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Tetsuya Nomura-designed Batman figure was originally created for a canceled game

batmanplayartskaiSquare Enix launched their Play Arts Kai line of figures a few years ago, creating figures for famous franchises such as Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Halo. Recently, they’ve delved into creating DC Comics Variant figures such as this awesome Batman design that debuted at this past weekend’s San Diego Comic Con. This version of the Caped Crusader looks to be influenced by the futuristic stylings of Batman Beyond, but it also features a more heavily armored look as well as a cape that closely resembles bat wings.

It was also originally designed by Tetsuya Nomura (the Director behind the Kingdom Hearts series and the upcoming Final Fantasy XV) for use in a now-canceled Batman game.

Siliconera caught up with the prolific producer to ask him about the history of the figure and the game it was originally connected to. It turns out that the game was in development more than a decade ago, and never moved past the concept stage. It was actually canceled before development began on Kingdom Hearts, and Nomura revealed that this Batman design influenced the look of the armor in the first Square Enix/Disney crossover. Beyond that, he’s not allowed to say much about the project, though he did confirm that he’s working on a way to publish the “backstory” of this Batman variant.

So we’ve got a PS2-era Batman game with a funky art style that would have been overseen by Tetsuya Nomura. I am truly sorry I never got to see the finished product and I doubt I’m alone.

Posted in Gaming Etc., News, Other Etcetera | Tagged

Tetris turns 30 years old today and creator Alexey Pajitnov still plays every week

Forget Pong. Forget Pac-Man. Even forget Space Invaders. The greatest gaming obsession was undoubtedly Tetris. The game, which single-handedly invented the “falling block” puzzler, is celebrating its 30th birthday today.

On June 6, 1984, in a country that was then still known as the Soviet Union, Alexey Pajitnov completed development on the first version of Tetris. Pajitnov, who moved to the United States in 1991, said he still plays his creation a few times a week: “I never imagined Tetris was going to be this successful. But the simple, yet addicting nature of Tetris still has me playing it a few times every week. I meet fans from around the world who are also as passionate about Tetris as me, and there is no doubt in my mind Tetris will continue to expand and bring its classic appeal to new players in new ways and on new devices, whatever they may be.”

Together with Henk Roger, the two men founded The Tetris Company in 1996 and continue to license new entries in the series to this day. And with the game’s 30th anniversary upon us (which they’re calling “We All Fit Together”), they’ve got plenty of cool stuff planned for this year:

  • Ubisoft’s new Tetris Ultimate lands on PS4 and Xbox One this Summer (and on the PC in the Fall).
  • Electronic Arts introduced a new mode to Tetris Blitz (iOS, Android) called Retro Blitz with shapes, styles, and colors that are an homage to the original Game Boy version from 1989.
  • Tetris Online is joining in the celebration with 30th Anniversary updates to the Tetris Battle game on Facebook and the all-new Tetris Battle: Fusion game, now available for download on Amazon Fire TV.
  • Rasta Imposta is bringing the Tetris lifestyle to adoring fans in the form of great Tetrimino-shaped Halloween costumes, interactive costumes and accessories.
  • Robe Factory is extending the Tetris lifestyle into our everyday lives from the moment we step out of bed with plush robes and slippers, and into the bathroom with great Tetris designs on shower curtains, towels and rugs. The Tetris fun will continue on great new leggings, socks, footwear and more.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to buy a birthday cake for my favorite game and blow out the candles with my screams of frustration after I don’t get that long piece I need.

Posted in Gaming Etc., Mobile, News, Other Etcetera, PC, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged ,

Breaking Madden: One man’s amazing destruction of the (digital) Super Bowl

I don’t know anything about sports, which is why I’ve never visited SB Nation… until today, that is. Jon Bois does an amazing job of breaking Madden NFL 25 in his amazing article, The Breaking Madden Super Bowl: The Machine Is Bleeding to Death. While the writing is superb, it’s the GIFs of him humiliating the game that really make it.

Whether you’re a football fan, a player of the Madden series, or… OK, really, if you’re just a fan of video games in general, you will appreciate this gem. Get ready to laugh until it hurts.

Posted in Gaming Etc., News, Other Etcetera, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Apparently, the kid who snuck on a plane was inspired by Grand Theft Auto

grandtheftautologoHey, did you hear about that 9-year-old boy who snuck onto a plane in Minnesota and flew to Las Vegas? According to the kid, he did it because he thought he was “playing” Grand Theft Auto. MSN/Reuters has posted a video interview with the boy’s father where he admits that he thought his son was at a friend’s house during his cross-country trip and that he told police he did what he did because of Grand Theft Auto.

As it turns out, in addition to sneaking past a TSA agent and boarding a plane, the boy in question was actually arrested for committing grand theft auto after he took a car for a joy ride. He was also recently caught sneaking into a water park.

Who knows why the kid actually did what he did, but if he’s smart enough to fool airport security, he probably also knows that “video games made me do it” is a popular excuse.

Posted in Gaming Etc., News, Other Etcetera |

ICHEG adds largest collection of Japanese games in the world to its archive

icheg-japanThe International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG), which is located in Rochester, NY, has accepted another large donation to increase the size of their already massive archive of games and related items. Andre and Sylvio Hodos, who reside in France, contacted the museum’s curators and offered them a collection of over 7,000 Japanese games that span 22 plaforms. With this acquisition, the ICHEG believes they now own the largest collection of Japanese video games in the world.

Spanning the 1980s and 1990s, the collection covers a crucial period when Japanese video game designers were pioneering many of the most important technologies and styles of play that influenced game design and spurred interest in Japanese culture globally.

The collection is comprised of nearly 7,000 Japanese video games spanning 22 systems, and includes home consoles, handhelds, peripherals, and accessories manufactured by Sega, Nintendo, NEC, and Pioneer. The items, many of which are rare, are in mint or very good condition and include all relevant packaging and instructions.

Like the remainder of the ICHEG’s collection (which now numbers more than 50,000 pieces), the Hodos’ donation will be used by curators for future museum exhibits and the games will be made available to researchers who request to play them.

Posted in Gaming Etc., News, Other Etcetera |

Latest Google Doodle asks players to help the Roswell alien escape Earth


66 years ago, an alien spacecraft crashed in Roswell, New Mexico and gave extraterrestrials everywhere the biggest boost since a radioman named Orson Welles filed a live report we still haven’t forgotten. During a check of his fields, rancher Mac Brazel found the remains of a “flying saucer” and quickly contacted the government. After the initial hysteria died down, the public came to realize that there were no captured aliens and the “flying saucer” was actually a weather balloon used to spy on the Soviets.

But what if a UFO really did crash in the desert on that warm New Mexico night? That’s what Google wants us to believe with their latest Doodle (which is now on the Google homepage and will be available on the 2013 Doodles page soon). The grey alien just wants to phone home, but to do that, he needs your help. Guiding the alien like in the point-and-click adventure games of old, players will reassemble his spaceship through and discover that the truth (and a can of alien mutagen) is out there.

A hearty “Live long and prosper” to the Googler responsible, this is definitely a close encounter of the awesome kind. When you’re done, be sure and do a Google Search on the “Roswell UFO incident.” The vintage pictures and newspaper clippings are great.

Posted in Gaming Etc., News, Other Etcetera |

Super Mario Bros. movie gets semi-official webcomic sequel after 20 years


Steven Applebaum and Ryan Hoss really love the Super Mario Bros. movie. The pair has run Super Mario Bros.: The Movie Archive since 2007 and they held a special 20th anniversary screening of the film this past weekend at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles. They even managed to convince John Leguizamo (he played Luigi) to deliver a recorded message to fans. But what they plan to do next tops even that.

Do you remember the final scene of the movie? Of course you do… Princess Daisy rushes in with a big gun requesting the Mario Brothers’ help for another big adventure! Applebaum and Hoss certainly remember and they’ve recruited the movie’s original screenwriter, Parker Bennett, to help them flesh out where the story would have went next. And it’ll all be published as a multi-part webcomic… Super Mario Bros. 2!

The first chapter, “Return to Dinohattan,” is available now. Which has to be proof that nothing’s impossible. Improbable… unlikely… but never impossible.

Posted in Gaming Etc., Movies/TV/Video, News, Other Etcetera |

Not The One: A Comic About the Xbox One Reveal Created in MS Paint

Even though Microsoft’s Xbox One presentation was three days ago, my emotions still feel like they’re on a roller coaster. Using Microsoft’s own MS Paint program, I think I managed to capture my reaction in comic form.

The full comic, “Not The One,” is posted after the break. (more…)

Posted in Gaming Etc., News, Other Etcetera, Xbox One |