Ever since Giant Bomb did that Quick Look of Boulder Dash: 30th Anniversary I’ve been feeling the feels for the Atari PC and NES versions that my sister and I used to play. It’s taken way longer than I planned but I finally finished a new videOST series for the game’s soundtrack and recorded a little session with the game full of stories and memories. I also managed to finish the game without an excessive amount of cheating. It’s the first time I can remember ever seeing (and hearing) the ending!
Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure on GameCube is a title I would never have appreciated on the day it released in December of 2001. Having found it 15 years later for $2 at a flea market, however, made it exactly my kind of Weird.
It’s a game that glorifies the Universal theme parks by making you buy special tickets to bypass the unending lines at every ride. And how do you pay for these tickets? By picking up garbage that constantly appears all over the park, even at the feet of mindless staff members. In this fantastical land of Hollywood magic each “ride” presents you with a mediocre minigame, all of which are unique but not really fun. At its best it puts Sega to shame by offering the closest thing to a home version of both Brave Firefighters and the arcade lightgun game of Jurassic Park. At worst, you watch a five second pre-rendered clip of the Waterworld attraction’s finale… from five different angles.
All it took was the $2 price tag to turn the awkward and simplistic gameplay into a pleasant (and hilarious) afternoon recording. Getting that recording online was the real traumatic experience here. My editing software refused to process the second half of the video so I spent a week chopping it into two parts that start and end at the right spots.
Do you like LEGOs but wish they were really tiny? You’ve probably seen Nanoblocks popping up at your local hipster toy stores and museum gift shops but I didn’t realize there were so many more varieties out there. While the Game Boy colored Pokemon above are up for pre-order at Play-Asia right now, there are already full color versions available.
There’s also a super sized Seregios from Monster Hunter, Kamen Rider, chibi Transformers and a few of those cute creatures from Dragon Quest that seem exceedingly appropriate now that Dragon Quest Builders is nearly out. Speaking of, have you seen that Dragon Quest Builders demo yet? *Self Prosplosion!!!*
You know me, always happy to fawn over a little release that looks to have some quirk. That’s definitely Gotcha Racing, a game I’ve had my eye on since its quiet debut at E3. It released yesterday on the 3DS eShop for $5.99 and I grabbed it as soon as I got home from work last night. It’s called Gotcha Racing because it’s all about winning new car parts through a gashapon system. But as I would play, put it down and come back minutes later for “just one more race” I felt like the title had another meaning. After my first hour with the game I wouldn’t call it captivating but it definitely scratches that compulsive itch for progress.
Of course, I wasn’t drawn to a game because it has random loot drops from capsule toys. Gotcha Racing makes a fairly striking first impression when you see it in motion with a strict top-down perspective that spans both screens of the 3DS. The view keeps your car perfectly aligned in the center of the bottom screen, feeling a little like a sewing machine where you’re rotating the world underneath your car. It’s a peculiar sensation at first and a peculiar design choice as the game leans towards realism with its vehicle performance. Each chassis, engine and tire has an impact on acceleration, top speed, brake power, cornering and drift.
I don’t know if it’s the perspective or the precision of the A.I. racers but I’ve never fought this hard to find the perfect racing line in any other game. Moving up a position is a battle over inches in the early game and if you can cut just a tiny bit more into a corner you’ll secure your spot in the pack. It’s turned out to be way more harrowing than I expected from what looked like a cutesy toy race car game. Grinding out parts from the capsule machine and then combining them to boost stats also seems harrowing. It’s been fun tinkering in the first hour but I can see this process getting elaborate and annoying as you can’t upgrade or sell items equipped to your four loadout slots. This results in temporarily swapping each loadout item to an inferior one, backing out, fusing the items, then going back to each car and re-equipping the new gear. Elaborate!
Gotcha Racing seems like a game I’ll pop in and out of for short bursts or maybe while listening to podcasts. I’m not yet able to move out of the initial F-Grade class because I don’t have a good enough car to win the final tournament. That means re-racing the first three courses over and over until I can win or upgrade my way out. It may not sound like fun but it’s enjoyable to play and fast to load, and there’s always a chance for that Rare Drop to fall out of the machine and make everything instantly better.
I’ll be back with an update once I hit the next noteworthy milestone with the game.
[Gotcha Racing is developed by Arc System Works and published by Natsume. It was released on the Nintendo eShop August 27th, 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS.]
I dug the 3DS out of its tomb at the bottom of a plastic bin just the other day to see if I’d missed the release of Gotcha Racing. Since I first saw it at E3 there’s just been a special somethin-somethin about the top-down, cross-screen racing game that’s captured my interest. It turns out I didn’t totally flake out and miss it because just today Natsume has confirmed it’ll be out on the 3DS eShop on August 27th. Yay!
Unfortunately, they still haven’t released any more direct feed footage and not even new screenshots so the impact of the game may be lost with just these two images. Nevertheless, I’m planning on picking this up on the 27th so look for some kind of recap in the coming weeks. If you’d like to know more about the game, click on in. I’ll just leave Natsume’s whole press release here since I’m too exhausted at the moment to edit it down. (more…)