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Jetsetter: Korea mixes a dash of Final Fantasy with its Mario Bros.

From the time that I could understand what New Year’s Resolutions were to today, I’ve always made the exact same one: Live awesomely. What else do you really need to resolve to do besides living a super kick ass life? In years past, though, there was no Jetsetter! Digital Trends’ weekly column devoted to the international video game scene deserves a resolution of its very own for 2013. Then how about this: To live awesomely and to discover the weirdest video games from around the world that you likely don’t know about.

Seriously, have you ever heard of Desi Adda: Games of India for PlayStation 2? Do you even know who the developer Gamesharta is? Of course not. That’s why you have Jetsetter as your travel guide.

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Join us as the whole world shakes the holiday sleep from its eyes and looks forward to a vast planet of games in 2013. This week: We’ve got a quick look at some sweet Korean Game Boy Advance bootlegs mixing up classic NES games, a look at Disney Japan’s bizarre miscalculation involving silly ol’ bears, and some congratulations to one of Britain’s most-celebrated game makers.

Final Fantasy Mario?

We here at Jetsetter love the website Siliconera, a blog covering the Japanese gaming scene that we’ve been reading for nearly seven years now. If you want to know what weird dating RPGs are coming out for the decade-old Sony PSP, look no further! This week, though, Siliconera posted up a selection of screenshots from some truly obscure Korean Game Boy Advance bootlegs. The best of the lot: Final Fantasy Mario. These hacks are just the original Mario Bros. platformer but with the hero of Final Fantasy replacing the pudgy plumber. Not obscure enough? Another version had Maria from the Japan-only Final Fantasy II for NES. Nicely done, Korean GBA hackers! Wait a second: If evil turtles hit Maria, does that mean she can take multiple hits on the next level? I never got Final Fantasy II’s leveling system. Pretty nice of those Final Fantasy characters to do Mario’s job for him. Last time they got together, all those warriors of legend did was school Mario in 3-on-3 action. White Mage got game yo.

* Winnie the Pooh is too hard!

Bet you thought it was okay to sit around making fun of Pooh bear, huh? You think it’s hilarious when he gets his fat butt stuck in a hole, eh? Well stop laughing! Winnie has had enough of your crap, and he challenges you to defeat his brutal browser-based baseball game! Made by Disney Japan, Pooh Home Run Derby requires some insane precision to play, as documented here. Nailing a home run, the whole point of the game, is almost impossible. Try it for yourself, but make sure you curse like Shohei Otani when you lose to keep it nationally appropriate.


* Eidos founder named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

There would be no Tomb Raider without Ian Livingstone, which means video games would have never had their first sex icon, which means no one would have ever gotten to shoot a t-rex in an underground cavern. No Deus Ex, no Thief, no Just Cause. The world would be a dimmer place without Livingstone’s game company Eidos. There would also be no Games Workshop! Ergo, no Warhammer 40,000. Also no Fighting Fantasy RPGs. The guy’s important to video games. The United Kingdom has appropriately rewarded this son of the empire by making him a CBE, the third highest rank of the chivalrous Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, “for his services to technology and innovation.” “I’m genuinely humbled to get something,” said Livingstone, who then rolled a 20 and did crit damage to the BBC’s reporter.

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