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Mario tragedy

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Just had to post today... because of the once- every- four- year- happening of this day ^_^
Anyway today I had a great experience thanks to Water Cooler Games. They put up a link to an 'animation depicting the tragic story of Mario and his ultimate downfall'
this animation is so nicely done... this person created a dramatic story out of simple pixels. I got all emotional when watching these animations. Just a perfect balance between the right pixels, music, close-ups, words, light etc. And all that out of in-game pixels (and then some). Wooo. If you ever wondered what would happen if Mario wouldn't have a mushroom left and no game over... watch this! What if Koopa got more organized? want dramatics? watch this... Ow all of you should just watch this!
Here are the links to the movies (make sure your sound is on):

Part one
Part two
Part three

Tell me what you think about these animations!

Author: Z. » Comments:

Vib, Ribbon & Ripple

Saturday, February 28, 2004

I'm still trying to get my hands on a copy of my own of the superb game Vib Ribbon. Not the easiest thing I can tell you. In Japan the successor of Vib Ribbon has already been released: Mojib- Ribbon. That one is about a rabbit and calligraphy. It doesn't get very good reviews but seems interesting nonetheless. But Sony has already announced the successor to both games: Vib Ripple (thanks Slashdot). It's also a music rhythm game but takes pictures as input instead of your own CD's. It's not very clear to me how it works but the screens look yummy to me :). Unfortunately it asks a lot of your fundings because the game depends on photographs taken by either your mobile phone or digital camera ( I am in possession of the latter, woohoo) and a PS2 hard drive. So it's not a game for everyone. It will probably be an obscure title and for the geeks among us anyway, because of the strangeness of the game, but the hardware needed for this game will lower the number of potential buyers of the game.... and that's a shame. There is a chance that the game will disappoint in gameplay as Mojib Ribbon did according to some, but we need the innovativeness of such games.

Author: Z. » Comments:

NY Times article

The New York Times has an article on videogame research: The Ivy-Covered Console (you have to register (free) to be able to read the article). The article has interviews with game researchers and mentions a couple of game research blogs (which you can also find on my link list). It also features the one-day conference "Form, Culture, and Video Game Criticism", which will be held at the Ivy League University Princeton, March 6th and is organized by Roger Bellin and Dexter Palmer.
wooo video game research gets a lot of media attention lately. It's not merely about the videogame and violence issue anymore. That's a good thing. Let's celebrate ^_^

Author: Z. » Comments:


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I really enjoyed the Crimson Room and found another one like it, but a bit more challenging and more levels, it has IQ test-like puzzles, point-and-click work etc. There are currently twelve levels but the designer has promised that there is more to come. Go to Logan's Mystery of Time and Space Adventure. Enjoy!
Warning- might be addictive, don't try this game when you have to finish things...like I did ;)

Author: Z. » Comments:


Monday, February 23, 2004

A slashdot comments discussion on videogames as physical education. Videogames: to use or not to use?
Sports Videogame Student Enticements Banned

Author: Z. » Comments:


Saturday, February 21, 2004

For those of us who play Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga... a variant on the 404 page :): 404?
Also have a look at their comic pages. Comics made with in-game screens/sprite sheets. Some are ongoing and animated others are episodes etc. They have things like Mario Kart, Mario & Luigi's RPG, Chocobo Crossing (set in the world of FF Tactics Advance) etc. Hadn't seen something like this before (the in game screens comic thing). It's a way to be creative with the old in a totally different way than the makers intended. Sort of like fanfiction, better yet it is fanfiction ;) Anyway here is the link

Author: Z. » Comments:

Experimental Game Lab

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

There is a new video game research lab founded at Georgia Tech by Michael Mateas (who is working on Façade): The Experimental Game Lab. See his posting on grandtextauto.org: Experimental Game Lab
Seems like an interesting initiative, have to keep my eye on it!

Author: Z. » Comments:

Can you find your way out?

Monday, February 16, 2004

A really nice flash game... would like to see more of things like that, it's one simple room but it might take you a while to figure your way out of there....it has an incomplex look and feel but you might scratch your head once or twice. That's how a game should be :)
Find your way out of the Crimson room:
Takagism (sometimes misspelled as Tagakism)

Edit: two (minimal?) hints in comments below. Did those help?

Author: Z. » Comments:

The ULTIMATE Game Room

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Would sure like to have a room like on one of those pictures of The ULTIMATE Game Room!! any picture...
sigh, have a long way to go....

Author: Z. » Comments:

article on academics & videogames

Friday, February 13, 2004

There is an article published on the net and will be published in several newspapers, which talks about the academic movement towards videogames. It's quite nice, it has all the major players in the field named by name, like Juul, Aarseth, Jenkins etcetera.
You can find the article over here: Academics get serious about video games

Author: Z. » Comments:

Strong Bad as manga figure

Here is another Strong Bad email which is a 'must-have-watched' (when you like anime or manga). It's about what Strong Bad would look like if he were a Japanese cartoonstyled person.

Author: Z. » Comments:


Thursday, February 12, 2004

I decided to update my links (on the right). woo there are so many! So now I have a game research /theory or related list. It will probably grow in the near future. It's difficult though, on what grounds do you decide to link to a site or not? There are so many I want to put up there, mainly because they have to do something with games and research. So the list got quite big.
The problem with such a big list with links is, that who is going to click on any of them? (yes, I would, but i'm a bit insane probably) And there are so many more great sites (not game related) out there.. do I want to put them in a 'permanent' link list? Or should I only refer to them in one of my postings? Maybe I should make a seperate link page, but then again.. who would go there? Quite a dilemma. How do other people decide on this kind of stuff?

(maybe a solution for this dilemma would be to spend less time behind my computer surfing the web...would help seeing less interesting sites!It would give me more time for other stuff too.... Because I do not only link to those sites, I want to read them myself too and surfing to other sites next to the ones I'm linking to is not helping me doing the stuff I should actually spend my time on *oops*)

Author: Z. » Comments:


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I finally made a pixel-avatar-like thingy!!At first I tried to make changes onto an existing pixel avatar from someone else but that didn't work out well so I decided to start from scratch in paint (yes Paint, that standard desk accessory program). When I couldn't get more out of Paint, I used Photoshop Elements to adjust a couple of things. It was a lot of work, especially since it was done on a laptop and its touchpad (and I wanted to go to bed early this time....*oops*) and it is still not like I envisioned it. The colors are not quite right, there are almost no shadows, something is missing in the hair, the background is not transparent and I would like it to fit more into the blog. But I want to change the layout and the colors of the blog anyway, so I'll take care of the latter later. Overall I am quite happy with how it turned out :) You can see the avatar on the right side of this blog (as if you hadn't noticed already...) Any comments? would like to hear them :)

Author: Z. » Comments:

Lawmakers and Game developers 'teaming up'

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

whoo scary: government people and game designers are learning from each other...a government project trying to increase participation of the public and its commenting for legislation and game designers who are helped by/inviting the public for designing rules in online virtual worlds. Looks a bit like they trying the same? Well, they thought so too....Want to know more? Here is the Wired article: Lawmakers Game the System

Author: Z. » Comments:

Hikaru no Go

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Finished the manga Hikaru no Go (HnG) yesterday night. Wonderful manga and anime. Was addicted to the anime last year, then started to read the manga last month. I can really recommend this one.
It's about a boy, Shindou Hikaru who finds a goban (a board to play the game 'Go' on) which has a ghost in it, Fujiwara Sai, one of the greatest Go players in history, who has been in the goban for years and is now able to have a place somewhere in Hikaru's mind. Hikaru let's Sai play Go in a Go salon where they play against Touya Akira, a boy of the same age as Hikaru (about twelve). Touya's dad is a famous Go player and Touya has been playing Go for years. He asks himself who this Hikaru is who doesn't even hold the stones well and doesn't know anything of Go but beats him as if he was nothing, not knowing that he was actually playing Sai. And so the story begins, Touya chasing after Hikaru but actually after Sai, and Hikaru getting interested in Go because of the intensity of Touya and ending up chasing after Touya.

I still don't understand anything of the game except for the minimal basics but it's such an intense, amazing and wonderful manga and anime that Go becomes really interesting, and surely you want to play Go too. Because of HnG the children in Japan have become more interested in playing Go.

The characters and relationships of the characters of HnG are profound, the drawings and details of the drawings are beautiful, the story is really well written, funny and just let's you keep asking for more, wanting more. There were a lot of moments I had to laugh or felt sad.
Sai can be so funny (especially the 'chibi' moments :D)... Hikaruuuuuuuuu
I feel really sad that they stopped with the manga and anime, but maybe it's for the best...
There is so much to say about this anime/manga, but you better see it for yourself. Or you can visit this amazing amount of websites on HnG, just google some :)
or visit: this site and webring

About the game:
Go is a game played using white and black stones strategically placed on a board that has either 9x9 or 19x19 squares. The objective of the game is to capture as many of the opponent's stones as possible.
Go is really complicated but there are plenty of sources on the web where you can learn the basics of the game. As for example on this or this site (with links to other Go sites, Go on the Internet, Go software etc)

Author: Z. » Comments:

funny flash-toons

Monday, February 02, 2004

My visit to the site of Homestarrunner was because of a posting on Daves logs. Homestarrunner is a flash site with humorous flashmovies on it. It has funny characters, great lines, nice voice acting and of course nice animations. You should watch the introduction to their site which gives a pretty good idea of the site's characters and movies :)
For gamers is the Strongbad email on games a cool toon

Author: Z. » Comments:

Japanese street fashion

Sunday, February 01, 2004

I like to get my Fruits book of one of my shelves, flip through the pages and just watch all those wonderful colors and clothes of Japanese Youth. Too bad the subscription to the Fruits mag is a bit expensive otherwise I would have gotten one. But I've found a site on the web which is also featuring this Japanese streetfashion, so I am happy... have to have my daily doze :) so have to find more alike.

I wish I would have the nerve to dress myself like some of them... and know where to find that stuff and have the right sense to combine clothes...

Author: Z. » Comments:

Dance dance revolution

Some thoughts on the game consoles, the dance mat and dance games... I love dance dance revolution, finally Europe catches up with the US and Japan by releasing some dance games as well. They were hard to find a couple of years ago but now they seem to release a dance game every month... They' re not called Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) though, over here they like to call them like dancing stage something. Played a 'real' DDR game only once, on a festival. Don't know why but I think that maybe the DDR games are better, although these Dancing Stage thingies are also released by Konami, hmm it's just a feeling... (they'll probably get better 'cos european gamers are picking up on it)

Would be great to have one of those dance pads which is made of metal! Too bad they don't sell them here but they do on the website of Cobaltflux!! Looks like I have to save up a bit (might as well forget about it then hehe)

I would love to have some DDR -events over here, but don't know where to look, and I would probably be too nervous to perform in front of all those people....I did it a couple of times but it went all wrong :(, but maybe that was because it was in class, with 'serious' people looking at me. I can still advice it though ;)
(Oh. surfed a bit and now see that there was a European DDR tournament in London last week! Damn i missed it!! )
it's good for your health too.. wanna lose some weight? just put on your dancing shoes and step on that dancemat! Like Tanya did: Get up and move

but back to the competition....no, (big) crowds and me doing dancing steps is not working really well, and i'm so great when I'm home alone!! haha. But yeah it really is a fun game, actually all rhythm games are absolutely fantastic! The Bemani line of Konami is wonderful on Bemanifever you can find a whole list of the games they released.

DDR is real popular, there are plenty of sites on the web, just google some and you might even find stepcharts :D
And even CNN has an article on it: New video games exercise more than thumbs
Xbox hopped on the bemani bandwagon too and has recently released Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix it is even compatible with Xbox Live so you can compete online and dance your butt off!! Ain't that great??!

hmm this is not the coherent piece about DDR which I had in mind... well maybe next time... enjoy the links!

Author: Z. » Comments: