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Archive for the ‘skip’ Category

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?

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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…

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After 4 years of inactivity, Skip have finally updated their website! There’s not much of note, however, just a splash page linking to Chibi-Robo Photography. Actually – the site calls it “Chibi-Robo in Live Action” but I’ve kind of gotten used to the Photography name now.

The most noteworthy point is that the site definitively claims “Our company was involved in the development of this software”, which is nice to hear after a few rumours to the contrary.

Does this re-awakening suggest a new period of creative urgency? Possibly. The fact that Skip also just opened its first Twitter account – they’re trying not to talk about games they develop for Nintendo but are replying to fans – certainly gives me hope.

What would you like to see from Skip in the months ahead? Personally I’m hoping for another game as original, ambitious and outrageous as Captain Rainbow…

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Thanks to Quinton A. Klabon who got in touch this weekend to draw my attention to this Japanese edition of Iwata Asks, focused on Wii Remote Plus: Variety Pack – better known in the western world as Wii Play: Motion. Why is it of interest to you? Because the mini-games in this variety pack were developed by a clutch of Japan’s finest boutique developers, including both Skip and Vanpool as well as Prope, Feel Good Inc, Chunsoft, Mitchell and Arzest – all brilliant studios with some excellent games under their belts, and apparently selected by Nintendo to bring some of their own identity as creators to the Wii Play: Motion project.

The interview features contributions from Jun Taniguchi of Vanpool and Keita Eto of Skip, who reveal that they developed the mini-games Umbrella Rider (Vanpool) and Pose Mii and Balloon Drifting (Skip). Of the three, Umbrella Rider seems to be the most fun and may even be the pick of the bunch if the trailer (below) is anything to go by. So well done Vanpool!

It’s difficult to make out exactly what they’re saying through Google translator, so hopefully this one will be translated for the US or UK version of Iwata Asks soon as the story behind the collaborative development of Wii Play: Motion seems pretty interesting. Like many I’d dismissed Wii Play: Motion as yet another watered down party game for a console that’s quickly running out of compelling software. It may still be that, of course, but I’m now much more likely to check it out.

Of course, it’s just a relief to hear that these two studios are still working. Neither of their websites give much indication of any activity these days – Skip’s hasn’t been updated in over two years! – and I was beginning to get worried. In fact, not only are they alive and well but it seems they’ve been more productive than first thought. The information in this Iwata Asks has revealed to me that Skip managed to sneak a game out last year without my knowledge – it’s a WiiWare game called Penguin Life and actually got a US release under the (frankly rubbish) name of Snowpack Park. Looks like I need to get downloading!

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In amongst the chaos and excitement of E3, I’ve been combing through all the news to see if there have been any Lovedelic-related announcements. Alas, the current financial state of the games industry, leading to the near collapse of publishers like Marvelous, and the fact Lovedelic-style games hardly ever get announced at a big tradeshow, means that there was nothing to report. I’d almost given up hope and then a bunch of little tidbits arrived at once. Here’s a round-up…

  • Tiny Cartridge has a nice little news piece about the fortunes of struggling developer Audio Inc, claiming that Sakura Note came close to being localised by Ignition, only to be denied release after some consideration, and that Akira Ueda believes Space Agency would work extremely well on the Nintendo 3DS.
  • Toni, the English editor for the Captain Rainbow fan translation has posted in our comments section to say that he believes the project will be complete in around 3 months! I’m very excited about this one. 🙂
  • Route24’s latest game, Followars, has been released for iPad. I played it today and have to say that I’m not that impressed. It’s a 2-player only battle game that uses stats generated from those you choose to “follow” on Twitter. There’s no interaction beyond which people you choose for your party and the whole thing comes across as a modern version of Barcode Battler. It could be rather novel as a free download but as a game there are much better things to spend £1.79 on.
  • Skip’s latest game has also been released today. Previously available in Europe as Art Style: Penta Tentacles, it’s now up on the US WiiWare store as Art Style: Rotozoa. I haven’t had chance to play it, since I’m currently broke, but it sure does look fun.

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I’m super busy as usual and haven’t had chance to update the blog as much as I’d like. Thank Jesus for creating the big Easter break, so I can finally get stuff done. 🙂 Here’s everything of interest that I can recall happening.

  • CING, the co-developer of Little King’s Story, has filed for bankruptcy.
    What can I say? I’m really sorry to see such a talented developer go under, but then I’m not really surprised either. LKS aside, CING’s output has been a little one note. I loved Another Code when it was first released, but Hotel Dusk and Another Code R didn’t really do anything to evolve on the concept. Even though CING is now gone, we still have two more of their games to look forward to in the recently released Again: Eye Of Providence and Hotel Dusk sequel Last Window. I’ll be picking both up out of curiosity but I’m not holding my breath for either to be a swansong.
  • Punchline’s website disappeared
    I’m certain that Punchline was abandoned a couple of years ago, but the official website did stick around for a while until it finally went kaput at the beginning of this year. Incidentally, I recently picked up a copy of Chulip on eBay. It’s a wonderful little game, full of Yoshiro Kimura’s unique brand of humour and with a ‘go there, fetch that, please this guy’ gameplay that reminds me of Lovedelic and Skip’s best adventure games. The disc is widely and cheaply available on eBay so I strongly suggest you get a copy if you don’t have one already.
  • Route24 has some new games in the works
    Marvelous Entertainment is set to publish Route24’s first iPad exclusive game, Followars – a multiplayer RPG that will pull data from your Twitter account in order to generate stats. Marvelous got in touch with me a few days ago and asked if we could pass on a message from Kenichi Nishi. Here it is: “Hi to all Twitter and iPad’s fans! And even if you are not, hi to you too! To be honest, I don’t have any clue why you fight in Followars, I really wanted to create a fun game.
    Right now, I’m still really busy trying to brush it up, see what works or adding new stuff but I’m confident that Followars will be a great social game so please give it a try!”
    . Personally I’m not that interested in Followars, as I don’t have a Twitter account and don’t intend to get one. Nor am I that bothered about Geotrion, another Nishi project currently in the works for iPhone and iPod Touch, since it seems to rely heavily on GPS functionality – another bit of tech I don’t use. If you feel differently then why not get involved in the limited beta test? Nishi does seem committed to the app store space, and I look forward to seeing what other unusual ideas he has planned – I just wish they were more character/story based, just because of my personal tastes.
  • Nintendo released video of the new Art Style games
    There’s still no release date for Skip’s latest experimental creations but we do have video! Check out Rotozoa here and Light Trax here. I’d originally written of the latter as a simple remake of bit Generations: Dot Stream, but the new 3D visuals definitely seem to give it that extra something. Speaking of Art Style, and 3D, surely Skip can cook up something really special and unique for Nintendo’s accidentally announced ‘3DS’ handheld? I look forward to being proved right.
  • Space Agency development seems to be progressing
    Akira Ueda at Audio Inc recently updated his blog with a pretty detailed look at Space Agency. I’m not sure if this project has acquired a publisher yet but I really hope it does. I’ve always loved the idea of a space exploration RPG but rarely find a game that can get the tone exactly as I want it. Star Control II and Puzzle Quest Galactrix are just about the only games in the sub-genre I’ve ever warmed to and, just recently, I was looking forward to Platinum’s Infinite Space only to find that it’s extreeeeeeeemly dull. Here’s hoping that Space Agency can get things right. I certainly seems to be good fun.

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Skip discuss Art Style

Just a quick post to say that you really should get issue 89 of games™* this month. It features a 4-page article on the Art Style series, in which the first six DSiWare titles are reviewed and various members of Skip talk about the making of the series. It’s a short interview but it does have a couple of revelations, including the previously unknown fact that Skip was once working on a Motionplus sports game for the Wii.

Who would have believed that? Not me. Sports games are about as far away from Skip’s usual output as it’s possible to get. But then Art Style Cubello did start out as an FPS, so maybe they would have done something interesting with the genre.

In other Art Style news – the bit Generations title, Digidrive was recently released under the Art Style label, on DSi, as Intersect. I didn’t report on it at the time, since the game is made by Q Games, and not Skip, but I might as well mention it here for completion’s sake.

*Subscribers should have their copy now, while everyone else will be able to buy the issue from this Thursday onward.

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