Money talks louder than online petitions

Threats of boycotting something are all well and good* but they’re pretty useless when not followed through. The desire to be part of the gaming zeitgeist is too strong a pull for whiney gamers and the desire to go where the money is will always be what a large publisher follows above ethics, morals and what certain people regard as ‘fair’.

This picture says it all really.


*Actually, boycotting something isn’t really an ‘action’ that makes sense to me. Choosing not to do something isn’t any sort of affirmative action. It’s the path of least effort and least resistance and, in this case, it took all of a mouse-click to assert – wow, that’s commitment to the cause! Making a big noise about how you’re going to snub something really only helps raise its profile.

Capcom VS SNK Card Fighters Clash – Pixel art

A sample of the “Action” card set

I’m a big fan of pixels. Of course, I enjoy today’s dynamic 3D visuals too, but there’s a simple charm that pixel-art and lo-res imagery offer that appeals to me. I suppose having spent much of my adolescence staring at a C64 and ZX Spectrum display has a lot to do with that.

A few years back I got hold of Capcom VS SNK – Card Fighters Clash (even the acronym is a mouthful) on Neo Geo Pocket Colour and was gobsmacked by the amount of character conveyed in the cardsets.

Capcom and SNK have, in my opinion, some of the most striking character design of nearly all videogames so it’s a treat to have a game reference so many of their characters in such a splendid fashion. The image at the start of this post gives you an indication of what I’m talking about.

The game, alas, wasn’t one that I ever saw a great deal of. I hit a bump in my life and sold much of my luxuries. Later on, I found a good emulator, a copy of the rom and and 100% save-state and spent some time doing screen-grabs of the entire set of cards. Until recently, I thought I’d lost the images I’d saved but, happily, it turns out I was wrong.

The game features 300 cards. 60 “Action” cards, 120 Capcom character cards and 120 SNK character cards. All the cards are drawn and coloured in a consistent style and look great!

I’ve shared the cardsets I produced from the game and emulator in five image files containing 60 cards in each.

Click on the image above or on this link to go to a public gallery to view and download the images.

Please note: The images are slightly re-sized in the web-album so lose some of their clarity. Use the “Download” on the site’s menu near the top of the screen to download the original, un-altered version of each image.

Enjoy this great art!

Whilst I’ve not bothered to check the legalities, the original art in the images I’ve shared are undoubtedly copyright and belong to both Capcom and SNK. I make no claim of ownership and will remove them should I be instructed to.

Not seeing the game for the pixels

Oh how we love to make mountains from molehills. Especially if we’re the sort of people that can add melodrama to pretty much anything!

Recently a big scuffle over Bayonetta’s ‘plain as day’ differences between one format and another has been clogging up gaming comment threads here and there. It’s an astonishing display of pedantry and hypocrisy.

Some are insisting that anything less than sixty frames per second (60fps) is simply unbearable to their ultra-sensitive vision. Others bemoan an interruption in vertical synching (resulting in momentary ‘screen tearing‘ – and when I say momentary, I’m referring to fractions of a second) as though it had permanently scarred their retinas.

Most of these people were the same ones that argued, in one breath, that Halo 3’s sub-720p resolution (despite the claims on the back of the box) ‘didn’t matter – the game still looks great’ and, in the next breath, that nobody running less than a 42″ screen can realistically tell the difference between 720p or not anyway.

This sort of ridiculous arguing over minutae that, in ‘real world’ terms, no normal person can actually spot is fuelled by crappy, fanboy baiting websites that have spent tens of thousands of dollars on hardware to spot an issue that sometimes occurs for a thirtieth of a second or less. Certainly, if I’d spent a five-figure sum to spot errors in someone else’s work I’d make damn sure that my ‘discoveries’ were important sounding and do  all I could to drag readers to my site and expose them to all the adverts embedded in my articles.

I’d like to claim that it simply doesn’t make sense to me. But I know exactly why people like to act as though an imperfect second of gameplay is the end of the world to them. It’s because they’re not people that play games nor understand their construction. It’s because they’ve picked a side and are looking for any sort of ammunition to prop up their transparent arguments over. It’s a massive deal when the other platform suffers imperfections. It’s never a big deal on the times their favoured platform or product suffers similar imperfections. And that contradictionary behaviour is all the proof that’s required to expose these people for the transparent fools they are.

There’s added melodrama and the cliched stance of how one group of people are being ‘ripped off’ compared to another. How that imperfect fraction of a second is tantamount to a crime against humanity. It’s really not – it’s just that those with an interest in arguing over the insignificant love to blow anything out of proportion.

In this instance, that behaviour is deliciously ironic. After all, what sense is there in spending hours arguing over something that happens for less than a second?