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Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Sup Holmes finds out why kitty loves robot with Robot Loves Kitty


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Mar 01
// 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.] [Update: Thanks to Calvin ...
Cibele photo
Cibele

Cibele is a game about love, sex, and the Internet


The MMO genre as an intimacy lubricant
Mar 01
// Jonathan Holmes
Nina Freeman (How Do You Do It?, Space Dad) is the first and only person to talk to me at length about how Smash Bros. could be a metaphor for an orgy. You can watch her full Sup Holmes episode here. We talk about magical gi...
Resident Evil 2 photo
Resident Evil 2

Dtoid streams Resident Evil 2 just for the heck of it


'The name's Claire Lara, first day on the job'
Feb 27
// Jonathan Holmes
The first episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 was released this week, making it the fourth Resident Evil game to have a "2" somewhere in the title. I believe the second was Resident Evil Survivor 2: Code Veronica and ...
Leonard Nimoy photo
Leonard Nimoy

Multimedia icon Leonard Nimoy has passed away


The original Spock died today at age 83
Feb 27
// Jonathan Holmes
Videogames aren't the first thing that most people associate with actor/writer/director Leonard Nimoy, but he made his mark on the medium over the years, providing narration for such classics as Civilization IV and Seaman&nbs...

Exclusive: Dot Arcade is a new full color videogame for Wii U

Feb 25 // Jonathan Holmes
James isn't working on the game entirely on his own. He's partnered with talented programmer and composer Andrew Lim to help bring the game to life. James tells us Dot Arcade "...started off its life as a physical system prototype! It was essentially a wooden box with an 8x8 LED grid and a SNES controller plugged in. A perfect accessory for any coffee table." Hearing that, my mind immediately turned to Tenya Wanya Teens, a game I've been excited about but unable to play for years. It hasn't been released to the public, and is only available at events due to its unique, lightbulb-intensive controller. James knew what I was talking about, stating "Tenya Wanya Teens came up as a topic a few times during our development -- I think there's a really similar spirit behind that as there is with Dot Arcade." So how did James and Andrew get around the limitation that comes with creating unique hardware for a game? It wasn't an overnight process. According to James "...creating and manufacturing physical hardware is really complicated for just two dudes alone. But the dot games were a sensation with everyone we showed them to, and co-workers at Andrew's day job nearly made it a ritual to have lunch session showdowns for the highest scores. It's definitely the type of game that brings people together, and I remember that's one of the things I mentioned hoping to put special focus on as far back as when I appeared on Sup Holmes." Luckily for us, that passion for bringing people together just happened to be a perfect fit for Nintendo's latest home console. James said "We wanted to find some way we could share the dot games with the rest of the world, and Wii U seemed like the right fit. It was important that the experience emphasize the more intimate GamePad screen, but also beneficial to broadcast gameplay to others in the room on T... and taking it a step further, share scores with friends anywhere through Miiverse! So we started development on the collection of games, Dot Arcade." Dot Arcade isn't one game, but a collection of three games -- Mr. Snake, Dodge Club, and Rally Driver. Each uses the same 8x8 screen of virtual flashing lights to display the action. It's something like the classic Lite Brite art-toy with a mind of its own. Each game has it's own "cabinet artwork" created by a featured guest artist like Jordan Canales and Jeremy Hobbs. While the game wont be out until "probably next month," James isn't shy about letting us know about his future plans for the series, such as "...secret extra cabinets for each game." and a plan to make "...Dot Arcade into something like a bit Generations series and introduce Dot Arcade Vol. 2 with three new games/featured artists... and so on, as long as there's an audience with interest!" It will be interesting to see how enthusiasts react to Dot Arcade. James is well aware that "The end result is a bit tricky to describe" and"static screenshots don't seem to do the games justice" but he's hopeful they'll still find their audience. Like so many successful solo designers before him, James loves videogames, and he's made a game that he and his friends really enjoy. That gives him faith other people will enjoy it too, as according to James, Dot Arcade is "...the most raw form of video game -- there's no story other than what's implied by the cabinet art, and there's no real game graphics to speak of, just a focus on having fun manipulating an object on the screen. They're entertaining in a way that's shared only with the most vintage of video games. " Some cynics assume "vintage" games are all trying to pass off a lack of ambition as "8-bit cool", but that's not the case with Dot Arcade. James and Andrew worked hard to make sure the games provide something fresh while remaining true to the fundamentals, stating they've "...even paid special attention to detail throughout the experience, and kept everything authentic to how it worked on our physical hardware. The beeping / buzzing sound effects, frame-by-frame input feedback, slowdown with many objects on screen... as well as details outside the gameplay, where the menu music on the TV and GamePad are different, but complement each other in unison. We've only seen first party Nintendo games try to pull this off." I take Dot Arcade to be the riskiest type of "retro" game. It's not the type of game many are nostalgic for, and like James said, it's not a game that can sell itself on screenshots and characters alone. Like the 16x16 pixel Zelda demake from a while back, Dot Arcade gets by on a combination of the strength of its design and the imagination of its players. The fact James has enough faith in himself and his potential fans to put out a game like Dot Arcade speaks to love of videogames and the people who play them. 
Dot Arcade photo
James Montanga abstracts upon the abstract
Two of James Montagna's most well known games are Adventure Time: Hey Ice King Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! and Wonder Momo. These games sold because of their characters. Wonder Momo had built up a strong following thr...

Kanye Vs. Soda DrinkerVid photo
Kanye Vs. Soda DrinkerVid

We asked the least cynical man alive about Kanye's new videogame


Will Brierly feels good and is good
Feb 24
// Jonathan Holmes
Kanye West is working on a videogame. Weirder still, this is not Mr. West's first foray into the world of gaming. He is also a playable character in a game called I Won about throwing gold chains at women and turning them in...
Samus and Sagat photo
Samus and Sagat

BBC Special Report: Samus and Sagat


News
Feb 22
// Jonathan Holmes
Samus and Sagat: BBC Special Report.
Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Depression, poverty, and powerlifting with the creator of Electronic Super Joy


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Feb 22
// 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.] We're taking a break from ...
Adventure Time photo
Adventure Time

Last week's Adventure Time featured Porpentine's namesake


Purple slime girls are not to be trifled with
Feb 22
// Jonathan Holmes
Popular Cartoon Network show Adventure Time is no stranger to videogame references, though these references aren't always intentional. The shout out to Super Hexegon definitely wasn't an accident, but the inclusion of a tiny ...
Starr Mazer photo
Starr Mazer

Starr Mazer fully funded, plans crossover with itself


Consoles are just a few thousand away
Feb 20
// Jonathan Holmes
[Update: Starr Mazer is in its final 24 hours on Kickstarter and the development team is going out with bang, hosting a 24-hour live stream packed with pogs, pizza, games, announcements and other forms of entertainment. ...
Samba de Amiibo photo
Samba de Amiibo

Meta Knight line, purchase, unboxing, and 2-Pac


'It's like being sorta like-a nerd, except you're cool'
Feb 20
// Jonathan Holmes
Sometimes you get up in the morning and you need coffee. Sometimes on the way back from getting that coffee, you think "Is Best Buy open yet? Aren't they selling a special amiibo today?" so you swing by and see that there's ...
Starr Mazer photo
Starr Mazer

Starr Mazer has gradually turned into a massive crossover


Kickstarter campaign enters its final days
Feb 18
// Jonathan Holmes
At last count, the Smash Bros. series has featured characters from 21-24 different series. That number fluctuates depending on if you count R.O.B. as part of a "series" and if you think of Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and ...

Review: Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Feb 18 // Jonathan Holmes
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U)Developer: HAL LaboratoryPublisher: NintendoReleased: February 20, 2015MSRP: $39.99 Seeing as everything in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is made of clay, you might guess that the game's story would focus on some calamity that has altered the very substance of Kirby's world, forcing him to venture into the unknown in an effort to set things right. If so, you've guessed right. Sort of. The fact that everything here is made of clay doesn't seem to actually phase anyone. Instead, the problem is that all the color has been taken out for the world by a couple of giant disembodied hands that look an awful lot like a certain pair of famous Smash Bros. bosses. No need to panic, though. The "Oh no where'd all the color go?" MacGuffin is in play for no less than three seconds before Kirby, Waddle Dee, and his new paintbrush pal Elline jump into a hole in the sky that takes them to a series of very colorful, often familiar environments. It would have been easy to start the game with Kirby's world being made from polygons (or whatever the heck it's made out of in Kirby Triple Deluxe and Kirby's Return to Dreamland) and then have it be transformed into clay by the villains, but maybe that would have been... too obvious? Too logical? Regardless, you should know from the outset that the story is nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse to see very cute things happen for a few seconds, leading up to even more very cute things. From there, the very cute things don't stop until you either turn the game off or you die. This could be the most decadent, shameless display of cute-porn that Nintendo has ever displayed, which is saying from the company who brought us this and this.  [embed]287744:57379:0[/embed] Like the DS title Kirby: Canvas Curse, this new Wii U title ditches Kirby's usual transformation antics in favor of a potentially divisive indirect control scheme. You don't control Kirby here. You draw "rainbow ropes" for him to travel on. That may frustrate folks looking for a more traditional 2D platformer, though the game offers some of that too if you're willing to delve into its multiplayer. As for single player, the controls do a lot to level the playing field for those new to the series, and for people in general. The single-player game has a grand total of three inputs: draw ropes, tap Kirby to make him spin dash, tap and hold on Kirby to make him do a super spin dash, and that's it. These are the perfect platformer control mechanics for the Angry Birds generation. Anyone who has ever used a pen before will come into this game with the skills they need to achieve. The controls may be simple, but they allow you to get into all sorts of risk vs. reward conflicts. Kirby is nigh invulnerable while dashing, allowing him to break through barriers, bonk his enemies into submission, and engage in other power moves, but what he gains in strength he loses in safety. A wildly dashing Kirby can be hard to handle, leaving the player to desperately draw the right ropes to help keep him out of harm's way. Most of the game is spent alternating between taking Kirby forward with ropes, getting embroiled in some puzzle or combat scenario that requires dashing, and then trying to juggle Kirby back to safety after he loses control. It's like running a three-legged race with an easily distracted, mildly intoxicated friend, which is probably more fun than it sounds. Speaking of friends, you'll be missing out on a lot if you don't check out the multiplayer. It makes good on the promise of truly "different-but-equal" asymmetrical multiplayer made by launch title New Super Mario Bros. U in ways that game never quite accomplished. The player with the GamePad controls Kirby in the standard indirect fashion while one to three other players take on the role of a spear-wielding Waddle Dee. Waddle Dee controls a lot like Kirby does in his main series, with free movement, multiple air jumps, and multi-directional melee attacks. There is no enemy swallowing for Waddle Dee though, and no transformations either. Kirby may believe in democracy, but he's got to keep some of the good stuff to himself. Waddle Dee's advantages are offset by a couple of handicaps. He has half as much health as Kirby and he can't scroll the action forward without Kirby. Sounds rough, but those handicaps are offset by yet other advantages. Waddle Dee can resurrect himself by mashing buttons for a bit, and he can pick up Kirby any time he wants. These ploys can be used for selfish reasons or altruism, depending on the circumstance and the relative moral quality of the player in question. These power dynamics allow for some interesting relationships to develop between players. If Kirby is feeling stress and overwhelmed, he can ask Waddle Dee to run quarterback with him as the ball, playing the role of passive world-builder by drawing rainbow ropes to help Waddle Dee move forward. If Kirby is feeling aggressive, he can charge forward with rapid rope draws and spin dashes, leaving Waddle in the dust. Waddle Dee will need to get aggressive at least a few times though, as multiplayer offers exclusive mini-boss fights against those friggin' hands that force our dear Waddle to really step up his game. Kirby can't damage the hands at all. If he dashes into them, they'll palm him easier than Jordan palms a Honeydew. During these tense encounters, it's up to Waddle Dee to stab the hands into submission while Kirby plays keep away.  That's not the only way the game plays with attraction and repulsion. There are times you'll need to draw ropes for reasons other than dragging Kirby around, like digging through sand, deflecting lasers, and other tasks that may leave our pink hero vulnerable. Then there's the need to earn stars, the game's "collect 100 of a thing and then a thing will happen!" currency of choice. Unlike in the Super Mario games, the "thing that happens" here is more important than collecting an extra life. It takes 100 stars to do a super spin dash, and you can only hold a few supers at a time. You'll need the charge attack to get through certain mandatory obstacles, so don't waste them. If that's not enough resource management for you, keep in mind that you can also run out of "rainbow rope juice" if you over do it with the drawing. Without juice, you're 100% stuck, though it only takes about a couple of seconds for it to recharge. These are just a few of the ways that this simple game keeps you engaged in constant stream of small but interesting decisions.  Transformation-themed levels that allow Kirby to turn into a tank, rocket, or submarine and various boss fights are there to help mix things up, though the game never comes close to getting stale. Large, activity-laden stages filled with a mix of new and familiar enemies and environmental hazards give you plenty to do. There are 28 levels in all, each relatively long, packed with hidden areas and hard-to-get collectibles to encourage replay. Beyond Story mode, there are 40 Challenge levels that really put your skills to the test. Each gives you four rooms to get through, and 15 seconds each to get through them in. While Rainbow Curse is a generally freeing and sweet experience, Challenge mode can get downright vicious. It's still cute though, because this game is always cute, even when it's repeatedly killing you. The game's collectibles are probably where its cuteness reaches an apex. There is a jukebox mode where you can listen to songs you've acquired that features a little head-bobbing Kirby with headphones on, and it's incredibly cute. There are storybook pages you can grab at the end of every level, and they are all painted and animated in a simple childlike style that is both humble and beautiful. As great as that all may sound, the amiibo-like figurines you can collect in-game are even more disarmingly impressive. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've spent an inordinately long time studying them from every angle, wondering how HAL managed to make them look so tangible and believable. They're a great example of how most modern console game depict a "real world" in a way that ends up feeling artificial, while Kirby and the Rainbow Curse depicts an artificial world that feels very real. I can only hope that HAL will make a new Mother/EarthBound game that looks like this someday.  Kirby and the Rainbow Curse will amaze fans of traditional stop-motion animation with its achingly charming visuals. It works great as a lighthearted single-player platformer, a wild and boisterous multiplayer campaign, a tough-as-nails action-puzzle challenge, a bite-sized Off-TV handheld experience, or a big beautiful HD spectacle on your television screen, all depending on how you choose to play it. It's a game that has a little something for everyone, all without compromising its unyielding, unique, and undivided attention on its mission to blast pure adorableness into the world in all directions. If Kirby and the Rainbow Curse doesn't make you smile, you may need to see a doctor for that.  [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Clay Kirby photo
I'm cute! I'm cuuuuuuuute!
Let's take a quick look at the history of videogames with clay-based graphics. Skullmonkeys is a one-off that most people don't even remember. The ClayFighter series has been dormant since the N64 days. Armikrog has been in d...

Star Fox X Regular Show photo
Star Fox X Regular Show

Star Fox X Regular Show Tribute


Ooooooooooooohhhhhh
Feb 16
// Jonathan Holmes
[StarfooooooOOOHHHH by ガしガし] The fact that a new Star Fox game is set for release this year still feels a little surreal. Fan expectations are bound to be high, as the wait for this...
InstaDoom photo
InstaDoom

The original Doom gets a 'selfie support' fan mod


InstaDoom adds the narcissism Doom always needed
Feb 15
// Jonathan Holmes
When Doom was first released, at least one person I knew was confused by it. "Where the heck am I? I don't see anyone here at all!" they squawked. "You are the player." 16-year-old me retorted brassily "You have to go around...
Drive!Drive!Drive! photo
Drive!Drive!Drive!

Sup Holmes cranks the crankshaft with the creator of Drive!Drive!Drive!


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Feb 15
// Jonathan Holmes
This week on Sup Holmes we welcome Gordon Midwood back to the program. Gordon is one of the funniest guests we've ever had on the show, so when I heard he had a new game in the works I snapped him up for a return appearance r...
Samus and Sagat photo
If Ridley and Ryu had a baby, it would be this guy
Like the initial entry of any epic trilogy, the first two episodes of Samus and Sagat worked to establish the characters. Now that we're finally into act two of the story, we can start moving into the real meat of this drama...

Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Particle Mace devs get down and dirty on design and development


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Feb 15
// 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.] It's a white out blizzard ...
Samba de Amiibo photo
How old is Toon Link anyway?
Valentine's Day makes most people I know feel uncomfortable. The modern concept of the holiday has been designed around taking heartfelt expressions of attention/appreciation/affection and packaging them into rote, uniform l...

Yo-Kai Watch photo
Yo-Kai Watch

Beard View: Yo-Kai Watch


A look at Japan's #1 new game series
Feb 11
// Jonathan Holmes
I was worried about Yo-Kai Watch when it was first announced. Putting out a manga, anime and game series all in one fell swoop is no small financial undertaking. Given that Level-5 isn't a multi-billion dollar outfit, they h...
H1Z1 swag unboxing photo
H1Z1 swag unboxing

H1Z1 real life loot drop unboxing with Samus and Sagat


Your microtransaction money at work
Feb 08
// Jonathan Holmes
People tend to hate microtransactions as a rule, but like any other tool, the relative quality all depends on how they're used. Make a game that suits a small but passionate audience who values the opportunity to purchase ne...
Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Sup Holmes goes live with Electronic Super Joy's Michael Todd


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Feb 08
// Jonathan Holmes
[Update: Thanks for watching everybody! Expect the rerun up soon. In the meantime, here's a trailer for the last entry in the Electronic Super Joy series, Hot Sticky Mess.] We're going live the creator of Electronic Super Joy, Mr. Michael Todd! Join us!
Sunburn photo
Sunburn

Jump in to the sun for just $0.99


But only until Sunday
Feb 07
// Jonathan Holmes
Sunburn is an award-winning game on iTunes about leading a group of stranded space explorers, dangerously close to the sun, doomed to die a boring death by asphyxiation. What would you do if you had no hope for survival and ...
Amber's Unboxing Series photo
Amber's Unboxing Series

Amber's Unboxing Series: Voltron, Star Wars and Space Invaders


January 2015's Loot Crate offers a nice haul
Feb 07
// Jonathan Holmes
Amber's back with another month's worth of fun junk from Loot Crate. A lot of cool crap here, guys. She also had fun taking your feedback from last month's episode and using it to try to improve her style. I think she's doin...

Samus and Sagat: Prepping for Street Fighter V and Super Metroid II

Feb 05 // Jonathan Holmes
Also, how about a contest? Make a gif from either this episode or episode one of Samus and Sagat. It's easy and fun with this free website, but you can go beyond what the site offers if you want to, with captions and explosions and other added dressings as you see fit. From there, upload your gif and tweet it to @tronknotts along with a link to either this Dtoid post or to this episode of the show on YouTube and you'll be entered to win a copy of a new retail videogame of your choice. Sadly, it has to be a game that I can buy for you from a store in the U.S.A. because I am just going to go to the store and buy you a game. Nothing fancy about that! Just me going to the store, like any other guy. Also, no requests for special editions or hard-to-find games, please. Anything in the $40-$70 range is OK. I hope you enter the contest, and thanks again for watching the show! Entries so far (not including those in the comments) [embed]286940:57204:0[/embed] Charlie Maxwell [embed]286940:57205:0[/embed] [embed]286940:57206:0[/embed] Liam Troy Fullbester Roth Sothy (composer on Xeodrifter!) The Nintenbros Alphadeus [embed]286940:57209:0[/embed] Patty If I missed yours, please drop it in the comments below!
Samus and Sagat photo
Exciting adventure, fashion, and fame
[Update: We've gotten a lot of great entries in the gif contest! It seemed a shame to leave them out in the cold, so I've embedded the animations that never made it to the comments into the post below. I also forgot to tell ...

#Fortune photo
#Fortune

#Fortune is a game that predicts your future by reading your tweets


Taboo for a new generation
Feb 05
// Jonathan Holmes
As a youth, I became temporarily obsessed with an early Rare title for the NES called Taboo. It was a simple fortune telling game that used virtual Tarot cards to predict your future, but it inspired a deep level of fascinat...
Y2K photo
Y2K

Why is this happening?


Y2K playtesting being live tweeted right now
Feb 05
// Jonathan Holmes
We first heard about Y2K last year, when comparisons to Takashi Marukami, Persona, David O'Reilly, EarthBound, and other surprises were immediately laid upon the title. Pretty weird stuff, but after talking to the t...
Beard View photo
Beard View

Beard View: Final Fantasy Explorers


'You've got your Cid guy here that looks like a Mario. He just laughs at you I guess.'
Feb 05
// Jonathan Holmes
The first Persona 5 trailer is out and the internet is abuzz about where one of the world's most fashionable JRPG series may be headed. It's a perfect time to take a look at one of the founding titles in the JRPG sub-genre; ...
Wii  photo
Wii

Nintendo has 'no comment' on third-party Wii games for the Wii U eShop


In the meantime, let's tell them which ones we want
Feb 04
// Jonathan Holmes
Nintendo recently started selling full Wii games on the Wii U eShop, leaving only the GameCube's library off the list of Nintendo's past home console titles that you can play (officially) on the system. Other than faster load...






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