Coca-Cola demonstrates it understands today’s youth again

Grand Theft Auto: Coca Cola It’s not very often that video game culture creeps into areas outside of its own, so when you get TV ads for things like Coca-Cola clearly based upon a video game it’s usually worth talking about. Those who visited my old website may remember my post about Coca-Cola’s World of Warcraft advert (now available here).

I thought that might have been a bit of a one-off, but it looks like Coca-Cola has followed up with an advert based on Grand Theft Auto, even if there’s nothing that directly ties it to the series other than the style: quirky animations, similar angles, to what you see ingame, and of course all the stereotypical elements of a GTA game. Except without the violence.

It’s pretty tongue-in-cheek and really well done. It’s also sure to strike a chord with many of the Western world’s youth, most of whom are familiar with the series.


Lego used to reproduce classic video game screenshots

Lego Metal Gear Ah, Lego. Something I spent countless hours with as a child, doing everything from building spaceships to acting out imaginary scenes from Monkey Island (thanks to the pirate themed Lego stuff being released at roughly the same time). Yes, Lego is a good thing. My entire bedroom was at one point a Caribbean island — as far as I was concerned anyway.

So when somebody takes a good thing and then does something even better with it, naturally I feel obligated to post about it. In this case, I’m talking about a small project that one R. LeFeuvre has undertaken: reproducing scenes from classic video games using Lego and a camera. A simple concept, but the results are oh so sweet.

Lego Duck Hunt It really is the simplicity of the idea that impresses me the most. I mean, we’ve all (re)created scenes from our favourite games or movies using Lego, right? So why hasn’t it occured to anyone to turn them into faux screenshots? Don’t ask me. Or perhaps they have and I’m simply too blind to have seen them. Either way, this guy has done it and I like what I see.

The games LeFeuvre covers are Metal Gear, Duck Hunt, Excitebike and Bionic Commando. Note the way that he’s recreated the interfaces of the games. Click on the images to bring up a giant version so you can see how every last piece of Lego slots together. Yes my friends, this is the kind of thing that is making you want to dig out your Lego from the attic right now. You never know, we might see a whole cult emerge dedicated to the recreation of video game screenshots in Lego.

View the whole gallery and be inspired.


Yoshi’s Island 2 for the DS to have wifi play of some kind

As British Gaming Blog has helpfully pointed out, the upcoming DS title Yoshi’s Island 2 is to have some kind of online play if the box art is anything to go by. Coming to this conclusion is a fairly simple affair: the box has the blue “Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection” logo in the top left corner.

Yoshi's Island 2 box But how could multiplayer fit into Yoshi’s Island 2? According to the article the original Yoshi’s Island does actually have a multiplayer mode, only available by entering an inconveniently complicated code on the save select screen — apparently you need to hold SELECT and then hit X, X, Y, B, A. I never had any idea about this so I’m not sure what you actually do in the multiplayer, though I presume it’s some kind of co-op or versus mode like in the older Mario Bros games where you simply take it in turns to do levels.

It’d be awesome if there were something more inventive for Yoshi’s Island 2’s multiplayer though. Seeing as this is indeed Yoshi’s Island there’s clearly loads of potential for interesting gameplay: perhaps a simple mode where you have to shoot down X with your eggs N times before your opponent. Or maybe a reinterpretation of the boss battles in the original Yoshi’s Island where one person plays as the giant magic-infused enemy and the other as Yoshi. First to die loses.

What I’d really like to see though is some kind of racing mode, especially after seeing the Super Mario Bros race. The concept would be simple: you both play through separate versions of the same level at the same time, and the first to get to the end wins. Your own version is shown on the top screen, your opponent’s on the bottom. You could feasibly play through the whole game this way, each level ending when someone reaches the finish line. The one with the most wins at the end of the session is the victor.

If anyone else has some crazy thoughts about what types of multiplayer could be created for Yoshi’s Island 2, please leave a comment! I’m sure there’s pretty much zero chance of any of them being implemented, but it’s always fun to dream about what could be.


Nintendo 64 kid’s father claims kid is still gamer

According to Destructoid, somebody claiming to be the Nintendo 64 kid’s dad has contacted them via eBay and proclaimed that his son is in fact a hardcore gamer after all. The message which can be alternatively read in .jpg form reads as follows:

Nintendo 64 kid's dad “The N64 Kid lied. He played the game and still played it up until the video hit the web. He even had to have and we bought him PS2 when that came out. Don’t let me son kid you. I’m sure he doesn’t even play as much as some people but his interview was very misleading and I told him how I felt about it. Yes, I am his dad. It is obvious to everyone that his emotions expressed in the video from 1998 were genuine and that is eternal and this video clip will never grow old to anyone.”

If that is indeed his father than he’s clearly not a man who paid much attention during English classes. I’d be inclined to call it phoney, but I’ve not really much else to go on. I guess it does have that fatherly “No, my son loves games! Keep talking about him!” instinct to it.

Note: This post is a follow-up to Nintendo 64 kid interviewed; is no longer a gamer.


Day of the Tentacle cosplay gone very, very wrong

Day of the Tentacle cosplay I was kind of hoping the fanboy guy I posted about last week would remain the worst case I’ve ever seen of obsession, and… well, he still is. But somebody started a thread on the Mojo forums today that’s quite a contender!

That is two people dressed up in Day of the Tentacle costumes at a cosplay convention, where basically a bunch of people dress up as video game characters.

Day of the Tentacle cosplayThink that’s some dedicated fandom? Then check out this second picture to the right. You’re looking at a picture of two guys in Day of the Tentacle costumes, in turn dressed up as Link and Princess Zelda from the Legend of Zelda games. Eep!

Update: I was a little harsh when I first wrote this post over a year ago, for which I apologise. In my book, if you’re passionate about something then you’re entitled to show that in whatever way you please. Clearly a lot of effort went into these costumes, and I should have focused on that rather than grumbling about cosplay in general.


Compilation of lost Nintendo GameCube game videos

A very intriguing video is currently on YouTube that was presumably used to advertise the GameCube back when it was fresh and full of potential. A lot of it is nothing special, but there’re some juicy parts that are quite noteworthy.

Donkey Kong Racing For example some prerendered promotional footage of Donkey Kong Racing is shown, which I assume was intended to be the sequel to Diddy Kong Racing. I’m really saddened that this game never made it as the concept footage is brilliant: Donkey Kong racing on a Zinger and Rambi, plus all sorts of characters from the whole Donkey Kong Country series. A quick bit of Wikipedia research indicates that the game might still kind of exist though, albeit in a different format, so there’s still hope.

Also seen is some footage of Kameo before it left Nintendo with Rare and headed for the blue shores of Microsoft Games. Add to that early Metroid Prime material and the realistic depiction of Link ‘n’ Ganondorf from Zelda fighting before the series went all cell shaded, and you have yourself a fairly interesting four minutes of video!

Zelda GameCube in 2000 The video is a bit dodgy though. It’s not difficult to see why Nintendo has developed its kiddy image when their official advertising material contained plentiful film of lamely presented children but had no teens/adults in sight. There’s also a pretty terrible Mario Kart segment which literally consists of Mario and Luigi driving on a lone road floating in a black void — they must have been about a month into development at the time, and they obviously hadn’t even thought of the “two characters per kart” idea at the time.

Still, good for a Nintendo fan to waste several minutes on — have at it! And thanks to Kotaku for bringing this video to my attention.


13 EA games to lose online support by October 2nd

Electronic Arts sign In a move that would make Vivendi Games roll over in its grave if it were dead, Electronic Arts has announced that it’s to close down online support for 13 games. In the words of Game Informer:

“EA explains that servers for the games listed below will be shut down on the indicated dates. Gamers can continue to play the games online up until these dates, but certain community programs may begin to close down prior to the shutdown dates.”

Personally I find this a really lame move. Looking at the list of games to be shut down, most of them were released in 2004 or 2005 — that’s only two years at most. I understand that it must cost a bit to keep these old services going, but this is EA we’re talking about. As far as I’m aware they have money coming out of every orifice in their collective body.

Although there’re probably many more examples, I can’t help but draw attention to Tribes and Tribes 2 which while aren’t particularly popular anymore (and weren’t massively so back in their glory days), still have full online functionality including ingame IRC and whatnot. Vivendi still manages to keep those things going even though there’s zero money to be made in it. Heck, when those services were set up it was Sierra running the show; they’ve survived all sorts of closings and whatnot.

Admittedly, I’m not really sure how popular the games to be closed are; for all I know they’re stone dead. Perhaps someone could provide some clues for me if they know! For the sake of convenience, the games list is below. Those listed beneath August 1st are of course already axed.

Closed on August 1st, 2006:

  • FIFA Soccer 2005 (PC, PS2, Xbox, Xbox demo)
  • EA Sports Fight Night Round 2 (PS2, Xbox)
  • NCAA March Madness 2005 (PS2, Xbox)
  • NBA Live 2005 (PC, PS2, Xbox)
  • NBA Street V3 (PS2, Xbox)
    NCAA Football 2005 (PS2)
  • Need for Speed Underground 2 (PC, PC demo, Xbox)
  • NHL 2005 for (PC, PS2, Xbox)
  • Total Club Manager 06 (PS2)
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 (PC, PS2)
  • UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 (PC, PS2, Xbox)

To be closed on October 1st, 2006:

  • Madden NFL 2005 for (PC, PS2, Xbox)
  • NFL Street 2: Unleashed for (PS2, Xbox)

Hope you’re not still playing any of those.


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