In effect, it chronicles the history of 8-bit gaming, perfectly capturing its fairly humble and simple beginnings with basic platformers and shooters as well as the sophisticated titles that characterized the NES' twilight years. The eight imaginary titles in Retro Game Challenge are, quite frankly, strong enough to have been legitimate releases on the NES -- which makes this an excellent classic-game compilation whose only real drawback is that the titles collected never actually existed. But even that's not so bad, since it contains a number of convincing (but fake) magazines to help contextualize its imaginary catalog of releases -- even going so far as to offer hints, cheats, and teasers for upcoming releases.Also stupendous is XSEED's announcement that they'll be bringing the Korg DS-10 Synthesizer to the US. This actually comes out in Japan next week, and it sounds phenomenal - it's a full-featured synthesizer, an actual piece of music software developed by people with a long track-record of making funtastic music doodads like the Kaossilator.
The big difference is that the Kaossilator and other similar devices have less functionality than the DS-10 due to the lack of dual touch screens, and actually cost far more - the DS-10 is going to cost about $50 in Japan, probably $30 in the US, while the Kaossilator retails for about $200.
If you need further convincing, this clip from 1UP is slightly unintentionally hilarious in addition to being an excellent overview of the software. Beyond that, there are a bunch of demonstration videos on youtube, including one in which game music composer Nobuyoshi Sano (Ridge Racer, Drakengard) uses 4 DS' at once using the software's built-in wifi link-up feature. Hell, I might as well just embed it right here.
-Second, Nintendo officially announced Rhythm Tengoku Gold for US release on the DS later this year. It's gonna be called "Rhythm Heaven" - no surprises there, thankfully. There's been a rather unfortunate lack of coverage of the game so far, which is a shame, because it looks like it'll be a wonderful follow-up to one of the best music games ever. Video below!
If you never played the original game, the pithy phrase that people tend to throw out when describing it is "Warioware + music game." That's accurate in respect to the game's charming sense of personality, but it doesn't do the genius of the game's design justice. Each of the game's stages is a short, 2 minute long contextualized challenge using only the A button for control. The first stage, for example, has you punching soccer balls and light bulbs in time to some jammin' music. Every few stages is a remix, which mixes the previous few stages together in wonderful and inventive ways. And then there are the obligatory extra games, including an hilariously full-featured GBA drum simulator.
The DS version looks like it has similar gameplay with a stylus-driven interface, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with the rest of the hardware, y'know?
That was E3. David Cabrera archived an extensive collection of fan umbrage to the FFXIII 360 announcement, too. Go check that out, and have a good day!