October 2004

I don’t like to bash new products before they even get to market, aside from a little Phantom bashing here and there, but Sony just released pricing and official battery specs on the new PSP. The pricing is much better than I expected weighing in at 19,800 yen ($185). It is about $45 more than the DS. They are also selling a bundle that comes with a 32MB Memory Stick DUO, a carrying case, headphones, and a remote control. That bundle will be 24,800 yen ($232). They are also selling additional batteries which leads me to believe their solution for the 4-6 battery life during games and 4-5 during movies is to buy a 2nd battery at $45 and carry it with you. I know the PSP will sell well if not just for the portable Final Fantasy games, but 6 hours of battery life is not going to cut it IMO. I know not many people will factor that in since most people don’t play 6 straight hours, but factor in the slightly higher cost and much lower battery life and suddenly the DS is still way out front. I guess we will just have to wait and see how the consumers view it all.

Source: [url=http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/10/27/news_6111570.html]Gamespot[/url]

In an age of 3D gaming, it is perhaps more than a little ironic that games that manage to hold onto their 2D roots garner so much attention. It is as if players have a love affair with these games as they offer a glimpse into the past while still displaying gameplay that is every bit as rich today as it was during the eras of in gaming in which they were king. Very soon the developers at Behemoth will be releasing Alien Hominid on the current generation of consoles, and it looks to again capture gamers with it’s 2D artistic style and old school gameplay. This week we had to opportunity to speak with Tom Fulp, Dan Paladin, and John Baez, three of the individuals working on this game in hopes to get a better understanding as to just what Alien Hominid means to us, and to the gaming community.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with us about this exciting looking game. What has each of your roles been on this project, and what other games have you worked on before climbing onboard here?

DAN: My role here has been the majority of the artwork. I have worked on Soldier of Fortune 2 for Xbox and Whacked! for Xbox as well as a slew of webgames made with Tom Fulp.

JOHN: I do the business end of things. Mostly I’m on the phone trying to keep everything going. From manufacturing figurines, skateboard decks, clothing and doing the game I rarely have time to get into trouble. Before I started the Behemoth with Tom, Dan, and Brandon, I was an environmental artist at Gratuitous Games. That’s where I met Dan, when we were working on the Soldier of Fortune format conversion.

TOM: I programmed most of the game play on both the console and the prototype. My background has traditionally revolved around web games. Some examples include Pico and Disorderly, a Double Dragon style brawler that takes place in a nursing home. I also own and run Newgrounds.com, one of the most interesting places on the web to see up and coming content.

Can you go into some of the story behind the genesis of Alien Hominid? For example, how it began as a demo on the internet and then how it evolved into a soon-to-be-released console title. Was this always the intention for the game?

TOM: We never imagined it would become a console game. At the time of inception, Dan and I were itching to build a Metal Slug / Contra style engine in Flash. As Flash hobbyists, we enjoy trying new genres and pushing the limits for what Flash is perceived to be capable of. Alien Hominid was meant to be a fun diversion and cool tech-demo to inspire other Flash artists. We never gave much thought to it being anything more than a web game.

JOHN: HAHAHA…you never imagined it would become a console game, but I knew the game had a destiny from the first time I played it. I’m just glad we were able to put it together instead of some mega publisher.

Everyone knows that 2D games are a dying breed. Why did you choose to go in that direction and what are you doing to ensure that the gameplay mechanics still feel familiar to fans of the genre but at the same time making things fresh for both newcomers and veterans alike?

TOM: Having grown up with 2D games, we have a lot of love for them. Playing 2D games puts me in a sort of comfort zone where I experience all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings. I’ve spent countless hours tracking down the A

Donkey Konga Survey

October 27, 2004

I just got an email from Nintendo asking me to take a [url=http://www.nintendo.com/konga.jsp]survey[/url]. The survey was on Donkey Konga and basically alluded to the possibility of Nintendo releasing another Donkey Konga game in 3-6 months with new games. This excites me to no end. So please do us all a favor (ok maybe just me) and fill out the survey and mark that you would purchase it if for no other reason than you want to fulfill my deep seated desire to continue to rock out like a monkey with my bongos and I need some new songs to play to.

Site Layout Changes

October 27, 2004

I have long felt that the news column on this front page has been way too thin. It makes it difficult to post images and large paragraphs often run way down the page. Over the course of the new few days I am going to be modifying the layout of all the pages. They are going to be approximately 101 pixels wider. The front page has already been changed and I hope to have the rest done today or in a few days. Should you notice anything that looks broken or messed up, don’t assume I know about it and please shoot me an email or a PM on the forums. Thanks.

NWN Premium Content

October 27, 2004

We have a fairly large and active Neverwinter Nights community on our site and I figured this would either enrage you guys or make you jump for joy. BioWare has announced that they are making some new premium content for the highly successful game. The catch? It isn’t free.

BioWare launched their [url=http://store.bioware.com/]online store[/url] yesterday and when it opens for business on Nov. 10th there will be 3 new modules for purchase. The price tag on these modules is a modest $4.99-$7.99 but if that stays constant is anybodys guess.

Gamers close to the series are familiar with the Witch’s Wake 1 module that has been a free download on the BioWare site for close to a year now. That is no longer going to be free and instead will make the transition to being included as premium content. If you want to read the full Press Release then head on over to [url=http://www.evilavatar.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=6617&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0]Evil Avatar[/url] as they are the only ones I know of that are mirroring the full thing.