15 November 2012

Article: The cube of happiness (Gamecube)

Nintendo's Gamecube makes me happy. It was technically inferior its opponents from the console generation, the controller was worthless in many different genres and the console quite frankly had a toy feel to it. So why does it make me happy?

Sega had just given up on Dreamcast, the market was all Sony and Microsoft. Playstation 2 and Xbox. Performance, hardcore, conformity. Then along came a little rascal cube. What did it have? Certainly not a DVD-player. It did not even have the abillity to play CD's. No support for widescreen worth mentioning and the online service covered about a handfull of titles. A stillborn project? No way. If it was something Gamecube focused on it was games. Everyone was invited. The startupline during launch was pretty decent (plenty of third party developers and good games) and it was about to get better. There was a strong support from both players and developers - the library grew to over 600 differens games with a total sale number of over 208 000 000 sold copys.

But this is all statistics. There is nothing wrong with statistics but screw statistics for the moment. It does not say anything about why Gamecube makes me happy. It is more the feeling I get from just playing with it that makes me want to write a short article about it. The small discs, the different design, the incredible comfortable controllers (when in their element). The "cube" almost feels like an underdog that did not go for technically impressive hardware and flexing of muscles, it was just supposed to be fun to play.

Wii is, as we all know, backwards compatible with the Gamecube games but if I am honest it feels like a shame to play them on a Wii. When I want to play Gamecube games the cube has to show up. Like a big piece of candy in my livingroom, reminding me of a time before the online circus, the constant struggle to achieve some kind of status and the never ending effort to deliver chocking content. A time where it was more important that you smiled instead of said wow.

14 November 2012

News: Pier Solar HD remake?

Pretty much exactly two years ago Watermelon gave us a very delayed RPG for Mega Drive/Genesis - which was Pier Solar and the Great Architects. It sold out in notime and demands huge prices nowadays. Now Watermelon is asking for $139 000 over at Kickstarter to produce a remake which will be released on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox Live Arcade and... Oh yeah, of course, Dreamcast. I hope they get what they ask for because Pier Solar is absolutely worth playing.

13 November 2012

News: NEO XYX announced

NG:DEV TEAM is up to mischief once again, this time with a vertical shoot 'em up named NEO XYX. I very much enjoyed both Gunlord and Fast Striker so I have every bit of faith in them delivering another solid shooter. As with all their releases, it's not just a Dreamcast version but a Neo Geo one as well. I for one am getting the Dreamcast version because I could never quite justify getting a Neo Geo in terms of the prices versus the game library. Anyway, I should not digress. In the time being I do not know anything about NEO XYX more than the fact that it is, as I said, a vertical shoot 'em up and contain six stages and six bosses. Here is a brief gameplay teaser.