Wednesday
Jul162014

Life Through The Pixel Glass-07/16/2014

s I write this, I’m sipping on the cool refreshing double fisted cocktail of Gatorade’s Lime ‘n Cucumber swigged with a Rockstar Zero Carb Energy Drink; it’s a concoction that’s quite literally not for the faint of heart.

I’m staring at the screen, going over appointments for PAX Prime, reviews, and other stuff; it’s starting to sink in that we’re in a really slow period in video games right now—I honestly love these sort of periods too. We all work hard, play hard, and live hard; it’s hard to stay on top of something that eats away at our precious time and money. Don’t get me wrong, it may sound like I’m complaining but I’m only trying to illustrate that we can all use a break from playing games—let’s just idealize in other ways like cool art and shit.

Yup, you know where this is going, welcome to another edition of Life Through The Pixel Glass; I missed it, and I hope you all did too, let’s get this rolling.

I recently reviewed Another World for RETRO and while I’ll always have mixed feelings about the game, the one thing that will always make me smile when I think about its nuanced approach to presentation; there’s still no game out there that looks or moves quite like it. That what makes this sweet live-action reenactment of the game’s intro so rad, it immaculately captures all of the mysticism and sci-fi soaked theatrics of the game’s cinematic prologue frame by frame.

The Poland team credits over 800 hours of work went into the preparation of the short film, dedicated to prop building, crafting detailed special effects, and weeks or postproduction to edit all of the footage shot into right cinematography of the game. The team is amping up another go to film original material with Another World lore, and if it’s anywhere near as impressive as this project was then I highly recommend that y’all keep a look out for it.

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Gameboy Micro, I still stand by that—but I can’t help but be impressed at the idea of a Nintendo 3DS Micro. The DS family has only gone on to make the damn thing bigger, and while the gorgeous fidelity from the screens have never turned me off to the idea; the growing girth of each revision the clam shelled beast goes under made it harder to get behind.

Leighton Mcdonald shares the same sentiments, and has workshopped a general blueprint and prototype design for his vision that you can see above; closest contrast to scale of size would be a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone according to McDonald. While there isn’t a whole lot of progress listed about it thus far, he has made it known that the project isn’t abandoned—I’ll be watching it closely and updating you guys whenever more news about it hits his blog.

Hardware mods don’t more impressive than this though, someone in Japan by the handle of MGS1987 went the full Monty, and actually crafted a custom consolized-Game Gear in the style of a Master System, complete with its own retail-style box and manual that he also hand-crafted that authentic look.

The modder goes into painstaking detail, highlighting every intricate step involved with the process he undertook from the crafting the console shells, to the EPROM chips he used, and the laser printing for the customized decals, you can find it all here. The Game Gear enthusiast has claimed that the entire process ran him ¥20,000, and that it was a personal project that he was willing to share the development on, but unfortunately has zero interest in taking on commissions to replicate his work for possible clients—making this a one-of-a-kind personal project just for him.

 

Hungarian animator Majami Hirozis enthusiast of all things 80’s, including the cult-classic hardware of the late eighties, the Commodore 64; so much so that he took it upon himself to recreate one of this year’s most anticipated titles, Watch Dogs, into a downgraded Commodore 64 port. The video is a stylized animated reenactment over what Watch Dogs would be like if it were on a Datassette for the home game computer, complete with laser-esque loading periods and isometric open-world movement, and all. The video is scary accurate to the source material and the limitations of the hardware it’s paying tribute to, maybe we might get a homebrew version down the line? Crazier things have happened before.

Admit it, everyone has always fantasized at some point in their childhood (or adulthood?) about getting to do some of the cool stunts that Mushroom Kingdom’s own Hero plumber does on a regular basis like punching floating question blocks in the air with your fist—well, now you can in a much more practical and realistic way too!

8-Bit Lit has introduced the iconic Question Block of the Mario Universe as a touch sensitive lamp that you can suspend in any room, or hang from a companion stand optionally available with it in a set at the reasonable price of $60-80 depending on what set you buy. The light is activated in this same implied fashion that you’d imagine, just punch that shit from the bottom, just a tap though, you would want to ruin your lamp, let alone anything else in the vicinity it could be sent crashing into.

If there’s one thing that Wind Waker’s got going for it is it’s unique aesthetic, a graphic design that’s capable of timeless awe into the future ether of gaming time—so why not make some bitchin’ cool knit mittens to glorify it’s sweet, sweet look right? DeviantART member Kateknitsalot wanted to pay homage to summer she dedicated to Wind Waker by reintegrating the opening mosaic scenes of the Hero of Time into a cloth tome that still weaves the tale (somewhat literally) into mits that she can use to keep her paws warm during the cold winter nights. I would stick close to her page too; she’s planning to drop the cross stitch pattern on her page so that everyone can get in on the mit-wearing fun.

Fullbright Company has managed to weave one of the best stories ever to grace the indie gaming scene for some time. It’s a statement towards being who you want to be, and what it would’ve been like to express that all wrapped up into a love letter to the 90’s, and nothing says that more than the latest venture with the property; the physical retail edition of Gone Home.

The package include a myriad of references and swag relating to the game from Sam’s Lisa Frank inspired trapper keeper to the Riot Girl fanzine that she made with Lonnie—and of course, the Super NES styled box that it comes in, and the game’s audio diaries/original score from Chris Remo to boot. The best part about this whole thing is the meager asking price, it’s only $30, ten dollars more than the digital copy’s asking price—get it, and then afterwards, give our Games Club a spin after you revisit this charming experience.

It’s really awesome that we live in a day in age where game developers who’re just satisfied with the thought of people playing their games at all can distribute them freely easily for the masses. Uri for example has created an eerie horror RPG using the WOLF RPG Editor program named The Crooked Man. The Japanese influenced story is about the life of David Hoover after he moved into a strange apartment that’s played host to a number of strange occurrences; sets off to find the previous owner in order to learn more of the mystery surrounding his new home. You can download the title right here without spending a dime.

An unassuming social commentary towards the frailty of life packaged behind the look of a classic Gameboy game, Wither is a short, but memorable experience of modern day anxieties and various phases of an existential crisis stemming from the depth of human cruelty—it’s a head turner, and it’s free. Go download it, and then try figure how you feel about it, I know I still am.

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