How To Earn Money in Online Game

          What better way to spend your hard earned money than to play video games on the internet with a real-life woman? According to Kotaku, now you can! Launching tomorrow is the website interestingly named Game Crush.I admit, I'm a bit afraid. Regardless of what people think of this, I'm actually curious to see if it takes off.

          No Virtual Console games this week, but Nintendo isn't skimping on the classics. Studio Pixel's classic indie adventure Cave Story sees its triumphant return as a remake for WiiWare, and three Game & Watch titles pop up on DSiWare.WiiWareCave Story (Nicalis, Inc., 1 player, 1200 Wii Points)DSiWareDrift Street International (Tantalus, 1-4 players, 800 DSi Points)Libera Wing (Pixel Federation, 1 player, 800 DSi Points)Game & Watch: Mario's Cement Factory (Nintendo, 1 player, 200 DSi Points)Game & Watch: Chef (Nintendo, 1 player, 200 DSi Points)Game & Watch: Judge (Nintendo, 1 player, 200 DSi Points)

         Remember Alpha Protocol? You know, that Obsidian developed, SEGA published super spy Action-RPG? The one that has seemingly roasted in Development Hell for the past century? Obsidian, no stranger to delays, promised to put gamers in the shoes of CIA agent Michael Thorton, but, perhaps predictably, have gone quiet as of late. Well, the fine folks at Evil Avatar have your fix if you still want to learn to be a legend soccer hack and more. This is the part where I would crack some wise about Duke Nukem Forever, but I suppose I can't do that anymore. Lets just hope Agent Thorton doesn't end up like old Duke.
         Have you ever wanted to see what it would be like to play as Sonic the Hedgehog in an original 3D revision of Green Hill Zone? Thanks to SEGA for creating the character models, available for download, and to Kiminski for creating such a famed level from the classic Sonic adventures, now you can on your PS3.

        Summary of the talk:-Started with a discussion on what makes an RPG and how to make it more accessible
-Over 50% of the features were ignored by most players of Fable II
-Needs to be simple yet engaging
-Difficulty is less important than the experience had
-Want the player to feel powerful
-Touch element in the game controlled with the Right Trigger and the D-Pad
-"The Hero's Journey" is only the first half of the game, makes for a unique experience
-John Cleese will be your virtual butler, awesome
-Ruling the land you will still be your hero, so it doesn\'t turn into an RTS
-3D Map and pause screen, along with more visually rewarding level ups that occur in the 3D play area
-No comment on PC, Natal or Expressions

Foreign Treasures: Umihara Kawase

If you're an average American gamer, that was probably your reaction when you read the title of this page. For those of you who know nothing about the Japanese language, it's pronounced "oo-mee-ha-ra ka-wa-say". So what is Umihara Kawase? It's a series of 2D platformer-style action games unlike anything you've seen before.There are two main entrees in the series: the original Umihara Kawase and Umihara Kawase Shun. Both feature the titular protagonist Umihara, who, it turns out that the games don't bother giving us a background story. So, for whatever reason, Umihara is stuck in a series of brief levels known as "fields", and she must eventually find a door that triggers the ending credits. 

Ever play a game where the story is so insignificant that it made you wonder why they even bothered to come up with one? Well, here's a rare case where they actually didn't. That's just fine, because gameplay is what Umihara Kawase is all about. Both sky whale hack donuts games are nearly identical in terms of gameplay. Umihara is armed with nothing but her magic rubber fishing line, which she can fire in 8 directions. What's special about this fishing line is its hook, which will attach itself to almost anything that it touches. To do this, simply fire the line and hold down the button; as long as you're holding it down, it will stay stuck. This isn't a gimmick attached to an otherwise-ordinary platformer; these games force you to utilize the fishing line in a variety of different ways to reach your goal. Umihara will use it to climb up and down walls and to cross gaps by pulling herself across, swinging like Spider-Man, or by flinging herself. Of course, she'll also have to use it to defeat her enemies, which are marine animals who have somehow learned to breathe, walk, or levitate out of water. Most enemies are stunned when hit by Umihara's fishing line, and she can then drag them to herself and put them away in her backpack.The beauty of these games lie in their physics. 

Umihara doesn't swing from her fishing line in a fixed motion. You have to use the d-pad to swing her around and control her momentum. When dangling from her hook, you'll notice how Umihara bounces in place, as the forces of gravity and rubber conflict with each other. You can use up and down on the d-pad to let out more of the fishing line or retract some of it during this time. If you pull some of the line back while Umihara is bouncing upward, you'll gain momentum. Releasing the action button will detach the fishing line and fling Umihara into whichever direction her momentum is carrying her towards at that millisecond. Even if she's standing flat on the ground, you can fling her by planting the fishing line in the ground, walking in the other direction, releasing the line, and jumping at the time of release. 

Mastering Umihara's fishing line is harder than it sounds, and you can't fully understand how it works until you watch or play the games yourself. There are a number of neat techniques that you can learn, some of which aren't essential but are fun to pull off nonetheless.There are a variety of sea creatures that Umihara has to deal with. Some of them are fixed and will always appear in the same spot in every level, and some will appear out of thin air and disappear after a short time. This isn't as bad as it sounds because there's always a cloud of smoke and a sound before something appears, and Umihara can block the creature from appearing if she stands where the smoke was. The most common enemy fish will simply walk (yes, walk) back and forth on whatever platform they are standing and defeat Umihara on contact. Some small enemies only stun her, possibly causing her to lose a life by falling down a bottomless pit or by touching a bigger enemy. Among the most pesky foes are the snails, which can crawl on walls and ceilings. 

They are deadly to the touch in the original game, but fortunately they can only stun in Umihara Kawase Shun. A few giant "boss" creatures are present, none of which can be defeated; you usually just have to survive until they leave the field. Of course, there are many hazards and obstacles besides living enemies in Umihara's way. You'll have to deal with spikes, smooth surfaces that your line can't latch onto, moving platforms, conveyer belts that force you to work quickly, and more. The later fields (especially in Shun) can be incredibly difficult.This is a field form the original game. Those columns move up and down and will squash Umihara if you're not careful.In this field, those small rectangular platforms must be pulled down by Umihara's weight. They will rise back into their original position when left untouched. After dragging it down, 

Umihara must climb the walls before they get in the way again. That black spot is a ball of ink which that was spat out by an enemy octopus.The Umihara Kawase games are non-linear thanks to many branching pathways. Many fields have multiple exits which lead to different fields, making it impossible to see even half of either game in one playthrough. Some doors are either well-hidden or difficult to reach. One playthrough of either game can take anywhere from 15-40 minutes depending on the routes taken and how fast you progress, but it will take much longer than that to discover and conquer the dozens of fields found in each game. Umihara Kawase Shun allows you to practice most of the fields which you've already been to. The pause screen in both games allow you to save replays of what you just did in case you pull off something neat that you might want to watch again. It's probably something you'll never use, but it's a neat little feature to have.Graphically, the games aren't going to blow you away. 

The backgrounds in the original game are gray and bland-looking. Enemies and platforms aren't particularly colorful. On the positive side, everything is distinct. You'll never have a problem identifying what you can or can't latch onto. The sequel was originally a Playstation game, so the graphics are naturally improved. The platforms are 3D polygons, but the rest of the game is comprised of 2D sprites. Overall, it has a much more cartoonish look than the original. A screen shot from Umihara Kawase Shun:The soundtracks of both games are mostly comprised of catchy, upbeat tunes that fit the game well. Don't be surprised if you find music from these games playing back in your head after a long playing session.The first Umihara Kawase was released for the SNES in 1994. The sequel, Umihara Kawase Shun, graced the Playstation in 1997. 

A couple years later, the Playstation saw an updated version titled Umihara Kawase Shun: Second Edition. This version had five new fields and removed Mitchell advertisements that were in the original version. Afterthat series, the series was dormant for eight years until Umihara Kawase Portable for the PSP hit the shelves in Japan. Unfortunately, this proved to be an unwelcome return. This port of Umihara Kawase Shun has different physics and is riddled with bugs, and you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks highly of it. Suprisingly, an English release was planned under the title Yumi's Odd Odyssey, but for some reason it never happened.The most recent release in the series is Umihara Kawase Shun: Second Edition Kanzenban for the Nintendo DS. 

This entree contains faithful ports of both games. In addition, there are unlockables such as artwork, an enemy glossary, and a music test. The only complaint I have about it is the fact that they didn't rip the original music from the SNES version for this port. Also, they didn't bother to add touch screen controls, but I don't think that they would have worked well with these games anyway. The redone music for the original game just doesn't sound as good. Otherwise, this entree in the series is perfect for anyone who hasn't experienced Umihara Kawase before. The bad news is that it will cost around $60 to import it. However, you're getting two games for the price of one, and it's much cheaper than buying the original versions individually. Remember, there's no region protection on DS games, so pay a visit to Play-Asia or eBay and grab your copy right now