Effect Universe

Next week marks the release of Mass Effect 3, Bioware’s high-anticipated finale to the on-going adventures of Commander Shepard and his crew as they attempt to save humanity, and the known universe, from its greatest threat yet. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, but until then, I’m left looking elsewhere for my Mass Effect fix. Introducing The Art of the Mass Effect Universe. This full-sized coffee table book comes packed with over 180 pages of art, featuring everything from character studies to weaponry and more. Read more…

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Genki Rockets Take Aim at iTunes

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Sep 8, 2011 in Videogames

Genki Rockets II

I don’t often get a chance to write about music, but I thought it might be cool to mention that Genki Rockets has finally released their latest album Genki Rockets II ~ No Border Between Us via iTunes here in the US. The group is marketed as sort of a hybrid-band with multiple artists contributing musical tracks to the project, all of which are voiced by a fictional idol named Lumi. Not much is known about the actual work that goes into crafting each album, however two producers are known to be attached to it, namely Tetsuya Mizuguchi and Kenji Tamai. As some of you may already know, Mizuguchi is heavily involved with creating rhythm-based games like Lumines and  the recently released Children of Eden with both games featuring music by the band. I have yet to really sit down and listen to the new album, but I’m sure I’ll love every minute of it. If you’d like to hear some of their previous work, you should definitely check out the video for Heavenly Star — it’s rather stunning.

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Minecraft Meets Ghibli

Posted by Tim Sheehy on May 19, 2011 in Animation, Videogames

I’ve seen people use Minecraft to create all kinds of awesome maps, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Not even the Enterprise-D built to scale could hold a candle to these. The video depicts a number of maps based on the various animated works of Studio Ghibli. You’ll recognize scenes and locations from films such as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Laputa: Castle in the Sky, all of which seem masterfully crafted. i can’t imagine how much time and effort was spent constructing these maps, but they’re all really impressive.

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The King of All Cosmos Builds a Playground

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Oct 6, 2010 in Design, Videogames

Keita Takahashi

I’m not entirely sure it was Keita Takahashi’s intent to revolutionize the game industry when he created Katamari Damacy, but somehow a concept as simple as rolling a ball managed to do just that. In fact, many often label his work as art — contrary to what Roger Ebert would have us believe — so it doesn’t surprise me that others would take notice. Having parted with his former employer, Namco Bandai, Takahashi has been forced move on to bigger and better things. Whether or not we see another title on par with Katamari’s success remains to be seen, but until then, Takahashi will be hard at work creating something a little bit different. Read more…

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