Twenty Nine: Last evening of Game Jammin'

So it's the last night of the Game Jam, I've had very very little sleep, eaten way too much bad food, and played zero games. It's tough but I'm trying my hardest to get all the work finished that I need to give to Charlotte and Tim to get into the game.

Here you can see some assets, with a rather lovely font as well!

You can then have an exclusive look at a very very early unfinished screenshot of the game.

Now my apologies for the short post but I must get back to finishing all these art assets by the deadline, I predict a large lack of sleep.

Twenty Eight: Globally Game Jamming time

Todays and tomorrows posts will be slightly small as I'm taking part in the Global Game Jam and am working away, as ideas are just being developed work is not complete enough to show, so for now you can see Team Gamercast posing for a picture.

I'll be finished by 3pm on Sunday and will hopefully have a pretty nice little game that fits the theme of this year's Global Game Jam.

Twenty Seven: Would you like to try a game called Catherine?

You may remember me mentioning "A game with my name as the title" well that game, Catherine now has its demo available for people to play. You will need a Japanese Xbox Live (with a current gold membership) or PSN account in order to access the demo but I must say it's well worth it.

So Catherine is what I'd call a frantic puzzle game which has a beautiful enigmatic exterior. The puzzle-ness to it feels similar to my memories of Kurushi, frantically moving around and dealing with cubes that are moving. Of course the main differences are that in Kurushi you plan the demise of cubes by setting up traps to capture them, creating a way for you to escape. In Catherine you manipulate cubes by pushing and pulling, creating your escape to the door to safety in the sky.

Catherine feels like an evolved Kurushi, full of darker overtures and more intensity through physical entities that will stab or crush you to death. Overall I was extremely impressed with the Catherine demo and urge anyone who can get access to it, to download it. Especially if you like a challenging puzzles to get your cogs turning, while enjoying some great animation.

Twenty Six: Meet Socrates and Plato

The same day as picking up Hypatia I also picked up Socrates and Plato from a lady for the tiny price of 3 which I found amazing price wise, however I also felt sad for them as they were very large and forced into a container which I felt was a little small for them. So I had to help them out and give them a home, stopping them from being uncomfortable.

The second I got home they were let out into a nice big tank to play around in, they seemed to enjoy it and were constantly walking around, however not burying themselves underground like every other millipede I have bought has done.

Sadly Socrates and Plato have either lived a long life or have lived in a rough environment as they seem a little bashed up here and there in the form of some slightly dented bits of exoskeleton, however they seem fine with it. Plus I'm sure that once they've shed their skins they may fix these imperfections.

Plato and Socrates are what I imagine my oldest millipedes and my largest, and although they're a little sluggish at times they love climbing the sides of the tank and piece of wood, munching on cucumber and walking all over each other.

Twenty Five: Impulse purchases

Don't you just hate them? On many occasions I am taken by them, be it in a physical store down the street or something cheap on the internet I am generally one to be taken off on an impulse. Of course it can be stopped by closing the web browser or not walking around with a debit/credit card which is my usual way of sorting things out.

Sometimes though I really cannot help myself, so last night I became the proud owner of two awesome cuddly creatures, and those are of the Sony cat known as Toro.

Sadly none of his games have ever been released outside of Japan, however that doesn't stop me from owning them and being a fan, so those who may have seen my first one a day post will have seen the following.

Toro

This is indeed myself having some fun with my Toro cushion, back when I got it last year off Play-Asia we had a little fun with the cushion having a human body and Toro's head, it was a laugh, and it stuck with me. Hence the more recent photo of me with a Toro head, however it was quite tricky wearing it.

So to sit nicely with my current Toro I'm getting another cushion with a different facial expression. Who will share an area with Toro and my similar Maromi from Paranoia Agent.

I then also decided to buy something a little larger which is a Toro which is actually 70cm from head to toe.

Then finally I found a cute little purse for 5 which was great for replacing my 'starting to fall apart' current purse.

Perhaps it's more than impulse buying, maybe it's on the verge of obsession, either way Toro is one of the cutest video game cats around and something just draws him to me. Also I figure owning cuddly toys when they're in the form of video game characters is acceptable.

Perhaps I'll show more impulse purchases in the future when they happen.

Twenty Four: Looking back at Bubsy in Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

So it would seem that Monday's now have a reoccurring theme, and that is looking back at games that I really enjoyed, or perhaps just looking at a new retro game that I've picked up. Sticking on the theme of last week with a focus on the SNES (even though Cool Spot and Bubsy had multi-format releases) especially as I have fonder memories of playing Bubsy on the SNES.

So Bubsy Close Encounters of the Furred Kind is the first title in the Bubsy series released in 1993 by the now defunct Accolade and was not only on the SNES but also a little later on the Mega Drive.

The story focused around a race of fabric loving aliens known as "Woolies" which I always loved because of the similarity with my last name. These aliens have only gone and stolen the world's entire yarn ball supply, for which Bubsy was a major collector of. Hence the reason for Bubsy having to try and save the world, and his yarn supply.

One of the multiple great features of Bubsy was his extremely animated self, be it while stunned or dying you would on multiple occasions see him shake water off his fur, scream from falling a great height or even walking around like an accordion (to his death) when crushed by a boulder. These animations work greatly to bring a comedic quality to his character as well as creating a more believable character to sit in his crazy environment.

As well as being a really interesting character you can also tell just from the title of the game that he's set in a huge parody, if only by name. A few examples being A Bridge Too Fur, The Good, The Bad and the Woolies and Dances With Woolies. Everything seems almost like a huge joke, however that gives the game it's charm.

Some of my greatest memories are wincing at just running into an enemy, trying my best not to die or totally forgetting the great level names only to see them again. However my favourite memory of Bubsy is trying to get my mum to give it a play, and her not understanding why she just died when she walked into an enemy and her very hesitant movements in game because of it being such an alien concept to her. Although it's worthwhile knowing I'm not making fun of my mum playing, but it's one of the things that keeps Bubsy so close to my heart.

Sadly the Bubsy games were somewhat ruined with the release of the final game, Bubsy 3D which took the Bubsy games not only to a new console, but to a whole new dimension. Developed by a new studio, Eidetic were bringing Bubsy to a whole new generation of consoles, allowing the series' fans to see what Bubsy would be like in a whole new way of playing. Sadly Bubsy 3D didn't live up to the high expectations that the fans wanted and it is now known as one of the worst games of all-time. Of course this depends on the person playing the game, but sadly it never lived up to the bright and bubbly, nicely animated Bubsy that I was used to in a great 2D game.

Twenty Three: A Halo related Gamercast giveaway

Hello readers of this blog, if you've been reading since number one then you'll have seen me write about the website Gamercast, well I thought today I'd do a little bit of cross promotion for anyone who may be interested in Halo.

So I was lucky enough to attend the Halo: Reach launch event last year on behalf of Gamercast and I was even luckier to receive a Halo: Reach Xbox 360 controller, and after buying a Halo: Reach Xbox 360 Slim I then had two of these controllers with my console. So I felt extremely greedy and knew that I should give one away, especially because I have way too many Xbox 360 controllers than I need.

So after hitting 500 subscribers I decided to put up the competition in the New Year, and with some really great entries so far, I thought I'd do a quick post here before the competition ended to give some more people a chance to win the controller, that hadn't seen the video.

Now your entry can be anything, from a picture of you with Halo stuff, to something you've created in Photoshop (as long as you can prove it's yours) or just your Halo collection. It just felt nicer to do a creative giveaway for once.

Get your entries in before Wednesday the 26th and you could win the controller! I may post the winning picture on here as well.

Twenty Two: Pickups

So one thing I've noticed a lot of YouTube users do (or at least people who play games) is pickups, this refers to what games you've bought recently, and well I thought I'd do mine based on my little bit of shopping today which worked out pretty well.

So I have a pretty awesome indie game shop in my town they get in some pretty cool stuff, sometimes I miss things but then I also get the chance to get some interesting games that I may not have known existed.

So to start off I picked up something I already own, but this time a Japanese copy as it had a bonus disc. I'm pretty sure that the content between the NTSC-J and PAL versions are identical, however the Japanese version comes with a bonus disc that I couldn't refuse. Plus with my Japanese Xbox 360 I can give Orta a play on there as well if I want to use the game. Or I could just pop my PAL copy in my normal Xbox 360.

My second game I got from the same store was a PSX game that I haven't actually seen a physical copy of before, it's not an extremely rare game, but it does seem to be pretty scarce. When umming and ahhing over whether I should buy it, myself and the shop keeper watched a video of the gameplay on the shop's computer and it looked like a pretty enjoyable 2D platforming adventure while also having all the brilliance and style of a Mega Drive title. I was also sold once my eyes were drawn to the parallax background as I miss them in games. Lomax if you notice from the front is a spin off from the Lemmings games, created by the now non-existant by name (now known as Sony Liverpool) Psygnosis.

Lastly I picked up two SNES titles, both which I believe I already owned, but for an absolutely lovely box for Buster Busts Loose I couldn't say no. Then the Killer Instinct I knew and own came with an audio CD with some songs on it, but I had never ever seen a copy with a cute little Nintendo watch. So I jumped on it especially because the watch that came with it is so different I couldn't say no.

It's not every day now that I manage to pick up older games, after moving a few times I've had the chance to go to great car boot sales and pick up some amazing games for amazing prices. However those days seem to of now passed, which makes me happy that these little indie stores that sell old games are still around.

I'm hoping to give Lomax a play tomorrow, however for now I'm going back to have some fun with a certain Mr Isaac Clarke.

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