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IMG_1317You may recall that last year, veteran games journalist John Szczepaniak raised enough money through Kickstarter to travel to Japan and interview a wealth of games industry professionals for his book, The Untold History Of Japanese Game Developers.

Well he also took a video camera along with him on the trip and has just released a DVD documentary of the same name, which functions not only as a companion to the book but also as teaser for it.

I received a copy of the DVD this week and have to say that it’s a fantastic independent documentary. At 4 hours in length and covering a wide variety of nerdy topics, this isn’t a film for the casually interested games player but, if you’re reading this blog then I’d say you’ll find lots here to interest you – not least because the awesome Yoshiro Kimura puts in an appearance.

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Buy this Chibi-Robo statue, help combat autism

So… Press Start: Nintendo Charity Gallery is a pretty cool thing. A group of students at the San Jose State University have created a massive collection of Nintendo themed fanart and have made it available for auction, with the proceeds going to the Morgan Autism Center.

As well as this cool Chibi-Robo statue (which I’ve already been outbid on) there’s a wealth of really cool art, inspired by similarly treasured Nintendo games, like Star Fox, F-Zero and Earthbound. My wallet is sure going to hurt but, hey, it’s going to a good cause. My living room wall! (jk)

If you like cool games and unique works of art (who the hell doesn’t?) then I don’t think you’ll regret checking out the auctions. And if you’re lucky enough to live in San Jose then the works are all on display at Umpqua Bank until the 16th of May. Let me know in the comments if you make it out there…

Actually I found out a few weeks ago but forgot to post it here.

For those who don’t remember, Oink Games is the mysterious co-developer who turned up in the credits of  Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder. Well I contacted them on Twitter for more info and they were nice enough to reply. It turns out some of the staff were formerly programmer at Skip and previously worked on the bitGenerations and ArtStyle series, including Orbient, Aquario, Boxlife and PentaTentacles.

So that’s pretty cool! Anyone who’s kept an eye on Skip’s infrequently updated site will have noticed that their in-house staff have certainly dwindled over the past few years but it’s cool that Skip can contract them back in on a project-by-project basis. So there’s hope for another game with the size and scope of Captain Rainbow again… Right?

onion games

It’s been a long time coming but Yoshiro Kimura’s indie studio Onion Games is about to show off its first title at indie game show Bit Summit II.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Kyoto between March 7th and 9th then you can pop along to the show, meet Kimura and try the game. If, like me, you’re thousands of miles away you’ll just have to make do with the character sprites Kimura posted on his blog. Those characters sure are oniony, and even a little bit asparagusy, but I can’t imagine how the final game will shape up.

If you do go to Bit Summit and play Onion Games’ first title then be sure to drop by here and let me know what it’s like, you jammy buggers.
The blog also reveals that Lovedelic legend Kazuyuki Kurashima is doing the art for the game. Which is awesome. Make sure to read the whole thing to get some background details on the pair’s history together.

Speaking of Kurashima…. I have a real suspicion that he drew the character portraits for Nintendo’s unlikely free-to-play 3DS game, Steel Diver: Sub Wars (pictured below) but I’ve yet to find any evidence either way. What do you think?

Screen shot 2014-02-22 at 14.48.04

Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 23.01.19I haven’t finished Chibi-Robo Photo Finder yet, but this chap on Miiverse did and he’s snapped a picture of the end credits. Curiously, two of the staff in this screen are credited to a developer I’ve never heard of until today. While Dan Yamamoto and Fumihiro Kanaya are definitely both Skip employees, they’re also members of Oink Games – a company that appears to be more associated with board games than the video kind.

I’d love to know more about this company and its relationship to Skip. I’ve reached out to them on Twitter but have had no reply so far. If you can shed any light on the subject I’d love to hear more. Please leave a comment below…

Screen shot 2014-01-10 at 21.07.37A fantastic byproduct of a new Chibi-Robo game is that the awesome little guy now has his own Miiverse community! Which means an influx of great new Chibi fan-art to geek out over. Here are some of my favourites from the past two days. Make sure to visit the Miiverse page to “Yeah!” these images, see more and spread the happiness.

And speaking of fan-art, here’s a more traditional but no less awesome example sent to me by @dunkr on Twitter. Lovely stuff. Chibi should have taken a travel adapter before visiting the UK.
chibi Robo Duncan Robson


I’d kinda forgotten about the contest that Skip and Nintendo held for Chibi-Robo Photography last year but I just stumbled upon a few pages showing the winning entries from players in Japan.

There are some nice photos here, including some lovely Nintendo fan service and a picture of Tingle!

It sure does get me inspired for the photo contest Nintendo of America has planned for the US release, Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder. But its prizes – in-game outfits for Chibi – are nowhere near as cool as the ultra limited edition collectibles that Nintendo Japan gave away. I wonder who won that one-of-a-kind Wii U? I’d love to hear from that lucky so-and-so!

Speaking of the US release. It’s actually out on Nintendo eShop tomorrow! And there’s also a playable demo available, so be sure to take a look if you have a US 3DS.

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