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6:00 PM on 09.06.2014

Next Level Games was working on a Metroid title

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon was one of the games that helped turn the 3DS around back when it was struggling to inspire sales. It's a fantastic game, one of the best on the console. Sadly, it may also may be part of why we hav...

Jonathan Holmes



Not-review: Brady Games Ultimate Street Fighter 4 Official Bible photo
Not-review: Brady Games Ultimate Street Fighter 4 Official Bible
by Jonathan Holmes

Fighting games are about more than competition. At their best, they are about taking the most simple of design concepts (be better at hitting someone than they are at hitting you) and using game theory magic to somehow evoke years of replayability and depth. 

For years, fighting game strategy guides didn't even come close to doing justice to the games they covered. No matter how insightful and knowledgeable the writers of those guides were, the limits of print excluded them from doing too much more than giving out some basic strategy, combos, and overview of how the game's system works. 

The internet changed all that. There are now countless places to learn just how deep most fighting games can go. If print strategy guides are to serve any purpose at all in the future we're living in, it's going to have to deliver something special. It's going to have to curate information with an expert eye, delivering only the information that you need, relieving you of the burden of wading through reams of irrelevant information online. It's going to have to be equally accessible to both veterans and beginners. It's going to have to give you insights that you just can't find anywhere else. 

With few exceptions, Brady Games' Ultra Street Fighter IV Official Bible does all that and more.

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11:30 AM on 09.06.2014

Claire returns in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 along with a new face

[Edit: Push Start was the original source on this news. Their post has an even better look at the game via GamesMaster Magazine, inducing a shot of the The Afflected in action. They are bloated. gross, and as we guessed, appe...

Jonathan Holmes

8:00 AM on 09.04.2014

A statement from Phil Fish

Full disclosure - I have met Phil Fish on one occasion. We bickered a little bit about if Fez would be a good fit for Nintendo 3DS, (I thought it would be good, Fish disagreed) but there was no hostility there. I was exc...

Jonathan Holmes



Why does the term 'gamer' feel important? photo
Why does the term 'gamer' feel important?
by Jonathan Holmes

Earlier this morning I told my Twitter followers I was thinking of starting a post about why the term gamer might be "dying" or an article about positive representations of schizophrenia in videogames (like, all two of them). A couple of people wanted me to do the schizophrenia one... but mostly just because they didn't want me to do the gamer one. I got the feeling that they didn't want another ugly, negative post about videogame culture to exist. 

That said to me that this "gamer" term has some inherent power to it. It makes people feel something, for better or worse. Compare it to terms like "golfer" or "golf journalism." Imagine if golf pros and commentators were to declare that the term "golfer" is dead. The collective golf community would likely raise an eyebrow, shrug, and get back to golfing. That's not what we're seeing in the "gamer" community right now.

Right now we're seeing groups of once-unified "gamers" look at each other with disappointment, anger, and frustration. The thought is "you're not what I wanted you to be." The gaming press is saying that to game consumers. Game consumers are saying that to game developers. Game developers saying it to the gaming press. It's a constant three-way of pure disdain.

This disdain is born from the budding awareness of how different the goals, perspectives, and priorities of those three groups are. The illusion that we're "all just gamers" has been shattered. That said, the term "gamer" will likely never die. It's just not working as an applicable catch all for everyone who is passionate about videogames. Not anymore. Not after all of the misuse it's seen. That doesn't mean we have to give up on it though. 

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12:15 PM on 08.30.2014

Are gryphons the new shovels? Gryphon Knight aims to find out

Gryphon Knight Epic is in the last day of its Kickstarter, and like so many neat games on Kickstarter, I hadn't heard of it until it was almost too late. Created by a small team of proven developers, Gryphon Knight...

Jonathan Holmes





10:00 PM on 08.24.2014

Shantae's secret origin lies in... Xtreme Sports?

Before WayForward hit Kickstarter success and critical acclaim with their Shantae series, they got their feet wet on the Game Boy Color with Xtreme Sports. It was their first game on the handheld, giving it special senti...

Jonathan Holmes

9:00 PM on 08.24.2014

You can buy Deep Under the Sky with fan art

Colin Northway (Incredipede) and Rich Edwards (Pineapple Smash Crew) have a new game out, and it looks beautiful. Deep Under the Sky is obstacle course exploration game about a one eyed Venusian Jellyfish that doubles as "a ...

Jonathan Holmes

2:50 PM on 08.24.2014

The truth about Nintendo from its former head of digital content and development

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] Last week on Sup Holmes we...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 08.24.2014

Experts think competitive doubles could make it big in Smash Bros.

The Super Smash Bros series is one of the few ongoing competitive fighting game series that was designed from the ground up for two-on-two simultaneous play, but you might not know that if you only went by the biggest moments...

Jonathan Holmes

1:00 PM on 08.23.2014

Love is in the air for Seattle's Fangamer <3 Attract Mode

Some events are better than others. It's an objective, measurable fact. What unit of measure can you apply to an event to quantify its level of quality? Simple -- add the amount of Jake "Virt" Kaufman to the total of Cor...

Jonathan Holmes



Outrage culture is pretty silly photo
Outrage culture is pretty silly
by Jonathan Holmes

The world can be a difficult place. Even if it looks like you have everything going for you on paper, it can feel like everyone is against you in practice. As a young, attractive, Caucasian millionaire once said, "Have you ever been hated and discriminated against? I have." This type of prideful proclamation of being a part of the victim class, and the Batman-style revenge it entitles one to, is the foundation of modern "outrage culture" -- a trend that I've seen balloon in size in "gamer" circles over the past few years.

Outrage can be inspired by anything - game endings, games being too popular, games not being popular enough, games going down, games going up, games having DLC, games not having DLC, games having sexual themes, games having their sexual themes toned down -- it doesn't matter. Anything is on the table for potential group disgust. It's even more common for this outrage to be directed at individuals in the game industry. Developers may wake up one morning to feel attacked from all sides for being a feminist, a hentai enthusiast, because of their tone, because of their sex life, or just because of their personal tastes.

That rage may fan out to studios or publishers, who are inevitably treated as though they are singular entities and not groups made up of multitudes. A game console may not have a feature, or it may have too many features. Outrage at the entire console ensues. A games reporter will take notice that some people are sometimes a certain way. Outrage at the entire website. A game developer says something. Outrage at them and every game they've ever made. 

A lot of people have capitalized on this lust for rage, whether they intended to or not. Would the Angry Videogame Nerd have gained millions of fans if he wasn't "angry"? Would all of the other
"ranting", "angry", "grump? gaming personalities on YouTube be a hit if aggression and hostility weren't the language that many videogame fans want to speak? And Neil deGrasse Tyson fans. We can't leave them out. Why is it that the internet in general, and gamer culture in particular, have become so infested with outrage?

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10:30 PM on 08.19.2014

Mighty No. 9 Gunvolt GunGal crossover confirmed, NES style

When I saw the recent 3DS Streetpass puzzle featuring original sprite Mega Man in 3D, I immediately thought "Capcom should make a game like that!" Just like how I used to think Capcom should make a new 2D Mega Man for home co...

Jonathan Holmes



Cuphead is made by two brothers who've never created a game before photo
Cuphead is made by two brothers who've never created a game before
by Jonathan Holmes

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

Have you seen the latest trailer for Cuphead? From the looks of it, you might assume it's the work of team of passionate, experienced animators paying tribute to the cartoons that helped for their love of the medium. You'd be assuming right, except for the "team" and "experienced" parts. The bulk of the artwork for Cuphead comes from one man -- Chad Moldenhauer. He and his brother Jared are making Cuphead pretty much by themselves. 

Wut.

We talked with Chad and Jared about how they went from game enthusiasts to one of Microsoft's headliners at E3 2014, the design decisions that can make or break a 2D run-and-gun shooter, being the first to ever create a classic 1930's style handdrawn 2D animated game, and so much more. My webcam was all turned to crap this week, so please excuse my awfulness. I promise this week's show will be better. 

Thanks again to Chad and Jared for hanging out with us, and if you have your druthers, tune in here today at 4pm EST when we welcome former Xbox and Nintendo indie guru Dan Adelman to the program. It's going to be a big 'un. 

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Pokémon Trading Card Game Online headed to iPad photo
Pokémon Trading Card Game Online headed to iPad
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo has said time and time again that they have no plans to start making games for other developer's hardware, and time and time again, analysts, editorialists, and enthusiasts have called them out for this decision.

Nintendo seems to think that the potential short term profit they could make from supporting other devices wouldn't be worth the long term devaluation of their own hardware that would come with it. Critics say that Nintendo's hardware has been so devalued by +15 years of little to no AAA third party support that it's time to face the sad facts and give up. 

It's not that black and white of a situation. There are ways for Nintendo to have their 3DS/Wii U cake and eat the other guys' install bases too. Case in point -- The Pokémon Trading Card Game Online for iPad, which according to Pokémon Master and YouTube personality @TheJWittz, is planned for release later this year.

Apparently he was strolling around the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championship event being held this weekend and just stumbled upon a kiosk with 8 iPads running an all new virtual adaptation of Nintendo's classic card game. That's a weird way for Nintendo and/or The Pokémon Company International to make their biggest announcement of the year, but there you go.

Further details are scant at the moment, but JWittz was able to tell us that "It is an official app in works by The Pokémon Company International (TPCi). I'm not 100% sure on TPCi's relationship with Nintendo, but it is definitely official and not fan made in any way. It's an official display run on a TPCi-run event, with a TPCi employee and developer answering questions." He's planning on getting a video of the game up on his Youtube channel this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled. 

Nintendo confirms: Pokémon Trading Card Game Online comes to iPad this year [VentureBeat]

 

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Think a game has bad controls? Maybe it's your fault photo
Think a game has bad controls? Maybe it's your fault
by Jonathan Holmes

Number 56 on the master list of 235 "Things that I say that sometimes annoy people who play videogames" is that it's very rare for a game to have "bad" controls. Most of the time when people say that, they are focusing too much their idea of what the game should provide them with, and not their responsibility to adapt to how the game handles.

Number 78 on my master list of 798 "Reasons I love about videogames" is that the interaction between the player and the game adds up to something that's more than the sum of its parts. Both parties are bringing something active to the table. When the game and the player don't fit well together, it's usually neither one's fault. It's a mutual lack of fit. This is especially true when it comes to a game's controls, though it's fairly rare to find a game reviewer who looks at it that way. The game almost always gets all the blame.

Thanks to my old pal Anthony Carboni, we've finally got some science to back up that claim. So the next time you play a round of Rhythm Heaven Fever and think "The controls must be jank cause I can't make these monkeys happy," maybe it's time to check yourself

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