Sparta Report

Gaming’N Tech Thread #89 - Earthfall, Captain Toad, FMV Gaming, Color X-Rays & More

What Are We Playing This Week?

Despite grinding to complete my next book, I somehow found the time to play a few items through the week. That included the completion of some levels on Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition and N++ on the Nintendo Switch, while I got a few games of The Addams Family pinball in to boot.

How about you?

Gaming Headlines

An Oppressor Dons The Victim Mantel As She Gets Herself & A Colleague Fired After Her Feminist Diatribe Backfires (NSFW ads in link)

Todd Howard Points Out A Basic Principle Of Economics In Defending Skyrim Ports

Next Up In ‘Everyone Except The Sony PS4’ Crossplay - Rocket League

Nintendo Patches System At The Hardware Level To Lock Out Homebrew Hack

Christmas In July: NDP Analyst Predicts An Extremely Good Holiday Season For The Nintendo Switch

You Like Weird? Konami’s Super Bomberman-R Promo Is Up Your Alley

Reminder That Nintendo Isn’t In Danger Of Having To Layoff Anyone Anytime Soon

Social Justice Game The Last Of Us 2 Will Not Be “Fun”, Allegedly “Engaging” 

Yakuza Producer Uses WiiU As A Poor Excuse For Not Bringing The Games To Switch - C’mon, using Nintendo’s worst selling (but still awesome) system as the bar?

The Leaked Character List For A Mortal Kombat Reboot Movie Appears To Be Fake News

Nintendo’s Indie Focus Brings The Library To Over 900 Titles

Xbox Insiders With An Xbox One X/S Get Dolby Vision Support In Latest System Update

Get Yer Mario Kart & Donkey Kong Arcade Christmas Ornaments Here!

Elite Attempting To Give Their Unreleased SNES SuperFX Game Powerslide A Physical Release

Yes, There Is A Poké Ball Engagement Ring Case

Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee English Trailer


Earthfall Now Offering 4p Co-Op Alien Blasting (PC/PS4/XB1) - If co-op team based shooters and shooting aliens is your thing, then check out Earthfall. Seems like a blend of Team Fortress 2 and CoD:Nazi Zombies:

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Launches For 3DS & Switch: The latest WiiU-to-Switch port has landed, this time in the cutesy Captain Toad game. Like other such ports, I imagine that this will end up selling better on the more popular platforms; I have to imagine we’ll be seeing Super Mario Maker on Switch before too long (and I did hear a credible rumor way back that such a thing was in the works). I haven’t played Captain Toad so I’m not sure how it is but I imagine that my kids would enjoy this one:

FMV Games Making Their Comeback - Here’s The Shapeshifting Detective - I vividly recall the days of the early 1990s when the term “multimedia” was the buzzword of the day. Everybody wanted to offer a multimedia device, which was generally the fancy way of saying that your PC or game console had a CD-ROM drive installed. As CDs became more commonplace, the games industry began to experiment with ideas that the arcade business had already attempted to make work about a decade earlier with laserdiscs. The additional storage space offered through CDs allowed for a bit more freedom and thus FMV games would have their day in the Sun. The problem was that creating such games required skills in both game design and film making, each being difficult enough to master alone. That said I personally sunk many hours into games like Return To Zork while I never could get into Myst. I also remember playing fairly bad games like Sewer Shark on my friend’s Sega CD (I never did play Night Trap, although I remember hearing plenty about the controversy); there were also some of those odd early 90s CD game consoles like the Philips CD-i who feature more FMV games than any other genre.

Anyways, with the modern gaming industry following the footsteps of Hollywood and resurrecting every genre found in the 80s & 90s, it seems to be the FMV Game’s turn. I saw one available on the Nintendo eShop recently and now news has come along about this one called The Shapeshifting Detective. It is headed to PC/PS4/SW/XB1 this Fall/Winter…here’s a teaser. What do you think - about time or is this a genre that should stay dead?

Fans Seem Pleased With Sonic Mania Plus (PC/PS4/SW/XB1) - If you missed out on Sonic Mania then Sega has the game that will hopefully bring you over with Sonic Mania Plus. Now gracing the physical retail scene, this game improves on various elements of the 2017 release, adds more content and becomes the “definitive edition of the game. Here’s a review:

The Game Boy Sewing Machines - And now for something…different. This is both gaming and tech, albeit much older gaming/tech that made for something obscure and wonderfully weird:


Technology Headlines

Lockheed Martin 3D Printing Titanium Structures For Use In Space

Adobe May Bring The Full Version Of Photoshop To iPad

Clutch The Pearls: 3D Printed Guns Are Legal

Uber Fires 100 Self-Driving Car Operators

Russian Military Cancels The SU-57 Stealth Fighter To Focus On The SU-35

Cancer Cells Engineered To Kill Others Of Their Own Kind

Google Pixel 3 Rumored For October

Sheldon Adelson Eyeing North Korea As A New Market

Hong Kong To Guangzhou High Speed Rail Opening In September

China Breaks Up A World Cup Cryptocurrency Gambling Ring

Superconductivity Observed At Room Temperature With Graphene And Alkalines


Mars Bioimaging & CERN Join Forces To Produce Spectral CT Scans, AKA Color X-Rays - For another breakthrough that used to exclusively reside in the realm of science fiction, a New Zealand based company and CERN (the latter famous for the Large Hadron Collider and various experiments there) have developed a camera that is capable of producing color x-rays. The level of detail this offers is quite extraordinary as they can separate out different materials by splitting the wavelengths of the x-rays. This is the first time such a technology has been used and they are already working at commercializing it. You can read more about Mars Bioimaging and their new Spectral CT tech here. Combine this with the Voxon VX1 holographic display and then you’ll be cookin’ with gas…

Magic Leap, The $2.3 Billion Hustle - In the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Michael Kaine and Steve Martin put on a comedic showcase of how to hustle people out of their money but they certainly couldn’t have imagined something quite as exquisite as Magic Leap. Magic Leap first garnered public attention after a staged video showing a gym full of high school kids watching a photorealistic digital whale jump around the room made waves. The promise was that their new Augmented Reality (AR) hardware was so good that it would be like activating “a real hallucination.” After a few years of additional hype but zero hands-on demos, they company managed to raise $2.3 billion from investors. The problem is that you eventually have to show something for that kind of money and where they have, it’s laughably bad. If you’ve been keeping up with AR news, then at the present time they seem to be struggling to resolve issues that Microsoft, Google and Apple have figured out years ago, already offering better quality through their own Hololens or the free AR apps that you can get on your phone. This is of course why Magic Leap didn’t want to show any demos until now - if it is this bad now then how was it back in 2016?   Read more about how people are catching on to the Magic Leap Hustle here at Bonus: ExtremeTech also comes away unimpressed.

Space Pr0n Of The Week: The Sound Of Planetary Terror - While there is no sound in space like we think distinguish it, you can make sounds from data…or radio emissions. If you need some eerie background music for your upcoming home-made haunted house around Halloween, this would do nicely. Captured from NASA’s Cassini data:

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