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This is why I love Vib-Ribbon photo
This is why I love Vib-Ribbon
by Jonathan Holmes

Vib-Ribbon is a game by NanaOn-Sha (Parappa the Rapper, UmJammer Lammy) that was originally released on the PS1. It came to the United States for the first time just recently, by way of PSN. The original game allowed you to take the disc out of the PS1 and replace it with any CD. You could then play levels based on the sounds found on that CD. That's part of why the game has such minimalist visuals. The game's code had to be small enough to be stored in the PS1 on its own. Hence the black and white vector-based graphics. 

It's amazing how NanaOn-Sha was able to create such charming and memorable characters with just a few lines. Vibri, the game's star, is a lovable scamp with tons of personality. With this article, I will do my best to follow in his footsteps by using as few lines as possible in my effort to convey to you the joy of Vib-Ribbon.

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5:30 PM on 10.18.2014

Pokémon fighting game coming to arcades first for 'the challenge'

The announcement of Pokkén Tournament came as a surprise to most of us. We knew some sort of Pokémon fighter was coming, but the news that Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada was in charge was an awe...

Jonathan Holmes



How Smash Bros. mechanics could be used in a sex game photo
How Smash Bros. mechanics could be used in a sex game
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.]

Last Sunday on Sup Holmes we welcomed Nina Freeman to the program (full episode here). We talked about a lot of stuff, including the influence of Final Fantasy X on her work, her mother's feelings about her love of  technology, building fan sites as a teen, her upcoming game about romance while playing a MMO, bringing back FMV, how to use game mechanics to work as metaphor for interpersonal interactions, and a lot more. 

She is one of the few people I know who you can look at straight in the eyes and say "Smash Bros. is kinda like sex, isn't it?" and have them nod with a serious smile and say "Yeah, totally." I know this from experience. This was a unplanned moment on the live stream that could have gone horribly wrong had I been talking to someone else, but with Nina, it was just another beat in a larger conversation. 

Thanks again to Nina for appearing on the show, and if you want to see the show live, we'll be here at 4pm EST with Roel Ezendam of Rage Squid games (Action Henk) to the program. 

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11:30 AM on 10.12.2014

How a casual game jam lead to Fight Tank

So many of us love videogames but are intimidated by the idea of making them. Devi Ever has taken on the problem as part of her self-declared purpose in life. She wants people to make videogames. Literally all the people.&nbs...

Jonathan Holmes





6:55 PM on 10.11.2014

Game developer threatened, hacked, doxxed after posting meme

Giant Spacekat (Revolution 60) development head Brianna Wu was forced to leave her home last night after her personal information, including home address, was posted online and she received multiple violent, sexual ...

Jonathan Holmes

1:30 PM on 10.11.2014

Are you getting Nintendo mash-up fatigue?

[Art by Hakuramen] Back in the 1980's, rock band Aerosmith and rap group Run DMC did a cover of Aerosmith's Walk This Way. It was an older song, but the novelty, evocative quality, and skills present in the cover made it a mu...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 10.11.2014

Smash Bros. clones didn't 'increase required man-hours'

Smash Bros. for the 3DS has been out for a week now, and while reception has been generally positive, there are naturally going to be some gripes after the hype dies down -- fighting Little Mac on a totally flat course, 3DS n...

Jonathan Holmes

10:30 AM on 10.09.2014

Team Meat dev to walk across videogames for fundraiser

Tommy Refenes' is one half of Team Meat (Super Meat Boy, Mew-Genics, Super Meat Boy Forever). He has Type-1 Diabetes. So does his Mom. She's had it for 32 years, and over that time, she's suffered from progressively worsening...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 10.07.2014

Gone Home/BioShock dev teases first game from new studio

Sorry if the headline misled you. The Gone Home/BioShock crossover does not exist. Not yet anyway. If it ever does, it'll probably come from Johnneman Nordhagen of Dim Bulb Games. Not only was he the lead programmer on G...

Jonathan Holmes

10:30 AM on 10.05.2014

Heavy breathing and screaming man game hits 3DS in Japan

Growing up, games like Jungle Hunt, Pitfall, and Congo Bongo were the equivalent to today's "AAA experiences". It was just a given that people wanted to play games about defenseless men in the jungle avoiding outrageous deat...

Jonathan Holmes

7:30 PM on 09.30.2014

Creepy Castle sends invites to Shovel Knight, Dr. Fetus and more

Creepy Castle is a sweet little Sinclair Spectrum-influenced game that's running one of the more humble Kickstarter campaigns in recent memory. The game only needs $6K to live. It's at about $5K now with 3 days to go. Oh no!...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 09.28.2014

Ayane from Dead or Alive is in the new Fatal Frame

The Fatal Frame series has always been subtle in its use of sexuality, utilizing an undercurrent of vulnerability and otherworldly intimacy to give players a mix of softness and dread. Some of them play with sexual themes mor...

Jonathan Holmes

1:30 PM on 09.28.2014

Alien Make-Out Simulator demands your passion

What do AAA videogame developers do in their off time? If you're Dawn Rivers of Harmonix, you make more videogames. Specifically, you make a videogame for the Oculus Rift where you kiss a multi-mouthed alien until it either ...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 09.28.2014

The first videogame ever Kickstarted is almost done

Back in 2009, prominent Dtoid community member Agent Moo and some friends took to this crazy new thing called Kickstarter with the hopes of raising a huge sum of money to fund their own videogame. That huge sum was... $1,500...

Jonathan Holmes

11:30 AM on 09.28.2014

Why aren't more people talking about Bacon Man?

People are still trying to figure out why some games do incredibly well on Kickstarter and others barely scratch by. Games like Hyper Light Drifter and Aegis Defenders look fantastic and deserve all the success they've ...

Jonathan Holmes





1:30 PM on 09.27.2014

Puzzle Fighter-inspired indie confirmed for Wii U

Puzzle games used to be big business on home consoles. Sadly for fans of the genre, these days they're usually relegated to phones and handhelds. That may be why we've seen so few games in the style of seminal classic Super ...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 09.27.2014

Catlateral Damage proves cats can't be punished

Full Disclosure -- Chris Chung, creator of Catlateral Damage and fellow Smash Bros. fan gave me a small Smash Bros. towel after we did this interview. We also went to a comic book store together once and maybe saw Lucas Pope...

Jonathan Holmes

11:30 AM on 09.27.2014

Boston FIG had over 2,000 attendees this year

It felt like at least half of the videogame side of the show floor at PAX East 2014 was made up of indie games. The Indie Megabooth used to be a tiny side show. Now its pretty much a show unto itself. It was easy to think th...

Jonathan Holmes

10:30 AM on 09.27.2014

This is the most jubilant videogame developer I know

Videogame enthusiast culture isn't always a feel good thing. Between the cold, calculating marketing tactics of publishers, the increasing hostility between different gamer subgroups, and fears of certain publishers, develop...

Jonathan Holmes

12:00 AM on 09.19.2014

What the best Smash Bros. player in the world wants you to know about Smash 4

[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.] Sup Holmes is taking a bre...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 PM on 09.18.2014

Not-Review: In Real Life

First Second is quickly becoming one of the best small press comic publishers, especially for those who like videogames. Their Glorkian Warrior book and corresponding videogame are both delightful in their own right, though n...

Jonathan Holmes



Here's what you'll get in the Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo photo
Here's what you'll get in the Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo released a demo for Smash Bros. 4 on the 3DS to Club Nintendo Platinum members last week. Pandemonium in the Smash Bros. community ensued. It's a relatively small piece of the game -- five characters, one arena, two modes (solo or group), and a little sandbag action during loading times on multiplayer matches. Don't let that fool you though. It's still got enough content to keep you busy for days, maybe weeks.

Last week's version of the demo has unlimited plays. The public demo releasing on the eShop tomorrow morning does not. That's going to be a problem for a lot of you. Unless you plan to keep the demo running on your 3DS until the game comes out on October 3, chances are you'll run out of plays before you've gotten your fill.

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2:45 PM on 09.14.2014

How to turn depression and anxiety into a videogame

[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

2:15 PM on 09.14.2014

Dark Pit shows off his dark differences in Smash Bros.

The roster for the next Smash Bros. game has been fully revealed, and strangely enough, the character that's inspired the most discussion is a clone. As you might guess, it's generally not very happy discussion. So far, the ...

Jonathan Holmes

9:00 PM on 09.09.2014

Smash Bros. for 3DS gets a demo in Japan

Super Smash Bros for the 3DS releases this Friday in Japan. Hordes of Smash Bros fans have already blocked off their weekends to play, stream, and discuss the game to their hearts content. We've even got Smash Bros. E3 ...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 09.07.2014

Loren Bednar may be the most positive guy in gaming today

[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.] Two weeks ago on Sup Holme...

Jonathan Holmes





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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