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We’re back — the Bitmob Wednesday Spotlight took a breather last week to let some big guy in a cape and cowl get all of the attention. We felt it was better for our health to let him hog the spotlight than argue with him, considering his reputation for getting his way.


In this edition of the Spotlight, we’ll take a trip to Japan’s gaming Mecca with a Bitmob Community member, take on one of the NES’s classic games, learn about RPG development and getting along with game designers and journalists, the crisis plumbers across the country are enduring, and why game companies need to drop the “Oh, look — it’s pink!” marketing to female gamers.

My Trip to Japan: Akihabara
By Travis McReynolds
Travis presents a series of pieces about his trip to Japan. With the Tokyo Game Show beginning next week, I thought it’d be good to showcase his work — it might give Bitmob community members heading to the show some ideas and tips about places to hit while in Japan.


Conquering the Classics: Mega Man
By W. Bryan Jacobs
Bryan’s decided to chronicle his playthrough of the first six Mega Man games. He started with the original Mega Man. His rules: No walkthroughs, cheats, or mods. He also doesn’t know the boss order for any of the games. Read his nine-part series about his experience with this NES classic — it may inspire you to take on a classic, too.

ChronoTriggertitleTwenty Things Developers Can Learn from Chrono Trigger
By Brian Shirk
I’m going to admit to some RPG heresy: I don’t like Chrono Trigger. I know a number of gamers believe it’s one of the most innovative games of the 1990s, but I think that viewpoint comes from a strictly Japanese-RPG perspective. A number of Western RPGs had already addressed many of the issues gamers had with JRPGs by the time Chrono Trigger came out. Brian, however, thinks that JRPG makers have much to learn from Chrono Trigger.

How Do You Relate to a Game Designer
By Isaiah Taylor
It’s a “Can’t We All Just Get Along” post from Isaiah about relations between the press and developers. After the collapse of GRIN, the developer of Bionic Commando, he felt that a number of podcasts were rather harsh with the failed company. And a number of developers have taken offense when they’re criticized for products that they know aren’t very good, and sometimes they lash out. Isaiah thinks everyone should use some tact and treat each other like people, not merely opportunities for snarky jokes.


The Disgruntled Vegetable: Shortage of Hovering Cubes Puts Strain on Local Plumbers
By Max Besong
The recession’s hit everyone. This includes plumbers. But they’re not just having trouble finding work — the hovering cubes that they depend on are disappearing. Congress is even concerned about it. Read more in the latest installment of The Disgruntled Vegetable, the Bitmob community’s answer to The Onion.


Pink Systems for Girls — Game Companies Don’t Get it, Do They?
By Mohammad AlHuraiz
Game companies are always looking for ways to bring more people into gaming. Some chase the female market with pink systems and Hannah Montana games. Mohammad says it’s all about the software, and he even did a poll of female gamers — including some in the United Arab Emirates —  to back up his point.