Babycastles Summit Update: Tickets Now Available (You Should Go If You’re In the NYC Area!)

Well, THAT was fast! Tickets for the Babycastles Summit are NOW on sale here and yes, you should go if you’re in NYC and have even the faintest interest in gaming.  getting the chance to interact with one of the guys behind Katamari Damacy should be enough to get you out the door, but there will also be a few other fun things to see and do.

That is all. Off to change the banner for August, as I have no idea what to do, image wise. Too much stuff going on!

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New Skyfall Trailer: Even More Revealing, But Still A Big Tease…

OK, so I’m not following every drop of news about this new Bond film, but that’s because I’m too busy and I really hate ruining whatever surprises are in store by knowing the entire plot, characters and whatnot. That said, this one looks like it’s going to be the most interesting of the three Daniel Craig films (unless they manage to work in the skydiving Queen from last week’s Olympic ceremony!) on a few levels. November 9 is zooming up like that train at the end of the trailer and I’m happy that the film is looking better and better with each new bunch of clips.

Juggernaut: A Horror Game For Eggheads (And That’s A Good Thing)

Proof that a good horror game isn’t all about running around dispatching all sorts of hideous monsters with assorted weapons, Juggernaut is also a tough sell unless you’re looking for a game that’s very weird and intentionally slow moving that still manages to get under your skin. From the surreal visuals to the even stranger plot, the game is a three-disc descent into hell that gets stranger as the plot spools out, yet makes for a compelling experience once the game has its hooks in you. Granted, it’s an old PlayStation game from 1999, so you’d need to have an interest in revisiting that system for about a dozen or so hours (give or take). Nevertheless, the story of a guy trying to save his possessed girlfriend’s soul by taking a trip into her mind (with a little help from a creepy corrupt priest with his own agenda) just might keep you up longer than you’d like. Don’t expect this to pop up on PSN any time soon, as the game never got decent reviews other than a few of writers (yours truly included) who “got” the creativity oozing from the game in all the right places.

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EVENTS: Babycastles Is Bringing Keita Takahashi To NYC. Maybe You Can Help Make A Game With Him.

OK, I’m feeling a bit lazy, so consider this an audience participation post (or my idea of performance art). Please pretend to see an arty image somewhere in this post, as I didn’t add one. Of course, clicking on the link below will make your eyeballs happy, as you get a nicely animated official site to pore over with the same details below:

BABYCASTLES SUMMIT

WITH KEITA TAKAHASHI
IVAN SAFRIN
KAHO ABE
NEIL FRIDD

Brought to you by:

NYU GAME CENTER
CITE Game Innovation Lab

KEITA’S FIRST VISIT TO NEW YORK CITY!!!!

✌ THREE DAYS OF ✌
BANDS ✌ WORKSHOPS ✌ TALKS

Inspired by Keita’s kid-friendly play-scape designs and Anna Anthropy’s book, “Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form”

Our goal is to inspire and encourage people who didn’t think they could make games to make games.

Babycastles will be building four video game play-scapes designed by Keita Takahashi In association with Kaho Abe, Neil Fridd and Ivan Safrin. They will be on display and available for play throughout the summit at the Museum of Art and Design in 2 Columbus Circle.

NICE HAIR

The Babycastles summit is a three-day series of talks, panels, bands, hands-on workshops and custom video game installations designed by Keita Takahashi , game designer of Japan’s Katamari Damacy. The summit will be hosted by the Museum of Art and Design from August 24th through the 26th as part of the “Fun Fellowship”.

Ticket Info Coming SOON as well as BANDS AND TALKS INFO
ALL AGES

Random Indie Game Of The Week: Paradise Blue

One of the nicer RPGMaker games I’ve played this year is Paradise Blue, a Final Fantasy homage that’s actually a bit more impressive in a few areas. The developer, Ocean went as far as to redo the familiar RPGM backgrounds with his own artwork, boosting the normally straightforward color palette and detail considerably. While the game still has the look of a quality NES title, colors practically pop off the screen in nearly every map making this one of the more unique-looking “old-school” RPGs I’ve seen to date. It takes a little while to get used to some of those details, however. You’ll be dazzled by sparkly areas and items that look as if they SHOULD be interactive, only to find they’re just there for effect.

Where the game shines is in some of the well-scripted dialog, the skills system (which is deep and rewarding once you get into it) and some of the trickier battles the game drops you into. Switching out classes and equipping the proper skills is a must here, as some high-level side quest battles can wipe out your party before you know it.  In addition to some addictive gameplay, there’s also an excellent score that works quite well at conveying mood. As usual, you can grab this game for FREE at the link above and it comes highly recommended if you’re a fan of classic 8-bit JRPG bliss. Ocean also has some other cool titles I’ll get around to reviewing as I find time to do so. Heck, this review WOULD be longer, except for I’m  even more backlogged than ever since discovering RMN!

(thanks to YouTube user Vysethedetermined2 for the gameplay video)

2012 Blog Olympics: Stumbling Over The Technical Hurdles…

Status

Bleh – I’m having some difficulties with Gmail not loading properly and Firefox crashing improperly, so I haven’t been able to update or respond to a few emails while I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on. Anyway, I’m working on the issue as fast as I can, so I’m hoping to be back in a few hours with an actual meaningful post. As it is, I’m typing this and can’t read it at all, so let’s hope my spelling is OK…

Cloud Atlas: This Year’s Deep Brain-Bender From The Wachowskis

 

I hadn’t heard of this film until a few days back when someone let me know there would be a long trailer going up this week along with a teaser site. Of course, I reserved judgment on the almost six-minute trailer until I got the chance to see the entire thing, as I still have burning headaches from overexposure to Speed Racer (OK, I caught it twice on cable – once to check it out, the second time to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating) and the last two Matrix movies. Anyway, this amazingly ambitious effects-heavy flick looks like something worth watching a few times just to catch everything, meaning it may do well at the box office, but it will probably do even better as a rental or outright purchase so those who get pulled into it can view it multiple times to catch anything they missed on the first viewing.

 

Retro/Grade Trailer: It’s One Of Those “What The What?” Games That Works Well…

So, what’s Retro/Grade, you ask? Well, it’s a rhythm game/space shooter/reason to dust of your plastic guitar peripheral and probably a dessert topping, all available as a PSN exclusive download. Given that I tossed my guitar peripherals into a volcano some time ago, I’ll be skipping the fun. But I certainly won’t stop YOU from picking up this game if you like what you see. Fake, formerly pricey and now greatly discounted (thanks to the demise of the guitar game as a major cash cow) controller option aside, it would be nice to see this also on the Vita, as again, the handheld could use some fun titles like this to combat the app-happy crowd and their dollar games. People will pay more for quality if the content is worth it, I say…

Sports Noose: Anyone Else NOT Watching The Olympics?

Just asking, as I’ve not been interested in them for ages and I ran into a few people today at random who also don’t give a hoot, but were a lot more vocal about it (as In, I overheard some really funny anti-Olympic conversations while at the post office and then the market). Then again, I’m not much of a sports fan, so it’s not as if I’m suddenly going to fall over backwards just to stay glued in front of the TV for too many hours keeping a medal count. Besides, i have games to play and a few movies to catch up on, so while the rest of the world is going ga-ga over half-dressed athletes getting all hot and bothered while breaking all sorts of records, I’ll be biding my time with a few brain-bending jumping puzzles and goblin stomping or something… That is all.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown “Last Stand” Trailer: Well, You’ll Be Sitting Down While Playing, Right?

Things seem to be humming along quite nicely over at Firaxis in terms of their XCOM game ticking off all the boxes fans expect and I’m hoping the game does well enough at retail to convince the more stubborn dopes that the other XCOM game (where it’s been too damn quiet in terms of update news) will work as well. Hopefully 2K isn’t going to cave into the entitled whiners who complain too much about stuff they won’t buy, only to turn around and snap it up when it hits the bargain bin and end up liking it a lot more than the imaginary game they had in their heads based on a few screen shots and low-res movies of a work in progress that has a ways to go before completion.

As usual, we shall see…