Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit
that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird
gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy
Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos
destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments
, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations.
It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time
-- an eccentric, richly produced
, and incredibly catchy blend of funk
, bossa nova
, experimental electronica
, bamboo flute
, hair metal
, buoyant parade music
, soaring children's choirs
, Macintalk fanfares
, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros
Called a consumerist critique
by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi
(who after one sequel
moved on to Glitch
, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy
, and playground design
), the series has inspired much celebration
] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit
. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
showcases awesome and artistic videogame box art. Eastern Mind
writes about obscure Japanese videogames, with a focus on adventures and music games.
Takeshi no Chōsenjō
: it came before the endurance test that is Desert Bus
, and served as an inspiration
for Janey Thompson's Marathon
. In English it is known as Takeshi's Challenge
. Released in December 1986 for the Famicom system, the game mechanisms include use of the Famicom microphone
to sing karaoke for an hour. And that's after you drink to the point of blacking out, divorce your wife, quit your job, and learn to hang glide AND learn the Hintoba language, amongst other things
. All of this takes place in lands populated with nothing but people that want to beat you to death
. Of course, you can skip that all and complete the game in a mere 4 minutes
by simply walking off the edge of existence, and magically ending at the final treasure room. [more inside]
Princess Maker 2
- Stressed out from current events? I doubt the game is as much fun to play as it is to be bewildered by, but either might help. "...is basically a perverse sports management simulation where your entire team consists of a single ten year old girl that you have to raise to adulthood. Much like any decent sports manager game you have to keep track of a nearly overwhelming number of statistics that fluctuate based on training. In Princess Maker 2 these run the gamut from the mundane like "strength" and "charisma", to the droll like "cooking" and "conversation", to the bizarre like "sin" and "temper". "
Under 5,000 Xboxes sold in Japan last week.
This is compared to 100k Playstation2s and 25k Gamecubes. Since its launch, the Xbox has sold 190k units in Japan versus the Playstation's 980k units sold in the first 3 days.
Is the Xbox doomed in the notoriously tough Japan gaming market, or does the Xbox just need a price cut to stay competitive?
] - a video game played by spanking. Even worse is the person dressed up like the game controller
at a trade show, even more disturbing next to the person in the turd (?) costume. Brought to you by Taff System
(link not functional at time of posting)