The first full Nintendo Direct — or as it's known to the rest of the world, "Nerd Christmas" — in a very long time airs in just a few hours, no doubt bringing with it all sorts of announcements about everything except the keys to the company's future, i.e. mobile games and NX.
Nintendo Direct always incites enthusiasm online, but the scarcity of the events we've seen since Satoru Iwata's unfortunate passing last summer has whipped the Internet into something of a frenzy this time around. That's to be expected, no doubt! But maybe it would be good to calm down and take a breather, eh? And I have just the ticket: A USstreamer live video to fill the hour leading up to the Direct. And not just any stream, but specifically a stream dedicated to the chillest, most laid back game of all time: SEGA's Toe Jam & Earl.
Toe Jam & Earl debuted 25 years ago on SEGA Genesis, and the game is every bit as unique today as it ever was. Well, kind of... as John Harris' excellent @ Play column once noted, Toe Jam & Earl looked like an action game, but had the underlying mechanics of a roguelike. A cooperative roguelike! It was basically a game 25 years before its time, because "co-op action roguelike" pretty much describes 40% of the indie game biz (the rest being metroidvanias and sandbox survival games).
I grew up as a Nintendo kid, not out of any disdain for SEGA but simply because I could only afford one or the other and had to side with the platforms that involved Mega Man and Castlevania. I've only ever dabbled in Toe Jam & Earl, so we'll be exploring and discovering this game together. Could be interesting! Could be a disaster. Or, maybe, it'll be an interesting disaster. I guess there's only one way to find out, though, and that's by watching our stream. I'm afraid I will be playing solo rather than making use of the co-op design feature — I only have one Genesis controller, I'm afraid. And I'll be streaming this from original Genesis hardware, so be aware that the color might get weird from time to time... one of my RGB video cable connections is a little loose, so the graphics sometime turn yellow until I can reseat the connection. But that'll be part of the charm, I'm sure!
I'll begin playing at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Pacific). The Direct starts at 5 pET/2 PT, so you can jam out on Funkotron for a while before jumping over to see what tidings Mr. Kimishima bears. Please join me!