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Left 4 Dead 2 screenshots -- Offworld


Over on Offworld, our Brandon's got an exciting gallery of high-rez screenshots from the for the forthcoming Left 4 Dead 2, the sequel to one of the most compelling, cinematic, frightening games ever made.

Southern discomfort: new screenshots of Valve's Left 4 Dead 2

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Recently on Offworld we took a longer look at what Apple's WWDC keynote -- most obviously, the announcement of the new 3GS model iPhone -- means for gamers and indie devs, and what, more specifically, Apple didn't announce to create a better landscape for the latter. We also saw that Microsoft's Kodu (above) -- it's 21st century LOGO-like package meant to help children learn game/programming logic by assembling their own 3D games -- is due for a release in just a few short weeks, and saw Rare's Nintendo 64 GoldenEye 007 spiritual sequel Perfect Dark officially coming to Xbox Live Arcade. Elsewhere we saw a new Twitter tool tracking gaming trends, vinyl wall decals invading our space, Blitz Arcade's 70s kung fu film inspired Invincible Tiger, watched the latest drip-fed chiptune video to come out of the 2007 BlipFest, saw more of Media Molecule's crossover-collab bringing Ico to LittleBigPlanet, and the day's 'one shot's: Hollis Brown Thornton's fine art meditations on Space Invaders, and a wonderful new iPhone wallpaper from Mikko Walamies for the upcoming Rolando 2.

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Recently on Offworld, we wrapped up some of the final stragglers of E3 that went under-covered in the days before: primarily the first video of Microsoft's Natal-enabled virtual friend Milo, from Fable producer Peter Molyneux; the first true video of heartbreakingly gorgeous Shadow of the Colossus sequel The Last Guardian, the intergalactic void of WiiWare balance-puzzler You, Me and the Cubes; and Nintendo teasing the next Legend of Zelda for Wii. Indie developers got a good leg up as AdamAtomic -- creator of the recently covered indie game Fathom -- releases Flixel, his AS3 Flash libraries which vastly improve 2D game performance and include built in physics, spritesheet, sprite rotation, etc. support. We also found out why the silence surrounding long-anticipated indie iPhone puzzler Heroes & Villains, and saw Polytron's latest WIP peek at Fez. Finally, in celebration of 25 years of Tetris we watched the best documentary ever put together on the deep international political/business intrigue that rose up over Alexey Pajitnov's humble little game, listened to a fantastic cover of longtime Offworld favorite Magnetic Fields done all on Game Boy, saw BioShock's Andrew Ryan packing heat to putt, and, wonderfully, saw the first look at the Shadow of the Colossus DLC coming this week to LittleBigPlanet.

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Thought motion control was the only trick Sony worked up for their E3 appearance? Over at Offworld we looked at some of the developments that went unmentioned at their press conference, including a portable augmented reality game for their PSP (above) that sees you discovering and Pokemon-battling creatures conjured out of thin air, and Echochrono, a time-warping PSP game that sees you enlisting the ghosts of your own previous playthroughs to help you advance through its puzzling levels. Elsewhere we rounded up some of Sony's other E3 developments: the first look at the PSP's littler LittleBigPlanet, the retro-vector design-your-own-PS3-shooter Gravity Crash, the fantastically robust and intuitive track editor for their "race, create, share" kart game ModNation Racers, the latest look at gritty PS3 thriller Heavy Rain, and our guess that Hideo Kojima's newest portable Metal Gear Solid will include 4-player simultaneous play in its main storyline. Finally, we looked at the 'Rock Gods' joining the adventure for Double Fine's Brütal Legend including Judas Priest's Rob Halford, Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister, Lita Ford, and, of course, Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne, and saw how Nintendo plan to mix competitive and cooperative elements in their updated classic New Super Mario Bros Wii.

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Is the opening cinematic to Harmonix's upcoming Beatles: Rock Band (above) the most aggressively, gorgeously surreal videogame intro of all time? I say there's no contest, not even Katamari Damacy's own animalistic rainbow explosion, and it's still my favorite cinematic to come out of the ongoing E3 thus far. Elsewhere on Offworld we wrapped up the day's top two stories: Nintendo's press conference, which went back to basics to appease its core audience with four new Mario games, a new Metroid game, and a new finger-clip hardware interface to help create new games meant to relax the player, and Sony's own press conference, which introduced their own new motion controller, and fired back with a suite of console exclusives: the GTA creator's 70s spy thriller Agent, PSP Metal Gear Solid sequel Peace Walker, and a launch exclusive online Final Fantasy 14. Other E3 highlights: a new massively multiplayer cops and robbers game from the Crackdown creators, a followup to Grasshopper's light-saber slacker slasher No More Heroes, the hyper-styled slapstick mania of Rabbids Go Home, and a new partnership between Tetsuya Mizuguchi and Ubisoft that bears a suspiciously similar codename to Mizuguchi's retro-futurist music-shooter Rez.

Everything you need to know about Sony's E3 press conference

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Over at Offworld, after Sony's marathon two hour E3 press conference, I've summed up the most important highlights which -- surprisingly, after recent rampant leaks -- did have some secrets in store, including: * a new PlayStation 3 motion control setup to rival Microsoft's Natal and Nintendo's enhanced MotionPlus Wii controller * a fresh lineup of third party PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable exclusives from GTA creators Rockstar, Square Enix with a new online Final Fantasy, and Konami's Hideo Kojima with a new PSP exclusive Metal Gear Solid sequel * more PSP as music/video media center integration * and new additions to its overarching socially-enabled 'play, create, share' lineup See E309: the 5 things you need to know about Sony's press conference for the full details.

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We might not be necessarily live from E3, but that may be all the better, as it turns out, for staying on top of all the developments coming out of the show. A wrapup of yesterday's goings-on: we catalog the 7 things you need to know about Microsoft's press conference, the first gameplay trailer of Beatles: Rock Band, the first video and artwork for Valve's Left 4 Dead 2, six minutes of the Wii's Boy and His Blob remake, and LucasArts announces both a Monkey Island remake for PC and Xbox 360, and a new Wii and PC Monkey Island episodic series. Elsewhere in more indie developments, prolific Swedish indie designer Cactus shows off his gloriously lo-fi shooter/platformer Air Pirates, Minotaur China Shop developers Flashbang finally show what the Wars in their upcoming Crane Wars will be, and retro-inspired artist Olly Moss returns with more Penguin book covers for games. Finally, we took a deeper look into what Sony's leaked announcement of a new all-digital-delivered PSP might mean for indie devs, the Noby Noby Boy team does an awesomely touching analog version of GIRL reaching Mars, an Etsy user creates a horrifyingly cute version of Silent Hill, and the day's 'one shot's: Polytron show work in progress Fez, and the first look at the iPhone generative music puzzle game xgon.

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What role does morality and choice play in our videogames? Recently on Offworld, Simon Parkin takes a deep look into Sucker Punch's just-launched PlayStation 3 debut inFamous, where the "villainous choice in any moral decision the strategically superior one", and talks to Far Cry 2 designer Clint Hocking about a future of games where creators can "model a system wherein the player is able to be or not be racist or violent and see the repercussions of those decisions." We watched Japan based designer Mark Cooke's recent Tokyo Pecha Kucha presentation in which he attempted to create 10 games in 10 hours and mostly got there (and will be expanding one idea into an official game), and discovered both a wonderful repository of hi-res artwork from Fumito Ueda's PS2 masterpiece Shadow of the Colossus, and the possibility of an Ico/LittleBigPlanet crossover (above). We also saw the first video teaser for Harmonix/TT Games' fantastically unlikely Lego Rock Band game, saw a homebrew version of Mega Man enter a new dimension, and new open-source software to turn your NES into an art gallery, and spotted Etsy designer's SaltyandSweet's home-made Team Fortress 2 mobile. And our 'one shot's for the day: Tom Gauld's terrifying end of level boss, circa 1865, and the posthumous regret of not bringing your Game Boy to the grave.

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Recently on Offworld we took a longer look at Bonsai Barber, the WiiWare debut game from Martin Hollis (former project lead on the Nintendo 64's GoldenEye 007) and his team at Zoonami. It's precisely what it sounds like: a mashup of zen-gardening and that traditional daily social life revolving around the barbershop, and smarter than you might think -- truly one of WiiWare's finest. Elsewhere we dug up a fantastic iTunes visualizer based on DS favorite music game Rhythm Heaven, heard the first details of what Id has in store for its multiplayer-enabled iPhone version of Doom, saw the ghost-trapping abilities of the DSi's first augmented reality game, and saw World of Goo creators 2D Boy releasing their open-source rapid prototyping framework into the wild for other indie game creators. We also peeked into two developer studios with 2 Player Productions -- the company behind chiptune documentary Reformat the Planet -- visiting inFamous studio Sucker Punch, and Simon Parkin posting a photo set of his trip to Parappa the Rapper dev NanaOn-Sha, and saw the latest NES rom flier for NYC chiptune showcase Pulsewave. And our 'one shot's for the day: Devo wards off space invaders, who then invade Madrid, LittleBigPlanet's 2000AD crossover has a trouser malfunction, a broken Konami Code leads to a life of smothering darkness, and the evolution of BioShock 2's Big Sisters.

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Recently on Offworld, still stinging from the uncertainty of a Western release, we watched, with wonder, six full minutes of Muscle March, Namco's WiiWare game of oiled down beefcake bodybuilders trying to retrieve their stolen protein powder -- and it's everything we'd hoped it would be. We also saw the announcement of the seemingly Party-Monster-esque new chapter of Grand Theft Auto, called (yep) The Ballad of Gay Tony, watched the first extended video of the forthcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and pre-ordered fantastically designed fan-made Metal Gear Solid T-shirts, shoulderbags and buttons. Finally we explored life on Mars as Noby Noby GIRL finally meets the red planet, saw Crayon Physics dev Petri Purho return with a sneak peek at his first new prototype in too long, coveted a pair of custom Grim Fandango Converse, loved the comic book cover concept when LittleBigPlanet meets 2000AD, and saw the first concept art from a proposed swamp-opera platformer/adventure from Die Gute Fabrik called Mutatione (above).

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Recently on Offworld we saw Kelly 'kellbot' Farrell's latest game-hack creation: a 'life-size' Katamari Damacy trackball controller (above) that lets you play the game it really probably always should have been played. We also heard that all three of Retro Studios' Metroid Prime games for both GameCube and Wii will be remade with full Wii controls and repackaged on a single Wii disc in August, looked at the 1-bit Mac OS 1 aesthetic of upcoming indie game Beard Snatchers, 1954, the fantastic 50s comic book style aesthetic of upcoming iPhone rhythm game Young Villain Academy, and the first iPhone video of node-hacking shooter Circuit Strike.One. Finally, we traded our latest TV/movie picks for the best of Xbox 360-streaming Netflix, found a new blog devoted to video game typography, read a book with 22 essays on Bioshock, Ico, Mario, Portal, Zelda and more, and had a slew of wonderful 'one shot's: Subversion's neo-future laserlight pyramids, Lauren Gregg's arcade-addicted nerdimal, the soulless gaze of the NES R.O.B. Army, and Ashley Wood's Metal Gear Solid comic art.

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Recently on Offworld, One More Go columnist took a longer look at Jason Rohrer's famed five-minute memento mori art game Passage (above), to get "ammunition needed to convince yet another friendly, clever, skeptical non-gamer about the potential of the medium." We also saw the first stirring of an El Lissitzky-inspired grainy constructivist 2D platformer (!), found out that Left 4 Dead's Francis hates everything that everybody on Twitter hates, saw Street Fighter deconstructed, and spotted LucasArts vet/Double Fine founder Tim Schafer putting in another tour de force acting performance alongside Jack Black. Finally, we spotted Super Mario Bros 2 in horrible hyper-real life, watched a long preview of the upcoming labor struggles in Minotaur China Shop creators' next game, Crane Wars, and watched two brilliant short films made in 50x50 pixels, and saw the Famous Monsters of LittleBig-land.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld we looked at a bold step forward in first person shooter stage design with Matt Bradley's DM-Spectrum (above), an Unreal Tournament 3 level that intersects the dance floor with the killing floor, created with 4300 (!) dynamic lights and due for an update that'll have players creating generative music alongside its light show. We also saw new details on Katamari Damacy Online, a massively multiplayer version of the game that (for now) is a Korean exclusive, but will hopefully roll up on other shores by the end of the year, and watched a trailer for Messhof's terrifying low-bit helicopter/organ harvesting game The Thrill of Combat. Elsewhere, we saw time shifting platformer Braid come to the Mac, Space Invaders as a carnival game, Battlestations: Pacific gone Harper's Index, Metroid in yarn, and heard Bubblyfish in Bit.Trip, Japan's voice-synth pop idol covering 80's new wave stars, and made chiptunes of our own with 8-bit Weapon/Sony's new sample/loop pack. And the day's 'one shot's: a Super Nintendo 'nymphographics' intersection, Duncan Harris threatens to raise in-game screenshots to an art-form, and Team Fortress 2 channels Charles Atlas, only with jars of pee.

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As bombshells go, they don't get much bigger than this: the first video has surfaced of project codename Trico (above), the PS3 followup to Fumito Ueda's Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, two games that have helped advance and solidify -- in many minds -- games as high art, and it's just as stark, surreal and beautiful as you might expect. The Austin Game Developers Conference also formally announced that it would be adding an indie games summit to this year's lineup, and has added Offworld to its advisory board, and we saw a new WiiWare game that has you scribbling with a literally magic marker to help guide and protect a boy through its levels. Elsewhere we saw Fallout 3 reimagined as a 70s Japanese TV cop-drama, as more expansions were announced for the game, saw a new game built entirely on and around Google Earth, a new series of official artist-created levels for LittleBigPlanet, and the Team Fortress team taught how to publicly faceplant with grace. Finally, we saw how to kill reams of Hitler clones in a cute 2D world, listened to the last chiptune mixtape you might ever need and a musical theater ode to the buggy world of the original Saints Row, and saw both Metroid by way of Miyazaki, and Silent Hill in real, horrifying, life.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld we played Fathom, the latest web game by Adam 'Atomic' Saltsman (who had a hand in the recently featured Paper Moon, iPhone's Wurdle, and indie favorite grappler Gravity Hook), and found a fantastic short story of a game about duty and dedication that's hiding much more depth than its cutely militant pixels/chiptunes first present. We also saw the game One More Go columnist Margaret Robertson called out as the Zelda chapter too few have played, Majora's Mask, added to the Wii's Virtual Console so everyone can have their own one more go, hoped for a new dawn of the dead with Left 4 Dead's SDK released to the PC public, and saw the latest reason the Team Fortress team need to work on a feature length film. Elsewhere, iPhone publisher ngmoco reveal a Halo connection in their latest first person shooter, a Romanian magazine offers an eBoy poster and a chiptune/indie game DVD, we hear Japanese synth-legends YMO get covered on the Nintendo DS, see the latest official Metal Gear vinyl, crochet our own Noby Noby BOYs, and see Mario jonesing for his next mushroom fix. Finally, the day's 'one shot's: Half Life in Lego, and indie game bling with a BeDazzling Darwinia jacket.

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You've been very patient and waited longer than you should have for another game to come from Japan that manages to both capture and captivate with all the sublime high-weirdness that made Katamari Damacy the cult hit it's become, and again it's come from Namco, and it's for the Wii, and that game is: Muscle March (above). Elsewhere we saw Guru Meditation, the first Atari 2600/iPhone cross-platform game, which asks you, simply, to meditate as quietly and as still as possible, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek recreated in The Sims, the first footage of Id's Wolfenstein as an iPhone RPG, and new levels for the google-maps enhanced PlayStation 3 downloadable The Last Guy. We also got the first glimpse at Tony Hawk's latest Ride and its literal skate-deck controller, a half-baked Solid Snake custom toy, a program to create your own glitched-out NES art, and illustrator/children's book illustrator J.otto Seibold apparently prepping a secret videogame project.

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Recently on Offworld, Ragdoll Metaphysics columnist Jim Rossignol used the occasion of Eidos Montreal taking the reigns of the Thief franchise to take a deeper look back at the legacy of the game and the legacy of the people who made it, and the remarkably high bar Eidos will have to reach. We also looked at upcoming games: a nine minute walkthrough of BioShock 2, the coming storm of Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima's next game, a next-gen Breakout-meets-shooter for PS3, the tiny planets and big chaos of Max Blastronaut, as well as more Noby Noby Boy culinary treats, and Rag Doll Kung Fu's PS3 remake gone free for a week. More artful things: what happens when you tear videogame code like modern artist Lucio Fontana slashed his canvases, 8-bit game iconography meets ancient Andean textile art, the sexiest Space Invaders psych-pop ever created, Metal Gear meets Mary Blair, and swimming in a low-bit pixel pool. And other odds and ends: a new Space In-vader shirt, a shirt to make you a Sackboy, a glitch-pop chiptune afterparty, Fable and Mario 64 in paper, and Super Smash Bros. meets Team Fortress 2.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld we played perhaps our new favorite dungeon exploring web-obsession, the cutely retro-modern Wayfarer, a rogue-like built entirely in Processing, and regurgitated rainbows (as above) at news that Toronto indie studio Capybara would be bringing their fantastic mobile puzzler Critter Crunch to the PlayStation 3 in full, hand-animated HD. Looking forward, we saw new videos of retro-future rhythm-pong game Bit.Trip: Core, Konami's downloadable Contra revival for the Wii, and a one-man-team Community game for Xbox 360 that's nothing if it isn't a combination of NES underdogs Bionic Commando and Blaster Master. Finally, we saw a Max/MSP hack that lets you control Super Mario Bros by voice, guitar and drums, watched geek culture cross all borders with a Romanian retro-game laden video, kickstarted a music project to recreate Miles Davis' Kind of Blue in chiptune style, and saw all 200+ 8-bit games never made for the Famicase exhibit in one interactive Flash piece. And the 'one shot's for the day: the sad sight of a middle aged Mario, and modern C64 demoscene artist Mirage's pixel montage, 1 UP - 1 DEAD.

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Recently on Offworld we saw the addition of a new guest blogger, with Mike Nowak bringing us Rome's Il Creatore and his lo-fi Commodore 64, SIDStation, talk-box, and vocoder pixel pop, and saw The Wire's Clay "sheeeit" Davis re-emerge as Doc, the coach of Punch-Out!! revival star Little Mac (above). We also saw the fruits of Klei Entertainment's labor in bringing the full weight of traditional animation to their beat-em-up Shank, moved on the last chance to pick up another gloriously cartoon-y game, The Behemoth's Alien Hominid, and found and fancied another fantastic Grim Fandango custom vinyl toy. Finally, we saw grandfather of home videogame Ralph Baer take on the retro-futurist version of his original creation in style, a low-bit mountain climbing game design loosely based on an Akira Kurosawa short, and the creators of the masochistic arcade game PainStation return with the MoshPit Amp, a music peripheral that cranks its tubes to 11 the harder you headbang until the echo effect builds to the point that the pyrotechnics flair and the amp moshes itself. And our 'one shot's for the day: the gorgeously ultra-vivid early days of similarly moshable metal game Brutal Legend, and the founder of Harvard College reimagined as Halo's Master Chief.

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Recently on Offworld Tom Armitage donned Plants Vs. Zombies (above) his official game for the weekend, admitting that its "charming character design and inventive array of zombies ensures that it's never long after a play-session before you're double-clicking on it again," and I take a longer look at my first week with my own most-played tower defense game -- ngmoco and Rough Cookie's spherical iPhone Star Defense -- and how everything I was skeptical of might became the very reasons it'll win me over. I also gave my first-hand diary account of sneaking across the digital Canadian border to be part of Microsoft's unveiling of its massively-multiplayer Xbox 360 version of the game show 1 Vs. 100, which will be played for real prizes (in the form of Microsoft Points) and looks geared to be the first successful run of a truly interactive TV show (commercial breaks and all). Elsewhere we took a quicker look at games due out in the coming months: Konami's revival of its long-running Contra series for WiiWare, a Mr. Driller team reunion with Sony's PS3/PSP number-puzzler Qruton, and Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka's latest rhythm game for Wii, which asks that you not even hold the controller at all. And we saw the first look at a comic-book-style SimCity game Maxis never made, the first details of BioShock 2's multiplayer campaign, listened to a live glitch-out chiptune performance and chiptunes done instead on ukuleles, and, for the daily 'one shot's: a space invader weathering a placid Paris winter, a rusted ironworks decayed arcade, and the first look at UK comics legend 2000 AD and Judge Dredd's new home on the LittleBigPlanet.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld we got a double dose of LittleBigPlanet with news that illustrator Jon Burgerman would be kicking off an artist-series set of sticker packs to buy in-game, alongside another set by UK comics giant 2000AD (!), and one man creates a fairly faithful tribute to Eric Chahi's classic adventure Another World/Out of this World. We also listened to a preview of Alex Mauer's latest chiptune album to be released on an actual NES cart, saw Tale of Tales' coming-of-age-horror-via-Red-Riding-Hood game The Path come to the Mac (with a new trailer that 'sells' the game more than anything they've showed thus far), and a new site dedicated to cataloging the internet's use of hidden Konami Code easter eggs, as was recently discovered (and, sadly, quickly yanked) on ESPN. Finally, we played PixelJam's latest game newly published on Adult Swim, Pizza City, the kinder, gentler (unless you're a clown or mime) Atari 2600 version of Grand Theft Auto we never got, and our 'one shot's: Dan Schoening's 'Screw Attack' Metroid montage, and the pixel Botticelli above, which coincidentally, came from PixelJam artist Rich Grillotti.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld, One More Go columnist Margaret Robertson looked at Capcom's massively misunderstood ball-bruising brawler God Hand and what it means to have a game that -- instead of getting harder the worse you are at it -- gets harder the more you master it, and easier the more you fail to do so. We also took a lengthy look at the reactive and playable poetry of Daniel Benmergui's Today I Die, a fascinating bite-sized reduction of open world and meaningful-consequence design challenges taken on by bigger games like Far Cry 2 shrunk down to one delicate little 10 minute experience. Elsewhere we saw Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Justice, Mr. Oizo and more make their way into LittleBigPlanet, marveled at Pac-Man and Berzerk geo-physical graffiti, saw one man's attempt to bring Hieronymus Bosch to the Game Boy, and were taken a bit by surprise at how well Hand Circus's Rolando iPhone sequel is shaping up after watching its first trailer. Finally, Japan's ultra-hipster game/culture shop Meteor put up the nearly 60 pieces from this year's artist/designer-imagined 8-bit retro games exhibit Famicase, including Hawken King's ultra-subtle Bush Jr above, and the day's 'one shot's: real-life Mirror's Edge and David Mauro's hand painted MegaMan-as-Greek-theater pixel mural.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld new guest blogger Simon Parkin kicked off his new column, which looks at new blockbuster games from an Offworld perspective, by investigating X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and what it means to base a game on "a character that lacks the crucial tool in any action game hero's arsenal: a gun." We also saw Ashley Wood -- the comic artist behind the PSP's Metal Gear Solid digital comic -- teaming up with Chess with Friends iPhone studio (and former Age of Empires/Halo Wars devs) Newtoy to create a new game based on Wood's graphic novel series World War Robot. And: Namco shows off their DIY spirit with Noby Noby Boy sushi rolls, Rockstar creates official Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars papercraft, DS favorite Henry Hatsworth unveils their latest late-night TV campaign for guaranteed Villain Enhancement, and we look straight through game consoles with X-ray spex. Finally, the day's 'one shot's: NerdDad's PlayStation controller strikes a chord with every new father, Blade Runner in Crysis, and Andy 'komadesign' Miller (the illustrator behind the upcoming Indie Rock Coloring Book [!]) shows off his fantastic work for Sony with the PSP ad above.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld we looked at length at Infinite Ammo's Paper Moon (above), the most recent game on Blurst (the web-portal from Minotaur China Shop creators Flashbang) and saw how even it's planar-3D platforming worked perfectly in a time-limited high-score setup: imagine a monochrome silent-movie paper-cut-out Mario that you'll want to play five times in a row, and you're getting close. We also saw our unabashed iPhone love Eliss get reworked with a smoother difficulty curve and additional levels, after -- it seems -- most everyone was subtly abused by the original, and played both the first demo for the now-officially-released long-anticipated Plants Vs. Zombies and a text adventure based on what it's actually like to attend the Game Developers Conference. Elsewhere we saw the most horrifying version of Mario 64 ever captured on film, remembered what it was like to compile computer programs by mail (!), dug up early plans to make a CD-ROM addon for the NES (!), and wished we were in Montreal for this 8-bit/chiptune showcase and Kokoromi member game jam. Finally, our quick-serve 'one shot's for the day: a belated birthday wish from the creator of a game about restrained gentle-lady catfights, and Polytron's Fez, deconstructed, found while guest blogger Tiff Chow dug up these adorable hand sewn and huggable handhelds.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld, guest blogger Tom Armitage counters developer claims that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is "the movie game that finally, does not suck" with a lengthy look at 2004 Xbox hit The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, freshly revamped for the Xbox 360, and his weekend game of choice. Elsewhere we saw more Spore for the iPhone, this time a free, open-source third-party creature browser built on top of Maxis' Spore API, the latest 'feelgood' trailer for Brütal Legend, Double Fine's Jack-Black-starring 3D adventure through the Age of Rock, and the first video of Gaijin's latest retro-futurist WiiWare game, the more rotely rhythmic Bit.Trip: Core. We also saw Sony adding more demoscene legends to its PlayStation Network downloadables, as .produkkt, creators of 96k first-person-shooter .kkreiger, unveil their elephant-headed, glistening dolphin, faux-Domo-kun starring .deTuned (above). Indie auteur Cactus also showed off the first geometric platforming of his "game about killing everything you love," and Earthbound got its first custom vinyl toys. Finally, the day's quick-hit 'one shot's: seeing Super Mario from Mario's perspective, a peek and poke into the aged sketchbook and design documents of an Atari 800XL/LE programmer, Katamari Damacy meets Shadow of the Colossus, and Princess Peach falls down the Dig Dug hole.

Recently on Offworld

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Videogames should be more violent, not less.
Recently on Offworld, Ragdoll Metaphysics columnist Jim Rossignol takes the occasion of J.G. Ballard's death to argue that, with his future of boredom -- of calm consumer choices and deadened emotions -- realised, that videogames are an ideal safe excursion to violence and excitement, outlets for Ballard's "vast systems of competing psychopathies." Elsewhere we took a longer look at WINDOSiLL (above), the latest Flash creation from Vectorpark artist Patrick Smith, and its magical hyper-real surreality -- certainly one of the most physically expressed worlds in recent game memory. We also saw fantastic footage of Q-games' latest PixelJunk game, showing off the interplay of its realistically modeled particle/fluid mechanics, saw Bandcamp's hidden Defender stats-graph easter egg, watched Infinite Ammo's gorgeous paper-cut planar-platformer Paper Moon in motion, and cut paper of our own to assemble adorably lethal Team Fortress 2 models. Finally, we launched a 'One Shot' series of single-serve art doses with Katamari-head jellybeans, a Super Mario graveyard, and a Nintendo Entertainment System mouse, dug on Dr. Mario Dunnys, and showed off easily one of the best bits of press swag ever put to paper, with a neo-futuristic Space Invaders Extreme print signed by original game creator Tomohiro Nishikado himself.

Recently on Offworld

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Right, please pardon the potential puerility and let's just savor the innocence of that screenshot above for one moment because, for better or worse, that's probably never going to happen in the history of videogames again. It's one of the new options in the latest patch to Noby Noby Boy, as seen in a guide to the huge range of new musical selections and comes -- it's worth pointing out -- one screen after being able to switch on the prelude to Bach's Cello Suite No. 1. Elsewhere on Offworld we took a look at a huge range of good things on their way: creatively killing zombies in Dead Rising 2, the slick sterility of turn-based sock-em fighting in Toribash, the newly updated planar-platforming of Infinite Ammo's Paper Moon, prosecutorial courtroom drama on the DS with Miles Edgeworth, and rolling up katamari in HD with the PS3 remake of the PS2 original in Katamari Forever. We also watched the wonderfully 8-bit RPG inspired music video from the now defunct Black Comets, and listened to more hacked-up hardware shoegaze from Tree Wave, saw an indie developer quit his mainstream dev job via a playable Super Mario game, saw the star of Braid coming to Super Meat Boy, and, finally, listened to a remake of Nine Inch Nails' The Perfect Drug done by way of Dr. Mario, which even Trent Reznor himself has said made his life complete.

Indie game dev quits mainstream job via Super Mario

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Over at Offworld we've got news that'd make any office lackey proud: ready to dump his mainstream programming job and take the indie game dev world by storm, Rom Check Fail creator Farbs turned in his resignation in fitting fashion, by creating a playable take on Super Mario Bros that said everything he needed to say. See the post at Offworld to play the game for yourself and find links to his other collected creative output. Take this ROM and...: indie dev quits mainstream job via Super Mario - Offworld

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld we saw Keita 'Katamari' Takahashi's Noby Noby Boy finally prepped for its first major update, with details of hair, bird, and marimba-based enhancements, and a new mode officially called, uh, 'Fart Boy.' We also saw the first video of Flashbang's GDC Experimental Gameplay session entry Shadow Physics, in which one hand controls a light source in a 3D space casting shadows on a back wall, while the other controls a shadow figure playing a 2D platformer inside that shadow. Elsewhere we saw lilt line, a new iPhone game described as a "retro rhythm racing beat 'em up action game with a dubstep flavour," listened to new chiptune/game music streaming radio feed 8bit FM, saw Daft Punk come to LittleBigPlanet, and got a sneak peek at the latest games from auteur and fantastically prolific Swedish indie dev Cactus. Finally we saw King of Kong documentary star Steve Wiebe set a new world record, coveted retro-clash Monster Hunter T-shirts and custom Bubble Bobble vinyl toys, assembled Castle Crashers papercraft, and, best of all, downloaded the new free Lite version of iPhone favorite game Drop7 -- and, with a new gameplay mode, it's an essential download for owners of the full game, too.

Recently on Offworld

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Recently on Offworld, One More Go columnist Margaret Robertson explained why she couldn't stop returning to Psygnosis' original future racer Wipeout, particularly the version for the best games console we never bought, and Tom Armitage gave us Something For The Weekend, explaining why retro racer remake OutRun Online Arcade is "polished, joyous, arcade fun, and the perfect game to get you in the mood for a spring weekend in the sun." Elsewhere we watched vegetation valiantly stave off an undead attack in the first gameplay footage of PopCap's upcoming defense game Plants Vs. Zombies, watched a River City Ransom-inspired flier for an upcoming chiptune showcase created on a NES (with rom included), and saw the soul of a PS3 DualShock controller. Finally we saw the first hints of fluid dynamics in the latest teased images of Q-games' upcoming PS3 downloadable PixelJunk game, saw Noby Noby BOY's dream of new music about to come true, watched the unbelievable MegaMan inspired pixel wizardry of Myk Dawg's unofficial video for Kanye West's Robocop (with a cameo appearance by Boxxy Adriana Lima) (above), and, finally, saw Saturday Night Live mashed up with Legend of Zelda as Link lets us know that he's on a boat.