Sundry Sunday: Pepsiman Cutscenes

The past two Sundays have been devoted to Playstation cutscenes. Here’s one more.

Pepsiman is an infamous Japan-only PS1 title, created by KID, who produced the NES games Low G Man and Recca. The Pepsiman character was a mascot for Pepsi in Japan. How he managed to swing a Playstation game I don’t know. I assume it was released as a cheap promotional thing, similar to how Sneak King for Xbox 360 was distributed for $4.99 at Burger King in the U.S., but truthfully I don’t know where I got that impression. It’s probably false.

It had a low budget, so they put in these cutscenes with an American actor sitting at home with what I can only describe as way too much Pepsi, drinking, congratulating the player (in English), and exhorting them to consume the caramel-colored, cloyingly-sweet beverage.

The effect is akin to having bubbles of carbon dioxide diffusing through your brain. Please spend time in a decompression chamber after viewing, to avoid coming down with the Pepsi Bends.

Sundry Sunday: Crash Bandicoot In Japan

It’s Sunday! Time to electrocute your brain with more game-related video weirdness. Electrodes at the ready!

In Japan, it seems, Crash Bandicoot has a completely different, and extremely earwormy, theme song. Well in the Japanese release of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, if you hold Left, Circle, L1, and L2 when the Playstation logo appears, you get this entertainingly bizarre karaoke video showing off a long version of the theme, featuring Crash doing a signature dance move, cavorting with ladies in nightgowns and bikinis, and getting blown up by a jetpack, all right and proper activities to be had by an anthropomorphic marsupial.

The song also featured in commercials for the games in Japan. As an extra, here is a (very badly compressed) compilation:

There’s a more video weirdness concerning Japanese Crash Bandicoot, but let’s save that for later….

Sundry Sunday: The Adam West Cutscenes in the Golden Nugget PS1 Game

Its Sunday! Another week in the books! You made it. So, here’s a weird video something you may enjoy.

On the original Playstation there were a lot of games release, some good, some bad, and some rather strange. Since games were released on CD, there was a lot of space for full-motion video, and sometimes that allowed developers to build in some silly extras.

That’s what happened with the Golden Nugget game, a fairly standard gambling sim that was elevated to sublime levels of wackiness by its video clips. It’s a fairly standard shoehorned-in story, about a computer chip that allows one to win games of chance somehow, but then Adam West shows up, as “Mr Swayne,” starts Adam West-ing, and suddenly, you’re watching comedy gold.

There’s a lot of other-character-acting to wade through to get to Adam, so you’ll want to skip forward to 8:10 to see his first bit.

News 7/6/2022: Technoblade Overwatch Amico Shlorp

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

It’s everywhere, but Kacee Fay at Dot Esports is one of the many to note: Mojang adds a tribute to popular deceased Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade to their splash screen. We posted about Technoblade’s passing a few days ago.

TechRadar’s Callum Bains reports that social features are coming to Overwatch 2. The news broke in a Reddit AMA with its dev team.

Hopping over to Kotaku, Luke Plunkett finds a site with downloads for every English-language SNES manual. Here’s the site itself. The files are hosted on archive.org, and the formats include PDF and PDF with OCR’d text.

The news has been going around the web, but the first place we saw it was Nintendo Life, where Ollie Reynolds wrote about the trademark expiring for the Intellivision Amico. It’s looking increasingly likely that it’s just not going to come out.

Ed Nightingale at Eurogamer brings word that Twitch will soon allow streamers to identify their streams with custom tags, which I’m like, welcome to the entire rest of the galaxy for well over a decade? We here at Set Side B add tags to our posts quite profusely. It’s part of the major religion on my home planet, drebnar! “Thou shalt always add all the tags ye can think of to thine content,” Book of Shlorp, 12:2.

And at GamingBible in the UK, Mark Foster reveals that Sony has filed for a patent relating to using PS3 peripherials on the PS5. So, they’re patenting having their devices work with their own systems? That’s pretty cool, I guess. The implication of it is that Sony is moving forward on their plans to offer PS3 emulation. The patent doesn’t mention all the devices by name, but includes illustrations of a variety of gadgets including the EyeToy and the PSP Go.

News 6/29/22: Steam Stolar Fall Gay Bob Hacking

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

K. Holt at Engadget says Valve has doubled production of Steam Decks, meaning those on the waiting list will have less waiting to do.

Bernie Stolar
Image from VentureBeat

At VentureBeat’s subsite GamesBeat, Dean Takahashi sadly reports that Bernie Stolar, former President at Sega of America, has passed away at the age of 75. Alana Hauges of NintendoLife notes that his early career was in co-op, before joining Atari and working on their Lynx portable system. Later at Sony, Stolar helped shepherd the Playstation and franchises such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, before leaving to help Sega launch the Dreamcast.

After going free-to-play, the player base of popular battle royale hit Fall Guys‘ has ballooned to 20 million! But Eric Van Allen at Destructoid tells us that there is some tension among long-time players over changes to its currency model. At GameRant, Rory Young has more, including an observation made by one of the players: under the new system, a player who loses five matches in the first round ends up making more than a player who wins a match after five rounds!

Space Bob vs The Replicons

Graham Smith at Rock Paper Shotgun tells tales of the 2018 indie game Space Bob vs The Replicons (Steam), described as like a 2D No Man’s Sky, but didn’t do well on its initial release. Its creator had a heart attack a week after it hit Steam, then left the games industry. But he’s back, and has announced a big update. Its developer is Intravenous Software, and they’re on Twitter!

Sharang Biswas at Eurogamer posts an essay for Pride month about fanfiction and mods made by the gay community. (Note: slightly NSFW image)

Jeremy Winslow at Kotaku tells us that Blizzard has announced that, when Overwatch 2 releases, it will replace the original game, making it unavailable to play! Progress will carry over, but 6V6 matches will be sunset in favor of the new version’s 5V5 teams.

Finally, we have received word that venerable roguelike NetHack has been inducted into the Museum of Modern Art, as part of its Never Alone exhibit! We’ve seen it mentioned on PC Gamer, Reddit, and Slashdot — remember them? DevTeam member Jean-Christophe Collet muses on the distinction on LinkedIn.

Rodney Greenblat Posts Obscure UmJammer Lammy & Parappa Videos

Um, thanks for the input Chop Chop Master Onion

Rodney Greenblat, famously the creator of the video style behind Parappa the Rapper and the criminally underrated UmJammer Lammy, has a new YouTube account, on which he’s been posting various interesting and fun things, including short interviews with the characters from around when UmJammer Lammy was new, as well as pre-production cutscenes with a completely different design for Lammy! Whaaa?? Have a look!

PS1 Rendering Quirks

via @doc on Twitter. PikumaLondon tweeted out a thread (unrolled) explaining, in general, how the original PlayStation rendered graphics, and the source of its distinctive graphic artifacts, specifically texture warping, pixelated textures, and jittery polygons. The Nintendo 64 didn’t have these problems, but also couldn’t draw as many polygons each frame.

The thread also links to developer David Colson’s efforts to create a PS1-style 3D fantasy console. I’m sure this isn’t interesting to everyone, but worry not, this blog isn’t going to become entirely low-level hardware rendering geekery. At least, not yet.

Link Roundup 4/27/22

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

Gavin Lane of Nintendo Life: Playnote gets a Flipnote Studio-style art app.

Jay Peters of The Verge, also on Playnote. Its makers wonder if its seasonal distribution model will be appreciated by purchasers of its becranked yellow joybox.

Ollie Reynolds of Nintendo Life: UbiSoft to shut down server support for a number of older titles.

Florence Ion (cool name!) of Gizmodo: Google Play is getting data safety settings.

Ollie Reynolds of Nintendo Life, again: Lego to release a huge new Super Mario set.

Thomas Whitehead of Nintendo Life (lot of items from them today): Game Freak to offer employees option of four-day workweek. Awesome!

Wes Finlon of PC Gamer: Moneyfarm Square-Enix unveils a new $11,600 statue of Terra from Final Fantasy VI riding Magitech armor that caused series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi to basically go WTF. Remember, back when he designed the first game in the series, Square was facing issues whether their little game development operation could survive.

“Master Blaster,” if that is their name, at Sora News 24, on Sega trying to bring eSports into Japanese high schools with a Puyo Puyo Boot Camp. “Listen up maggots, you’re going to spend the next hour setting up combos and fighting Draco Centauros until you get it right and I don’t want no backtalk or I’ll bust you down to facing Nohoho again!”

Rhys Wood of TechRadar: An Elden Ring demake for Game Boy is in the works.

Luke Plunkett of Kotaku: Super Mario movie delayed, Miyamoto promises it’ll be worth the wait. Aww, it’s just like that apocryphal quote often attributed to him. This reporter is overjoyed, the last one ended on that cliffhanger, Daisy was back from Dinohattan and needed Mario and Luigi’s help again, no doubt because of some scheme hatched by Koopa. I wonder how they’ll manage to bring Dennis Hopper back from the dead to reprise his role?

Alana Hauges, also from Nintendo Life: Sega plans to delist classic games from some platforms (but not Switch) in anticipation of the release of Sonic Origins.

And Ryan Dinsdale of IGN tells us Sony is creating a game preservation team, of which this reporter can only say, IT’S ABOUT FREAKING TIME.