Live A Live is currently the toast of the Switch, with over 500,000 in sales since it was released. Not bad at all for a remake of a Super Famicom game from Square’s classic era that had never made it out of Japan until now.
AustinSV on Youtube presents a video that goes into some detail about what was changed between the versions. If you’ve played the original (I’ve played a fair bit of it through the popular fan translation from Aeon Genesis), you’ll know a few things were definitely tweaked. I remember the Prehistory, by far the funniest chapter, being rather more risque in its humor, although the fart jokes and poop flinging were left mostly intact. Some of the changes are really interesting; they translated the whole Middle Ages chapter in iambic pentameter!
“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter
It’s been a bit difficult getting consistent signals from Earth lately, and what has gotten through hasn’t been of too much interest to my gelatinous brain. Maybe some of this might pique your interest?
Jonathan Bolding at PC Gamer says that playing dual-screen with a Steam Deck proves the Wii-U was a good idea! I knew it! What they’re talking about is the ability of a Steam Deck to play dual-headed via HDMI out. This play style is explicitly supported in Wii-U emulator Cemu. The article also notes that Valve has stated that the Steam Deck has out-performed sales estimates, which is good! After the Steam Link and Steam Controller were put on sale for ultra-cheap, I was feeling bad about scooping them up as Valve was clearing out stock. Not too bad, though.
Here’s some news from a different source than usual. At romhacking.net, creator Michael Nix has been working on a pair of GUI rom editors for Super Mario Bros. 3! One, SMB3-Foundry, is for editing levels, and the other, SMB3-Scribe, edits overworlds. A game like SMB3 is a bewilderingly complex beast under the hood, and the strictures of platform, rom space and development time sometimes force unorthodox decisions, like hardcoding some object placements. There is an article to be written some time about the lengths NES carts had to go through to encode their data, which was usually done using a kind of domain-specific data compression.
I have been avoiding linking CBR.com for a bit because of some excessively clickbait headlines, but a recent device change has reset my killfile, so they’re back. Shane Foley from there reports on series nadir Metroid Other M having one level that made it worthwhile. The “level” in question is in fact the entire postgame; up until the main boss, the whole game is heavily on rails, with full exploration only possible afterward.
At Polygon, Nicole Carpenter mentions the content warnings on new indie title I Was A Teenage Exocolonist, which has a number of traumatic events in the game, but is quite upfront about what will occur, going so far as asking the player if they’d like to be spoiled regarding which characters die, or may die. It is a heartening development.
(Note: the Guardian is in one of those phases where they nag you with a huge yellow subscription ad. It can be easily closed, and not nearly as bad as some sites out there, but it happens. One article I checked this time-I will not link them-had autoplaying overlaid videos in the corner, which resulted in them being ejected from this post. Bad web designer, no biscuit!)
Blogfriend Kyle Orland at Ars Technica reports on Fabrice Breton, creator of indie game Brok the Investigator, and their efforts to track down Steam key scammers, curators who would ask devs for free Steam keys but then sell them. As usual from Kyle it’s great and informative reading!
And for our weekly eyeroll exercises, it’s been reported everywhere but GamesRadar hasn’t been seen in these pages yet so let’s give the link to them: Benjamin Abbott relates that Disney is releasing a Magic: The Gathering style trading card game going by the name of (roll your eyes now!) Lorcana. I’m already brainstorming jokes to make about it as they leak its features over the coming weeks!
Wayward Strand, from ghost pattern, a narrative adventure game set in 1970s Australia with a time management element.
Cult of the Lamb, from Devolver Digital and Massive Monster, a cute procedurally-generated town-building game with action elements and dungeon exploration.
Another Crab’s Treasure, from Aggro Crab, which actively calls itself a “Souls-like” in its trailer, an action combat game about a hermit crab out on a quest. Hermit crabs find shells and other objects to serve as their home in real life, and this game incorporates that fact into the gameplay. Not out until next year, though.
At the end, there were a few short clips of other upcoming games: One Shot: World Machine Edition, Gibbon: Beyond the Trees (releases today), Idol Manager, Card Shark, Cursed to Golf, A Guidebook of Babel, and OPUS: Echo of Starsong: Full Bloom Edition.
Last-minute addition, here are Kyle and Krista, formerly of the Nintendo Minute and now with their own thang going on, reacting to the games:
Brendan Hesse of Gamespot, speaking for site staff, offers a ranking of 14 Final Fantasy games. From worst to first, the ranking, all according to original Japanese numbering and not including the MMORPGs: 2 < 15 < 13 < 3 < 1 < 9 < 4 < 8 < 7 < 5 < 7 Remake < 10 < 12 Zodiac Age < 6
I’ve seen it elsewhere, but I’m linking to Eric Van Allen’s report for Destructoid, on Disney Dreamlight Valley, a lifesim with Disney IP. I’m imagining it as being like Animal Crossing, but with Disney characters. Do you know how annoying a neighbor Tigger would be?
It fell to Sean Hollister at The Verge to inform us of a hack of a Fischer-Price toddler game controller to make it suitable for playing Elden Ring. Was it made by foone? It wasn’t, it was Rudeism? Cool.
And Steve Watts, writing for Gamespot, has, to mark the 35th anniversary of the release of the original Castlevania (the game not the anime), a listing of games not-too-subtly inspired by it, like 8 Eyes for the NES. Although this reviewer feels compelled to note they left out The Transylvania Adventure of Simon Quest!