Archive for Reviews

Zen and the Art of Galaxy Maintenance: Orbient vs. Orbital

Spencer at Siliconera points out that today’s surprise WiiWare downloadable, Art Style: Orbient, is pretty much bitGenerations: Orbital. Since there are at least two more Art Style games scheduled for release via WiiWare, Spencer rightly speculates they’ll be updates of bitGenerations games. Maybe.

The bitGenerations series of games were high concept/low-bit carts for Game Boy Advance, released only in Japan, in 2006 or so. Each bitGenerations game is essentially a tiny, playable art installation with a retro bent.

Including Orbital, I own three bitGenerations titles, which I play exclusively on my Game Boy Micro. This is to say, I don’t play anything else on my Micro; I only play these three bitGenerations games on it.

Stranger still, I’ve never played a bitGenerations game on my DS, my GBA SP, or even on my Game Boy Player. I think this is because at some point I read, somewhere (God knows where), that the bitGenerations games were specifically created to better market the Micro. I believe it. To me, GBAs are decidedly SNESy little 16-bit handhelds. My Micro, however, is disguised as a Famicom; therefore, only 8-bit games will suit it.

Of the three titles I own, Dotstream has the best music. It’s chippy and forceful. Dotstream is a racing game, except that each of the racers is just a pulsing line, sort of like a heartbeat.

There’s Soundvoyager, which Kohler gave me. I don’t remember his logic in gifting it to me, exactly, but it had something to do with how we are each deaf in one ear, which in turn makes the game nearly impossible to play.

Not least, there is Orbital, my favorite.

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