Monday, October 30, 2017

Metal Gear Solid Promo (PlayStation) | Target: Get Into The Game [VHS / ...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Question: Monetize VHS (promo) tapes?

Boy, it's been a while since I've posted anything on this blog. Here's a quick question for everyone here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The PSone controller had different shoulder buttons; Genso Suikoden prototype footage from 1994!

So I hear Konami has been quite an asshole lately. The way they mistreatment their workforce, withdrawing from console game production, and the complete, sensational mess that has been the Hideo Kojima divorce. Yuck, a cesspool to be sure.

Let's escape from that to about two decades ago when they were at the twilight years of their dignity. Here's a game that I've hear good things over the years on and off, but have never played. This is Gensou Suikoden.

As an RPG game centered around political struggles in a fictional, fantasy empire, Suikoden was made out of a labor of love from the get-go, starting out as a launch title for an unannounced Konami home console. Very little immediate information about that exists on the internet, but the game, under the imaginatively clever name of "RPG," was in development for a brief time but was moved over to the PlayStation, otherwise codenamed the PSX. A relatively more creative acronym than "RPG," I think. In addition, the script for its sequel was originally used for this game but its creator felt he needed more experience to give it the proper treatment it deserved and instead created a "prequel script" for this game instead. 

In July of 1994 𑁋 about a year and a half before the game's domestic release 𑁋 Suikoden was formally unveiled to players at the V-Jump Festival '94 exhibition in Japan. That's not the only feature in the following clip that was preliminary, though.

We also see a preliminary version of the standard PlayStation controller featuring odd symbols on the shoulder buttons that would later become the numbered R and L buttons.

What buttons are those suppose to say, do you think?
It's rather interesting to see this game unveiled to the gaming public about a year and a half before either the game and console came out. It's thanks to this fact however that we can actually see the early designs for the PlayStation controller. As it is known, the original PlayStation controller went through several dozen iterations before the company settled on its finalized design. The most striking detail seen in are the shoulder button designs on the top of the controller. There are no L or R labeled buttons but instead are some triangle-shaped symbols that I can't make out what they're supposed to be.

Obviously, the controller wasn't finalized at this point in time but it makes clear that Sony Computer Entertainment had provided a 3D console that enabled third-party developers like Konami the confidence they needed to jump onto polygons so soon. Sony lured them into their boat quite well.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Here's some (old) new footage of the unreleased PlayStation version of Superman

Oh, just months since the last update and an hour 'til October starts. I have a bad work ethic for blogs and videos. Tonight, let's talk about a Superman game. One that was made for PlayStation.

After the complete bomb that was the abysmal Superman on the Nintendo 64 in 1999, another attempt by the same developer was made for the PlayStation just a year later.

Long story short, publisher Titus lost the video game license to Superman and thus the game could not be sold without renewing the expensive license. The game was subsequently cancelled afterwards. Since then, it's become a legend among some game prototype enthusiasts for being a completely different game than the original N64 game. The following is screen-recorded footage of the unreleased PlayStation version running on ePSXe, 
retrieved from an anonymous source (intentionally withheld for the time being), and I've been privileged to upload it all on YouTube with his/her blessing. 

An embedded playlist of the footage divided in three short parts. Let the player play all three or use the links in this paragraph to see them one-by-one.

Unfortunately the footage contained absolutely no sound, therefore the audio heard in the first part plays the opening intro theme repeatedly, while later parts just use music from some of the PlayStation Mega Man games. =P

Monday, June 13, 2016

More VHS crap few would care about (or stuff I find at work in Goodwill)

Wowsers! It's been months since the last update? Let me rev it up here. I've been working at my job at Goodwill for months now and I've been finding some unexpectedly awesome things there since my time there. The following post is not of that level of such but it might be a nice thing for some.

I found a home video tape buried with other crap inside a gaylord that nobody would care about. This one was labeled "DBZ + Adult Swim" in fine-point blue ink on an expectedly worn, generic white label. Out of curiosity, I fired up a recovered VHS player in the item processing area I work in (I'm a "production associate"), popped the tape in, it wasn't what I expected. Lacking the time and luxury to watch all two hours of the tape (time is money and I'm not paid to do that), I decided to chance buying it to watch what I thought would be some Dragon Ball Z goodness. So the next day, I slipped the bastard in a Tomorrow Never Dies VHS box cover, bought it for $0.99 and went home.

I popped the thing into my Panasonic player. It wasn't DBZ or anything Adult Swim related. In fact, apparently what did actually exist on it was three seconds of Inuyasha at the start of the tape and suddenly there's a really boring, over-glorified TV show ─ from fucking G4 of all things ─ about race cars and their douchebag drivers; presumably recording over what was labeled on the tape. Yeah, remember G4? That one channel were Icons aired on and all those bullshit EB Games ads that aired every 15 minutes, and later a bunch of other shows aired that weren't even video game related? Yeah, that channel. They sucked. Just like this tape I blew 99 cents on. What didn't suck though was seeing TV commercials of certain games that I didn't see archived in decent-enough resolution online. 

One was for the 2005 Xbox port of the high-profile, smash-hit Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which by the time this particular commercial aired, the Hot Coffee scandal had just hit public consciousness, inducing lots of congressional shit that era and giving owners of the original release something to giggle about. It's a hot read.

Another was Psychonauts, a fan-favorite game released that same year for every major platform minus the Nintendo GameCube, just like so many multiplatform-bounded games that era. GCN missed out on a lot of good games. Believe it or not, I haven't even touched this game once. Heard about it throughout the years, but I haven't cared to try it. However, the long awaited sequel was recently announced and I know what it's like to have a favorite game series return after a decade-long absence, so here's my unsolicited gift to those fans. I just hope their game doesn't end up in smoke like mine did.

So there you have it, maybe I'll have more articles and YouTube stuff to put up soon. I've got a lot to catch up on so stay tuned.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sonic Toon (Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric) | Weekly Famitsu Issue #1345 (JP) | 9/25/2014

I actually really hated Knuckles' awkward redesign.
Yikes, it's that game. 

Sonic Boom was a catastrophic failure of a game that no one wanted, expected or cared about. As we all know, the damage made to the brand after having it being partially restored to greatness by Sonic Generations (and brought down again by Sonic Lost World) has arguably been done worse than 2006's abysmal Sonic The Hedgehog. A feat that many didn't think was even actually possible, yet it did. Lone wolf game investigator Tamaki has a terrific video of the whole situation over at his YouTube channel.

The Japanese weren't spared of this game either and from the looks of it, they received it better than the rest of the western hemisphere did, at least under Famitsu's reviewers (this was the same magazine that gave the original Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure a soaring score of 38/40, Sonic '06 a 30/40, and Generations a 35/40), so take their credibility with a grain of salt.

So I bought this magazine at a Japanese bookstore in San Francisco's Japantown about a year and a half ago. At first, it was about seeing what cool stuff I'd find about Super Smash Bros. for Wii U / 3DS but then I stumbled upon an article about BoomPage 232 of Weekly Famitsu Issue #1345 is the article about Sonic Boom. If the language itself won't do anyone any favors, then surely the images - and the characters, Metal Sonic and Shadow (at least his katakana-written name) - may.

It always seemed as though the pre-release material made the game looked
better than it did (but then, that's almost always been the case for video games).
Watching that Game Grumps series has made me realize that.

Higher resolution scan can be found and downloaded here.
It's really too bad at this game ended up the way that it did. I knew that this was a spinoff but I thought it was going to have something rather interesting environmental art style going for it. This game was being made by a developer who formally worked on the Crash Bandicoot series under Naughty Dog so with such credentials it's actually disappointing this project resulted in the mess that was but for all I know, it may have just been a case of publisher-interference on Sega's part. That's never a good thing.

Oh well!