Watch The Kirby's Avalanche Challenge ep 01: featuring music by Urban Flow

I begin the long journey towards becoming a puyo master while jamming to Urban Flow's latest album, Melodic Bumps 4. The album gets cut a bit short due to some technical difficulties, but I plan for this series to continue so long as there is new music to bump! So be prepared for the bass, and the puyo blobs to drop.

The tenth anniversary of the final Puyo release in the US

Looking back on 10 years since Sega's Puyo Pop Fever.

It's no secret that I love the Puyo Puyo series. After I was fooled into believing it was a Kirby game back on the SNES, I fell in love with the frenetic pace of the Puyo series (Known stateside as Kirby's Avalanche at the time).

Little did I know that some ten years later I would get an explosively colorful new iteration of the game by Sonic Team, back when those words meant something. This time, Puyo Puyo retained most of it's original name as Puyo Pop Fever when it was released for the Nintendo DS on May 3rd, 2005. Even littler did I know that this would be the final Puyo game in the US ever since. 

There have been plenty of Puyo games since 2005 by the way. I've imported a few of them. Unlike the incredibly niche audience the game has garnered in the west, Japan has celebrated the 15th and 20th anniversaries of the series with robust new outings. Recently Japan received a fusion of Puyo Puyo Fever and Tetris in one strange colorful package. I am still waiting for prices to drop a tad before I import that one. Why a floundering Sega refuses to port a ready made puzzler to the US market is hard to fathom, especially in a world now replete with downloadable puzzle offerings. Unfortunately, the consistent incompetence of Sega is movie worthy, so I won't get into it here.

As the Dreamcast slowly faded away, and with it the dreams of many gamers who fell in love with DC Sega games such as Jet Grind Radio, Chu Chu Rocket, and Space Channel 5. I think that the final game to escape that era of Sega and into the wild is the Puyo series re-imagining Puyo Pop Fever. The bright and colorful cast fits right in next to the protagonists of the aforementioned series. To drive the point home about this being the end of an era, The Dreamcast release of Puyo Pop Fever (Puyo Puyo Fever in Japan) was also the final Dreamcast game created by Sonic Team. 

Pour a little out for the Dreamcast.

As Sega's star fell, Puyo Pop Fever found itself ported to practically every system available in Japan at the time. Out of about a dozen different platforms, only the Gamecube and DS versions found themselves a release outside Japan. In fact, unlike the Sega published Gamecube release in 2004, the DS version of Puyo Pop Fever was published nearly a year later by Atlus.

I often wonder if this game had come out, perhaps three years earlier, at the height of the Dreamcast, would it have found the same niche audience that loves the Sega games of the era? 

Did you ever have the chance to play any version of the long running Puyo Puyo franchise? Do you think Sega should release another Puyo game outside of Japan?

Take a drink: Megalixir debut album mini review

megalixir-video-game-music-album

For headbanging VG remixes, inquire within this album. Right from the jump, the wall of sound crashes against my eardrums as my face is rocked by the outer space metal of the NES classic Ducktales "Moon theme".

After some damn fine double bass pedal, balls to the wall metal in "Blackthorne" and "Moves" comes a soft, laid back rendition of music from the most underrated game in existence in every aspect, Kirby's Avalanche. Just as I am lulled into a sense of complacency with this track, the group bursts forth with a ton of energy, morphing the nostalgic tones into a cascade of drum crashes and wailing guitars. This track is easily one of my favorite live renditions of any song ever. Live double pedal drums? Obscure video games? It's like a feast for my ears and my brain. 

As if this band had to do anything more to get into my good graces, they also choose to end their album with a faded out, drum driven remix of "Tal Tal Heights" from The Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening (GB). This finale hits all the perfect notes for a closing track, and is the perfect motivation to hit play on this album again.

What is even more mind blowing, is that this album is free to download. Grab the album free on the Megalixir bandcamp page.