gamerparent the site was started in 2012, born out of a love for games and my kids.

the gamer parent came into being in 2003 when my first child was born, and I learned how to give her her bottle one handed while I played Diablo II with the other... with the sound off, of course. Since then I've found ways to sneak in gaming, and also involve my kids with games.

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Steam ID: yougenius

Nintendo Network ID: gamerparent

3DS Friend Code: 4098-2922-8204

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Shovel Knight - background music Famitracker session

If you've ever wondered about what goes into making chiptune music, check this video featuring background music from the game Shovel Knight (out today!):

Famitracker is a freely available music programming windows application with NES export capabilities.


MH4U video footage from Capcom E3 2014 presentation


How Nintendo could have ended E3

E3 2014 ended last week, and it's safe to say that Nintendo surprised many of us with their Digital Event and Treehouse Livestream. Unlike so many of the Nintendo Direct videos, which often feature the presenter speaking to the camera in front of a white seamless like an Apple ad from the early 2000's, the E3 Digital Event video was creative, had high production value, good pacing, and plenty of new game reveals.

If that wasn't enough, the Treehouse Livestream featured presenters from the Nintendo Treehouse, the division tasked with interfacing with developers, broadcasting live from the show floor in and around Nintendo's booth. The stream went live shortly after the digital event ended, and showed off new games and actual gameplay with commentary from the developers. We were tantalized with gameplay from Miyamoto, who showed off two works in progress, Project Giant Robot and Project Guard. Bayonetta 2 was shown, featuring a demo of how the Gamepad touchscreen could be used to play the game, as well as just kickass gameplay in general. Monolith Soft's Project X, now properly titled Xenoblade Chronicles X, was shown in all its JRPG glory.

The biggest surprise was the new IP Splatoon. It was shown off on the live stream with two four-man teams facing off in Nintendo's fresh take on the multiplayer shooter. From what was shown it looked like a lot a mayhem and crazy fun.

And here's what I think Nintendo should have done: on the last day of E3, announce that the single arena of Splatoon that they'd been showing us for three days, was now available on the eShop, for free. Drop the mic, boom.

Why not? It looked ready on the show floor, right? Just let us play with it at home. Make it free for the next 30 days, or whatever, limit it somehow. But give us a taste, so that people will be stoked for the game next year, and also to add to the WiiU desire factor, which is already building up since Mario Kart 8. Don't lose momentum between now and the next big thing, which looks to be Smash Bros. in the holiday season.

If Nintendo had announced a free demo of Splatoon I think for sure they would have 'won' E3 2014. There's still time for them to bring it out, and I wouldn't be surprised if we did see a Splatoon demo hit the eShop before September.

Come on, Nintendo, keep surprising us!

Tell me this doesn't look awesome:



Devil's Third coming exclusively to Wii U

From Ninja Gaiden director Tomonobu Itagaki, comes Devil's Third, exclusively to Wii U. 

Way to court the hardcore, Nintendo. Another situation like Bayonetta 2, where Nintendo manages to rescue a game with an uncertain future, and bring it as an exclusive.

via IGN


Nintendo Digital Event for E3 2014

There's so much here, you just have to watch it yourself. Nintendo firing on all cylinders.


STARWHAL: Just The Tip WiiU trailer

This game trailer made me smile today. Imagine the old arcade game Joust, but with Narwhals, in space. Just watch:


A.N.N.E. teaser trailer for Wii U

A.N.N.E. is a Kickstarted game by developer gamesbymo. A new trailer featuring this WiiU downloadable title for the eShop was released today, check it out:

I love the music and the 8-bit inspired art-style. A.N.N.E. is a hybrid platformer schmup with RPG elements. It will also be releasing on computers (PC/Mac/Linux).


ONE PIECE Unlimited World Red for Wii U Trailer

Despite being a mouthful, the new installment of the One Piece games, Unlimited World Red, will be coming to Wii U and 3DS. One Piece is a Japanese manga and anime, started in 1997 and written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. The game is developed and published by Namco Bandai. Here's the trailer released today amidst the flurry of E3 announcements:


Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 got off to a stellar opening weekend, moving 1.2 million units worldwide. Hopefully it will be the spark that starts the Wii U motor running!

It's incredible how easy it is to share replays to Youtube, here's one of my recent races with the family:


Feature Article - 4 Best Things about Child Of Light for Families

The following is a feature article from Andy Robertson of FamilyGamerTV about the upcoming Child of Light game from Ubisoft. Child of Light is a platforming RPG which has you play the role of a child on a quest to return home. Developed using the UbiArt Framework, the same engine that powered Rayman Origins and Rayman Origins, the game has some promise to look nice, at least. But how does it play? And is it a good family game?

Read on and find out!

Four Best Things About Child Of Light For Families

Having had some time to look at the game, here are my four favourite things about Child of Light:
1. Lemuria: The world of Lemuria, in which you play is both enchanting and dark. Although not as restrained a pallet as Limbo this certainly draws from its art style, along with games like Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy VIII. Fireflies dance in the foreground as leaves blow through the trees behind. It's an eerie empty space, but one that was obviously inhabited not long ago with ruins, fences, ethereal flying fish and broken statues guarding every turn. It's all rendered with the UbiArt Framework used to make Rayman Origins & Legends.
2. Aurora: You play Aurora, a girl from 1895 Austria who falls ill but instead of dying she falls asleep and wakes up in the mythical world of Lemuria which has had its sun, moon and stars stolen by the Black Queen. She seems to be about ten years old and brings with her a fragility and bravery. She is upset at the loss of her father, but resolves to rescue him and restore the celestial bodies. But unlike her male counterparts she is a protagonist without the strength to do this alone, struggling to even lift her sword. As the developers put it "An active heroine, no prince charming at the end, focused on the idea that we need to grow up, leave home and take responsibility to make a change in the world."
3. Game-Play: The game moves from side scrolling platforming into battle encounters. Here we find a system much like the Active Time Battle systems of games like Final Fantasy and Grandia, but in stylized and beautiful form. Players must draw on their party and choose between attack or defense in a limited time. Act quickly and you can interrupt enemy attacks to gain the upper hand. There is complexity and depth here but this is handled sensibly so as to not be off putting to new comers to the genre while drawing on the team's experience with upgrade skill trees from games like Far Cry 3.
Game-play is extended considerably when a second player takes control of Igniculus. This works because Aurora and Igniculus offer substantially different play patterns. Aurora offers standard JRPG fare (physical attacks, magic and targeting one or more enemies) while Igniculus has a more tactical bent (blinding enemies or interrupting them in the middle of an attack) as well as collecting health and magic from the battle and heal other party members. Other interesting game-play touches include being able to leave messages behind for other players, much like Dark Souls allowed players to do. This not only provides a novel way to communicate with other people but also lends a sense of community to Lemuria.
4. Story Telling: The experience is then tied together with fairy tale prose in the form of rhyming couplets ("Will someone please explain, how water falls with no rain"). It's a risky approach to story telling as there is a danger here of it feeling twee and too cute. However the balance seems good in the sections I've played. The story happily continues through the game with speech bubbles popping up during play, as well as the hand draw cut scenes. The result is an Elizabethan theatrical feel to the writing that plays to the fairytale castle visuals. As Jeffrey Yohalem, script writer, puts it "Because the text in the game is largely written, not spoken, my goal is to pack as much meaning into as few words as possible. Much of the story is told through gameplay, the story's evolution is tightly linked with Aurora's evolution."

Interview with Creative Director, Patrick Plourde: