New Release Day

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.

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