Millions of nerds are collectively creaming their pants today as that Rings movie is officially released. Not me. No, today marks the release of two far more interesting things: Skinny Puppy’s Greater Wrong of the Right and the XBox release of Metal Slug 3. While the anticipation for these titles doesn’t make me any less of a nerd, it does make me a hipper nerd.
While it will accompany me to the cash register the next time I’m in HMV (or wherever else it might be found), I have to admit that I’ve had the leaked advance version of The Greater Wrong of the Right for well over a month. The unfinished, unmastered version that OhGr wasn’t particularly happy to see out in the wild (also see RadioHead, and to a lesser extent UNKLE‘s Never Never Land — my prerelease version’s intro track has some samples that, I assume, weren’t permitted for use in the final album). It’s a little different. A little weird. Not quite like Skinny Puppy of old as much as a combination of the newer OhGr/Key stuff, which is good; I’m all for progress rather than stagnation. Not particularly harsh, though my definition of harsh is out there compared to the norm, so I’m not a good judge of that.
Not the greatest album ever, but it is a good one and one that does grow on you. Or just me. Whatever.
As for Metal Slug 3. I had the fortune of encountering it at a downtown arcade two weeks ago, and while it kicked my ass, I begged for more. Yes, it does feel a bit odd paying that much for a four year old arcade game built for a decade+ old arcade board, and released for the high-powered polygon pushing Xbox. But hell, these type of classic-styled shooters need all the support and encouragement they can get. They’re the last bastion of two dimensional game design, and they need to be preserved. I mean, without these games, where will people get pixel art and animated sprites for their forum avatars from?
But support of the genre is a motivating factor for purchasing Metal Slug 3. The better games like this fare, the more likely we are to see other niche games localized — even if it might be by god awful XS.