Archive for December, 2012
The game Earthbound means a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s a defining moment in games history, even if most people have never played it. It stands as one of the absolute best 16-bit RPG’s up there with Final Fantasy 6, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, and Phantasy Star 4, yet has never seen an updated release.
The game, however, has driven our guest, Jon Kay, to design some of the most stunning game based designs out there. Subtle, inconspicuous, and almost invites you into a secret club when you can decipher the puzzle of the shirts he designs. We talk about his beginnings with the site Starmen.net and its eventual evolution into the influential on-line retail store Fangamer.
He explains the origins of the sites, his approach to his exquisitely unique designs, how he joined a charge to get Earthbound and Mother 3 released in the United States, and what the game really, truly means to him. His description of the game really challenges one to rethink how games can effect us and influence our lives.
This week it’s all games—Steve plays the first part of Assassin’s Creed III‘s audacious six hour intro and talks about its place in the series timeline and mythology, morphing into a conversation about the keen eye for historical accuracy Ubisoft’s design team has, then further evolving into an appreciation of some of the smart and comparatively subversive work the triple-A publisher has been putting out over the past few years (including our love of Far Cry 2, Outland and other Assassin’s Creed games, among others).
Matt talks word games—more specifically three that have held his interest on iOS recently. These run the gamut from the fast-paced puzzle elements of Puzzlejuice to the calmer gameplay of Spelltower and the multi-player aspects of Letterpress.
Rich finally finishes Resident Evil 4, explaining why it’s been added to his must-play list—the design, visuals and, yes, even the story are all top notch for a game that came out in 2004. Wonky controls be damned!