If your head explodes with dark foreboding

My head just exploded, but not with dark foreboding. Merely mental exhaustion; I’ve just finished my first-ever EGM cover story and boy are my arms tired. In the end, it was but a few thousand words, plus sidebars. Writing that many words wasn’t a problem; the topic at hand offered plenty to write about. No, the challenge came in paring down the first draft, which was about twice as long. There’s something sort of painful about culling more than half of an article you spent two full days writing, although I know intellectually that it’s certainly better for the ruthless revisions. I’m sorry, my little word-babies. Daddy still loves you.

Well anyway! Hopefully that’s out of the way and I can spend the rest of the week basking in the awesomeness of all of my stuff that’s gone up this week at 1UP, including Utopia or Dystopia? I made desktop art of the image in the article because I am lazy and it required no effort. Here are images for the six most popular resolutions at which this site is viewed!

800×600 | 1024×768 | 1152×864 | 1280×1024 | 1440×900 | 1680×1050
Also, to the guy who views this site at 2048×1536, I want you to know that I hate you really, really hard.

Also, you should read the Contra Retro Roundup, because it will soften up your mind so that we can thoroughly blow it away tomorrow with our Internet-exclusive hands-on with Contra 4. Certain things you may have read about the game may be incorrect! I guess you’ll find out. Tomorrow. (By which I mean Thursday, which is already today for you East Coast types.)

Finally, I wrote a lot about Phantom Hourglass. And that’s, like, the beginning of the game. It doesn’t even delve into sailing, or the phantom hourglass itself.

Okay, I’m gonna crawl off to die now. I don’t think I’ll be able to write again for about a week or so. My brain’s all sore.

29 thoughts on “If your head explodes with dark foreboding

  1. Can’t wait for the Contra hands-on, now that I know what the hell that counter at the top is for.

    The Retro Roundup was great there, too, and gives me some new titles to look into. Sunset Riders sounds fun.

    I don’t entirely agree with Neo Contra getting a thumbs-down, but I can sort of see why. But most of those seemed fairly spot-on.

    As for the Utopia/Dystopia, I just find it amusing that Mega Man X wasn’t mentioned. Oh, sure, everything is cute and cartoony NOW, but…

    Then again, it seems to cycle. Good, ugly, uglier, then good, then really good…

    –LBD “Nytetrayn”

  2. Contrapalooza…?

    (Eh, I won’t finish it anyway. I’m not bothering with any of them from Playstation on.)

  3. I don’t know if you have anything to do with the 1up conversion of that EGM “Utopia or Dystopia?” article besides penning the original, but there were a lot of errors in it. All of the games were marked as “Dystopia” and it claimed that Megaman and Chrono Trigger were released on the Sega CD.

  4. Am I the only person that thinks that a Megaman/Castlevania graphic adventure would be awesome? Because seriously, that image makes me think of a SCUMM game.

  5. It gives me much joy that you mentioned the one game I’ve probably spent more time with (Abuse) than any other.

    That said, despite the 40-odd levels I’ve created for that game, I never considered it a Contra clone. Perhaps tellingly, I’ve only spent about 2 or 3 hours of my life total playing Contra and Contra III (about four times that amount playing Gunstar Heroes).

    It’s funny — Abuse is still being bug fixed and one of my programming goals is to eventually fix its multiplayer so that you can battle over TCP/IP. Not enough sidescrolling TCP/IP deathmatch games out there I think.


  6. I’m way stoked about Contra 4 coverage…I’d been planning on working from home tomorrow, as 1up won’t load at work, and so I arrive at work this morning to find that I misunderstood the count down and you’re showing it TODAY. Shucks.

    The desktop is appreciated…you should totally sell those to get some money back on this site.

  7. Since when has Abuse had anything to do with Bungie? It was made by a team of former id programmers and I’m not aware of it being tied in any way to the Maraton people. Did they publish the Mac version or something?

  8. 1440×900 is all over the place. You want a rare resolution, try mine – 1280×1920. (Widescreen monitor turned sideways, so as to see more code at a time.) NOBODY makes wallpapers in 1280×1920.

  9. Bungie ported Abuse to Macintosh and did an admirable job, adding features and filtering… except for the level editor which was broken feature-wise and most people didn’t have right mouse buttons on their Macs at the time.

    Also, Crack dot Com were not ex-id software. Dave Taylor was part of the team, and Bobby Prince did the sound effects for Abuse (and Doom). But that’s where the connections end AFAIK.

    I’m curious how people tie it in with Contra because I never did. Not to say the comparison is invalid, just one that never occurred to me.

  10. Neo Contra gets a thumbs down, while Gunstar Heroes gets thumbs up? Oh the humanity! Very nice to see the Contra 4 preview though, I’m sure it helps alleviate the many people’s worries about the game. One thing I’d be itching to know is whether the multiplayer is Wlan or WiFi, because I’m in a kind of a blind spot when it comes to local DS owners.

  11. Oh, and when I played Abuse, I never thought of Contra, although I wasn’t as much of a Contra fan back then. The narrow tunnels made a very different experience than the usually very open Contra games. You have a lot of space to move in Contra just as long as you avoid enemies, and there isn’t really a feeling of claustrofobia or the worry of an alien horde occupying the tunnel you’re supposed to be going into. The enemies are always there in Contra, and they’re more evened out.

  12. Jeremy,

    Since you had to cut out half of your articel, how about posting the full peice here on the unlimited space internet. :)

  13. I’m glad there’s a new Contra game coming out, but I’m curious. Why the hell Bill and Lance are teaming up with “Mad Dog” and “Scorpian”? Weren’t Mad Dog and Scorpian the American names for Bill and Lance in the early NES games?

  14. Nice 1up Show Phantom Hourglass preview, but whose idea was it to add the “next-gen” look? (Green hues and bloom on live footage)

  15. 1up Show… I like it but sometimes I don’t dig those camera angles. They’re a little too “Dateline Undercover” at times.

  16. Also, I dislike the name Contra IV. If we’re gonna count portable installments as legit sequels, then Contra III should’ve been called Contra IV in the first place (considering Operation C was the third Contra game released between Super C and Contra III). Contra III wasn’t even called Contra III in Japan (it was Contra Spirits there). They should change it to Contra DS at least.

  17. I believe the line of thinking is that you’ll go, “Hey, it’s a full-fledged sequel. All the stuff we didn’t like between Contra III and now is gone!” It’s not saying that any game, portable or not, has to be next in the numbering system…therefore, Operation C can be an off-shoot, and Contra 4 can be a legitimate sequel. Konami owns the license, so it’s their call.

    Besides, this complaint should have already been ironed out with the announcement of DQIX for DS.

  18. Speaking about exploding heads, I just watched Lisztomania and I must say, I’m quite impressed. I spent the whole movie asking myself if it was a surreal story about Franz Liszt or if it was a Rick Wakeman biopic.

  19. Am I the only one who absolutely hates Contra III?

    (crickets chirping)

    Don’t look at me like that. The normal game is great, but it’s those fugly, unplayable, unnecessary, unfun Mode 7 top-down sections. The moment I see one I’m all OW GOD MY EYES and slightly later AW HELL THIS PLAYS LIKE BRANDISH WHAT THE HELL IS THIS GARBAGE DOING IN MY CONTRA and I just have to put the game away.

    Contra 3 effectively has only one level in it, at the end of which the game stabs you into the eye and urinates into the empty socket.

  20. Contra Hard Corps is way much better than Contra III, so don’t feel bad samperi, you are just on the wrong console.

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