Earthbound Bound For Virtual Console?

Earthbound Coming to Virtual Console

Well, it looks like it could be happening…I never thought it would (Nintendo of America refused to bring over any of the GBA Mother games so I figured it was the end of the series for me), but it looks like Nintendo might be bringing Earthbound stateside via the Virtual Console. The ESRB has recently given a rating to the Super Nintendo classic Earthbound. If you haven’t played it, you should, because its pretty radical. Any game that takes place in the year “199X” is good. The ESRB gave it an “E” for everyone.

Hopefully we’ll get Mother 1 and 3 some day (Earthbound is Mother 2, it’s sort of like the Final Fantasy III / VI thing).

Dwarf Fortress is Pretty Awesome

Dwarf Fortress is awesome

I was at work searching for something on the internet last week and I happened to stumble upon a blog posting by someone which talked about a little game called Dwarf Fortress. They had a screen shot of the game in the post, and the ascii graphics alone intrigued me. So, when I got home I downloaded the game, thinking I would play it for a few minutes and be done with it. I was wrong…I played it a lot over the weekend…Dwarf Fortress is amazingly radical.

Basically, you start the game with a bunch of dwarves (little smiley faces on the map), some cats and dogs, and dig into the ground to build a fortress. It almost reminded me of The Sims. You don’t directly tell the dwarves what to do, you just create tasks, and dwarves who are set to do that task eventually do it when they have time. For instance, you can zone an area to be dug as a tunnel, and a dwarf who you set to mine and who isn’t busy drinking or attending a party or sleeping will eventually dig the mine.

As you progress, your goal is to accumulate wealth and try to make all the dwarves happy. They like their own bed rooms, for example, but at the start of the game you might not have enough materials to create a bed for every single dwarf so you can designate a common barracks and everyone will share the beds in that room (or sleep on the floor). Later, when you have dedicated dwarves chopping trees and dedicated woodworkers making beds 24/7, you can start creating the beds more quickly and accommodate all the dwarves.

Over time you get more and more dwarves, which allows for more specialists in the labor force. Instead of assigning one dwarf to mine and be a mason, you can have one dwarf be a miner and another be a mason, allowing mines to be created faster and the mason to create more goods because you don’t have one dwarf trying to do both things.

There is a huge amount of depth to the game, it’s really very impressive. The menu is very difficult to get used to at first, and the Z-Axis is confusing (you go up and down levels, for example you dig one level into the ground, then you create a staircase and dig out the next level and so forth), but if you give it time and get used to the hotkeys you’ll see that Dwarf Fortress is a very well created, fun game.

As a side note, winter came one year in my game, freezing the river, the dwarves only source of water really. The dwarves nearly all died of thirst…they would lie in their beds and other dwarves would try to bring them water but, since the river was frozen, they could do nothing…There were dead bodies scattered all around the fortress…it was horrible. The few that were left would throw fits and complain and wouldn’t work to gather food. Things started to get ugly and they began eating the cats. Once the cats were gone they started to go mad and eventually perished. Which was not awesome because I spent hours building my empire only to see it destroyed because of a frozen river. But it was sort of fun to watch still.

You can download the game here.

Super Mario Bros.: Ground Theme

Stage 1_1 In Brawl

The Smash Bros. Dojo has two new recent posts up, one about a new stage for Brawl which is just a remake of World 1-1 in the original Super Mario Bros. It looks pretty cool, I’m suprised Nintendo hasn’t recreated the game before with updated graphics. They said the kingdom was been turned to ruins, I’m not really sure why. Sucks for all the stuff that used to live there.

The other post was a new awesome song, Super Mario Bros.: Ground Theme. The song is composed Koji Kondo, the same man who originally created the Super Mario Bros. music. It’s pretty radical how they got the same guy to make another version of the song. I always wonder how anyone who made video game music did it. The song just seems like it fits, now, after the fact, but originally I would have never been inspired to create that particular song based on level 1-1 in Super Mario. Like, the post says “The original overworld theme in Super Mario Bros. had a certain, almost Latin flavor to it”…I guess so, but I would have never “felt” Latin from playing that first level, it really doesn’t fit, but now it just seems like the music couldn’t be any other way.

I don’t think any of that made much sense really, I just thought the song was awesome.

Devil May Cry 4 Demo Hits Thursday

Devil May Cry 4 Demo This Thursday

That’s right, this Thursday the playable demo for Devil May Cry 4 will be downloadable through both the Playstation Store and Xbox Live. Awesome, I can’t wait to play the game. All the details are below:

Warm those broadband connections. The Devil May Cry® 4 playable demo hits both the PLAYSTATION®Store and Xbox LIVE® Marketplace this Thursday, January 24, 2008. Devil May Cry 4 has been rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).

The demo introduces gamers to the gothic-inspired supernatural world of Devil May Cry 4, new protagonist Nero and the awesome power of his Devil Bringer. The demo consists of a sampling of sections from the full game, chosen to showcase Devil May Cry 4’s varied locales, allowing gamers to familiarize themselves with Nero’s unique abilities. Players will receive instruction on the various new actions that the Devil Bringer bestows, such as the ability to slam creatures to the ground, cover great distances in a single bound or even grab enemies while on the ground or in the air and pull them towards Nero to continue an attack combo. The Exceed system allows Nero to “rev up” his sword as if it were a motorcycle throttle and unleash devastating attacks. Players will need to master all these techniques before the end-of-demo showdown with the mighty Berial.

Fully demonstrating the power of the next generation of consoles, the Devil May Cry 4 demo brings to life the coastal city of Fortuna and its surroundings in exquisite detail, such as the port and the snow-capped mountain ranges. Devil May Cry 4 delivers its intense action at a constant 60 frames per second at 720P resolution on HD monitors, ensuring seamless and breathtaking gameplay in stunning high definition.