Yes, welcome to a newly stripped-down version of the Carnival of Video Game Bloggers! It’s no coincidence that David Herbert’s Pariah’s Guild site has recently gone down for maintenance, but I’ll take my victories where I can!

Before we go on, I’d like to extend an open invitation for a reader to host next month’s Carnival – it’s extremely straightforward and boosts your traffic, so if you’re interested then leave a comment or email me at!

Kicking us off in style this month is David Wornica, with his post Console Wars over at 8-Bit Memoirs. David’s flickery, two-colour sprite sums the site up best: “8-Bit Memoirs focuses on the revolution of the video game industry from the pixilated games we know and love to the incredible modern day mega-games that have given birth to the next generation of gamers. In addition to previews and reviews, this blog offers readers the opportunity to relive their gaming past”. Bleep bleep blorp, David! (Don’t take this the wrong way – I love 8-bit stuff! I only recently got a Game Gear, my new baby!)

Dan Wright is up next, sharing with us two short but sweet posts from his website The Video Games Blog. First up is a snappy review of Kung Fu Panda, and the other outlines the appearances of Darth Vader and Yoda in Namco’s Soul Calibur IV. I know they’re not the most revelatory of posts to the hardcore gamer but I’m glad Dan submitted them, and I know next time he’s going to show something even better. Welcome aboard, Dan!

Steve DaSilva has a very tempting proposition for you all now – would you like to learn more about Video Game Testing? Then look over to his site, Testing Video Games, and he can tell you much more about it. I’ll be honest – there’s more than a whiff of advertising about this post, but I know we’ve all dreamed of getting paid good money for our hobby, so it might be worth a look.

Sticking with the game development theme (albeit very briefly!) Blake Delaney shares his post Persistence and the Art of Game Development, which needs next to no extra description from me as it’s a fine article in its own right!

Now, when I think of a website that bills itself as the “Largest Final Fantasy Resource Online“, I think they’d be providers of quality content, supplying the Final Fantasy series’ dedicated fanbase with a high standard of news and insight. If that’s what you think of too, you’ll want to check out what Azar submitted this month, Final fantasy is coming on both PS2 & XBox. The title is a clue to what you can expect.

An old friend from a few months back, Creep Colony has returned with a post on “The different damage types of Starcraft units“, over at Starcraft II Information. I’m sure that with the game’s release creeping ever closer, Creep Colony is going to be an even more invaluable resource for Starcraft fans, so make sure you keep checking and I hope Creep Colony will keep submitting to the Carnival to keep us informed!

Speaking of old friends and triumphant returns, Eclipse is back! Not only back, but back with a Sonic boom, posting a very cool glitch that lets you fly as Super Sonic in Sonic 2! You can read how to buzz around Metropolis Zone in his post Glitch: Super Sonic Flying in Metropolis Zone Act 2 in Sonic 2 over at Gaming My Way; I’ll be digging out one of my dozens of copies of Sonic 2 to give this one a go later on!

One thing I love so much about the Carnival of Video Game Bloggers is the sheer variety of posts I get every month. From gaming’s beautiful past to its brilliant future, there’s so much to celebrate and the stranger, the better in my eyes. That’s why my favourite post this month is from Mr Sands, and his celebration of Winning Eleven’s Japanese commentator Jon Kabira. Even if you’ve never heard of Mr Kabira, I urge you to read the site and listen to the samples at the bottom – they’ll make the UK commentators Jon Champion and Mark Lawrenson sound even more lifeless, if you can imagine such a thing. Mr Sands gets double points for naming his site Nippon the Bus. Great stuff!

Lastly, because it really wouldn’t be a Carnival without him, it’s old-wizard with more (mildly) controversial lists, countdowns and that sort of thing. First up it’s Top 13 Scariest Games, featuring some golden oldies for you to dig out with Hallowe’en just around the corner.

Secondly for once it’s not a Top X, it’s an article investigating a serious topic, Violence in Video Games, as part of the OW Investigative series. Is it yet another flame-baiting write-up that mocks its own audience, or a genuinely sensitive approach of an argument that divides gamers and non-gamers? I’ll leave you to decide.

I know it’s a severely cut-down Carnival compared to usual, but I’m guessing nobody ever read all 70-odd articles anyway. At least now you can take a more leisurely trip through the Carnival, and there are a few articles that should take only a few seconds out of your life, so give them a read and let the warmth of the Carnival spread throughout the world (wow, never drink before lunch..!)

I’m very pleased to announce that next month’s Carnival will be hosted by Eclipse at the superb Gaming My Way site. At the time of writing (October 30th) seems to be experiencing some difficulties, but if you still want to submit you can email your post’s link to me at this address, and I’ll pass them on. Keep trying the Blog Carnival submissions link though, it might come active at any time!