Illustrator Steve Thomas has recently posted some great propaganda art based on classic video games. I'm a sucker for soviet style propaganda art in the first place, but I think his take on Joust is phenomenal. The Donkey Kong one is pretty good too!
He's got some other cool stuff, including an illustration from an old Commodore 64 game called "Forbidden Forest."
Why is the gaming public so in love with bringing back old IPs? I get the retro gaming culture, and the excitement that comes along with seeing new stuff for Sonic, Mario and Link, but do we need franchises that span 20-30 years, that pretty much offer up the same thing, over and over? Mario Galaxy is just Mario....IN SPACE. Sonic tried to branch into other things, failed and is returning to it's roots, only to be met with cries of "It doesn't look shitty enough, the graphics need to be worse." I have to say, if I were working at Sega right now, I would throw my hands up in frustration and strangle a real hedgehog, just so I didn't drive home and do it to my children.
So why do we love watching our old games get remade over and over? Is it nostalgia? I think partially, yes. I also think that there's a level of comfort there, especially for the gamers that actually grew up with Mario, Sonic and Link. It's like, man, as long as there's a Mario game out, everything's okay with the industry and the culture- because for as long as we've been gamers there's always been a Mario game. It's like Nintendo is that cool grandparent now; the one that no matter how terrible everything gets, or how many people leave Infinity Ward, we're still comforted by the fact that they're even still around. Mario has achieved that iconic status that crosses all fanboy lines. You can wear a Mario shirt and show that yes, you're a gamer, but at the same time you're wearing a highly recognizable pop icon anymore. It's like gamer chic.
Which brings me to my next point: Why the fuck did Rocket Knight get remade? Why did anyone spend the time and money to remake a game about a flying opossum in medieval knight armor and a jet pack? Aside from completely ignoring the laws of physics (That jetpack would have to have some fucking lift on it) who wanted this game made? I know when it was announced I was like, "Huh, that's kind of random," and I actually played the original. Are we really that short on original ideas that we had to bring Sparkster back to life? I understand that cheap, downloadable content is gaining a lot of ground, and making a lot of money, but why not create something fresh and new? Because we're lazy? Because it's cheaper not to? Probably.
I say all this, but I'm still waiting for Vectorman HD and a MediEvil remake to be announced.
So a service called GameCrush ( http://prd.gamecrush.com/ ) is selling time with girls (apparently the rate is $8.25/10 minutes of hot, filthy gaming) so that gamers can play video games. With girls.
From the Press Release:
"GameCrush, now available in public beta, introduces an entirely new interactive social gaming experience allowing gamers to meet, match and pay to play online games with other users (PlayDates). GameCrush is the only online service that allows gamers to choose a companion to spice up their favorite online games. Both Players and PlayDates define the experience they want- either "flirty" or "dirty", choosing from some of the most popular console titles and casual web-based games."
What the fuck.
I don't know about you guys, but I rather prefer my "PlayDates" (dramatic pause for vomiting) to be with someone I can have a real date with; not some girl I just paid to play a fucking video game with me.
All this does, for me at least, is re-enforce the article Anthony Burch posted not to long ago about Jesse Schell's GDC 2010 Speech on how we're hurtling towards a Brave New World scenario, one where our lives are dictated by the scores and achievements set out by companies and corporations.
Speaking of that, since it's only for the XBox at the moment, I wonder if there will be achievements?