Villian Spotlight: Kefka Palazzo

Insanity Kefka Palazzo demotivational poster
Insanity Kefka Palazzo demotivational poster

Kefka Palazzo

Since the dawn of video game culture, there have been a lot of subjects you don’t bring up unless you want some greasy, unhygienic, nerd frothing from the mouth with a rabid induced rage. One of these subjects that is commonly brought up by RPG geeks which ends up in a heated debate is who is the greatest Final Fantasy villain? Normally, the debate is stomped by a wave of Sephiroth loving assholes. For some reason, long white hair, trench coats, and absurdly gigantic katanas are cool. Not just that, this guy’s freaking theme song is an orchestra chiming in death and destruction. The problem a lot of people seem to not realize is that the question asked who is the GREATEST villain in Final Fantasy. People seem to confuse cool with greatness.

I’m unsure if the sway towards Sephiroth is because a lot of people played FF VII as their first real RPG and considered anything before that garbage or mediocre. I do agree that Final Fantasy VII was a fantastic game and that Sephiroth was indeed a cool villain. The thing is, he didn’t accomplish much and his role as a villain was rather one dimensional. His creativity for slaughter was usually left with a sword swing and some fire. His actual development as a character was rather bland and nonexistent.

I know. I know.

Take a deep breath.

It hurts to hear this kind of criticism about the One Winged Angel but I’m about to open your eyes to a true villain. Someone who’s appearance was comical but their lust for destruction was their only drive in life. There wasn’t a waking moment where this monster didn’t think about the end of the world. Many villains feel this way but he isn’t a Cobra Commander or Doctor Claw replica. Where many villains fail and constantly try again, Kefka succeeds. Here’s a look into the devilish antics performed by the supernatural sociopath known as Kefka Palazzo.

As the game begins, Kefka Palazzo is only known as the Emperor’s Court Wizard and doesn’t seem to be more than just some queer looking clown. The Emperor decides to begin a process of infusing Magitek into humans. Kefka decides to volunteer for this process and is able to wield magic. Come to think of it… how was this guy the Court Wizard if he couldn’t control magic to begin with? Anyway, an obvious homage to Captain America occurs and Kefka becomes Captain Magitek and stops the World War that is plaguing the planet and is pronounced the savior of the world.

The End.

Things didn’t work out that way, sadly, for Kefka and he turned into a psychopath who deemed that everything ever in the entire world had to die. He became the Joker with magic. He forces Terra, the main character in the story, to wear a slave crown and attack a town that claims to have an Esper in their mines. Terra manages to escape the enslavement and runs off. Kefka, obviously angered by this decides to burn down an ENTIRE fucking castle just to kill a bitch. Pretty hardcore right? Sephiroth lit up a small secluded town but Kefka razed a whole castle.

Final Fantasy 6 Kefka Palazzo – poison
Final Fantasy 6 Kefka Palazzo – poison

After burning down a castle what else should you do? Grow impatient obviously! The Empire decides to attack the Kingdom of Doma and begins a long and drawn out siege. What does Kefka do to make things move a long faster? Does he impale a girl in the back with a sword? Hell no. Kefka poisons the kingdom’s water supply killing everyone inside, including Cyan’s, one of your party members, wife and his children. I don’t remember any Final Fantasy villains poisoning the innocent because they were consuming too much of their schedule.

When you’ve poisoned an entire kingdom what else can you do at the end of the day? Drink a cold beer and watch some TV? Take a hot shower and go to bed? Or freeze all your enemies in place and order one of them to prove their loyalty and kill their friends? The latter sounds like the best idea for this bad ass motherfucker. Unfortunately, the character he ordered to prove their loyalty stabbed him instead. But guess what? Big whoop. Instead of getting medical treatment he kills his king and draws in the powers of a couple of magical statues to become a God.

Looks like your team fucked up, huh? This guy is God and you know what his first order of business is? He isn’t going to hang a meteor over your most populated city. He reshaped the entire planet pushing it into a post apocalyptic world and then demanded people to worship him. You know what happened to the millions of people who said “Fuck that!” collectively? Independence Day. He burned them down with enough force to carve scars into the planet’s surface.

He became a God and forced people into his worship and still that isn’t good enough. This cum dumpster decides it’s a damn good idea to just end life since that shit is meaningless to him. Sure he’s defeated by the heroes of the story but that’s the point! He didn’t care if he died. In reality, he probably let them win because he was too much of a bad ass to die. He figured he was way to cool for the world of the living anyway. His death was his final “F U” to the world since he already fucked it up and now he’s dead and doesn’t have to bother to clean that shit up.

By now, I’m hoping your frothing has ended and you realize the error of your ways. I know it’s going to be hard to put away your Sephiroth figurines and wall posters but you have finally been educated or rather re-educated in the makings of a true monster and villain. You may subconsciously still blurt out Sephiroth’s name like a slutty wife screaming out her secret lover’s name when the question arises as to who is the greatest Final Fantasy antagonist but you will feel that itching in the back of your mind. You know you’re wrong and some day you can even accept that.

Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars review

 

Alex Kidd title screen
Alex Kidd title screen

Let’s be frank. Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars is a very weird and very frustrating platformer from the early ages of the 8-bit era. It was one of my first Sega Master System games, and one of the only ones that I could manage to beat. The levels were colorful, the enemies bizarre, and to this day, I’m still not really sure what the hell the story was about. I think it has something to do with collecting the signs of the zodiac. “Find the Miracle Ball,”says the disembodied digitized voice. This is almost all of the storyline you have to go on aside from the blurb on the back of the box.

Its predecessor, Alex Kidd In Miracle World, had a lot more going on for it: breakable blocks, purchasable items and power-ups, a varied terrain that seamlessly went from vertical to horizontal, and to top it all off: a freaking motorcycle. AKIMW is also one of the hardest things I’ve ever played and I don’t think I’ve even gotten past the second stage.

Alex Kidd babyheads
Alex Kidd babyheads

Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars shares the same protagonist, but its gameplay is almost nothing alike. To me, it seems more like Wonder Boy crossed with a hallucinogen-fueled nightmare. The erstwhile Sega mascot can no longer deliver his trademark punch, and is left pretty much defenseless until he gets an “S” card power up which allows him to shoot some sort of energy wave. They’ve thankfully done away with the one-hit death system from Miracle World and have replaced it with a health bar that also serves as a timer. An unlimited amount of continues makes this decently kid-friendly; the disturbing sound clip of Alex Kidd screaming every time he dies, probably does not, however. And die you will. Often.

Alex Kidd bowwow
Alex Kidd bowwow

The seven levels in Lost Stars consist of Toyland, a robot assembly line, some sort of Halloween crap-forest, an underwater escapade, some dinosaur crap, the inside of a body, and a low-gravity outer-spaced themed area simply known as Ziggurat. The action is solely limited to “run from the left side of the stage to the right” while jumping over pitfalls and dodging enemies. The game features angled surfaces, swinging ropes, and a few different types of platforms that will drop, raise, dissolve, or launch you into the air, but nothing really breaks the monotony of left-to-right. In place of end bosses, the final screen of the level has some sort of hazard to navigate to get to the Exit sign. Most of these you can run right through without much of a problem, but others will snag you in a flurry of overlapping projectiles that will make you lose precious time and take you back to the start of that screen.

Alex Kidd Halloween
Alex Kidd Halloween

The enemies in this game are something else. Some of them fit right in with their themed levels, such as a puppy that spits a rainbow of colored letters in Toyland or the falling anchors and octopuses of the undersea level. Others, such as the outer-space penguins of Ziggurat, the rolling baby heads in the esophagus area of the body stage, and the naked men that shoot skulls out of their asses from the Halloween area,  left me scratching my head. Certain previously encountered enemies will act completely different later in the same level (oh, now they jump!), which furthers the frustration level. I’m unsure whether to haul ass to the edge of the screen or take my time, as things will drop down on you from the top of the screen pretty much either way.

Alex Kidd skullass
Alex Kidd skullass

Power ups are haphazardly scattered around the levels and many are invisible until you’ve come within a certain distance, which means you will probably be jumping around like an amphetamine-crazed pogo enthusiast for much of your playing time. Most of the items don’t have any obvious use aside from the “J” card that doubles your jump height, the “SC” card that will partially replenish your health bar, and the aforementioned “S” that gives you a limited number of projectiles. What does a mirror or a clown head do? Beats me. There is a score system in place but you can’t see any numbers until after clearing a stage, so I’m never sure if the point items are worth the risk.

Alex Kidd snorkel
Alex Kidd snorkel

The game features one of the most maddeningly asinine second halves I’ve ever seen. Here’s how I think this went down. The developers come up with six or seven wildly imaginative levels pushing the boundaries of the Master System’s graphic capabilities and nearly taking up all of the cartridge space. It goes into play-testing and they realize that the game is simply too short. They don’t have room for many more assets, so some genius gets the idea to simply re-use the levels again in the same order, without so much as a palette swap. There are a few more enemies and the power ups are harder to come by, but the player is simply left to trudge through the whole game a second time to find the other six signs of the zodiac. It could be the original NG+, except for the fact that you didn’t even really beat the game yet.

Alex Kidd still had about five years left as Sega’s mascot but they were already starting to give him the raw deal with this title. It has since been released on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console, so you don’t have to scout flea markets and garage sales for this whimsical piece of trash. I can’t say it offers much replay value, as you’re already sick of it by the time you get to the first stage your second time. I had to force myself to complete it and I was not terribly surprised by the lack of a satisfying ending. Fun for masochists of all ages!

Harry Miller : Devolver Digital

Devolver Digital logo

Name: Harry Miller

Company: Devolver Digital

Profession: Publishing

Favorite Classic Game(s): Doom 2, and Diablo

Why it’s a favorite:

Doom 2: It was my first PC game to play and I was amazed at the graphics, and over the top chaotic game play.  Encountering the Minotaur for the first time was truly scary.  The best of all was death match, and all of the mods made for the game.  My favorite deathmatch mod was “Dog Tag”.


Diablo: I didn’t realize that I liked it that much and don’t understand how my first time playing got so out of hand.  I starting the game for the first time at around 5pm one day, when I finally looked up and it was 8am.  Where did the time go?  Wow!


Halo OST

Halo OST

Reach is almost in our reach and to celebrate the pending release Obsolete Gamer wanted to take you back to the original Halo soundtrack. Composed and produced by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori it was released in the summer of 2002.

Halo OST

It is an awesome soundtrack that featured a wide range of musical styles and really gets you into the game.

Obsolete Gamers asks that you support great composers; you can purchase the full Halo OST here.

Mafia 2

Mafia 2 Boxart
Mafia II Boxart

Mafia 2 Review & Strategy Guide by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“I was expecting more action from this action game…”

Overall Score:
5 out of 10

Overview:

Mafia 2 is the sequel to the original Mafia 1 which took place during the Great Depression. This one takes place from World War 2 to 1951. You’re Vito, an Italian-American that got caught, arrested, and drafted to go fight the Axis in Europe. After getting hurt during the war, you come back stateside and your friend (that originally was there when you got arrested) arranges for you not to go back and you start doing a bunch of crime stuff, GTA-style, trying to become a made-man for the Italian Mafia.

The game is available for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Difficulty/Difficulty Versatility & Fun Factor & Replayability & Gameplay:

The game has only 3 difficulty settings and I played it on Hard right from the start. I found the game extremely easy, I would say, 97% of the time. There were some parts where I died over and over by being instakilled by some hiding enemy. Since the game uses autosave checkpoints and some of them are not the most convenient, one gets really good at doing some parts over and over again. Still, I found them most annoying overall, those hard parts, rather than challenging. The game does not let you change the difficulty once you started it, which most games like this now do, so it loses points for that. Difficulty itself gets a score of 2 out of 10. Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 3 out of 10.

I’m probably not going to be replaying this game as I didn’t have as much fun playing it as a I thought I would. I was bored driving around a lot and YES I do like these kinds of games. Compared to Mafia 1, Saints Row 2, and The Saboteur this game was rather boring. The Saboteur was the funnest of those three. Replayability gets a score of 2 out of 10.

Most of the gameplay consists of you just driving around in 1940s-1951 cars delivering packages or going to talk/fight people. Most of it felt like a chore rather than an action movie. Some of it felt like a mob movie but not an exciting one. As far as those movies go I would say Once Upon A Time In America is NOT as exciting as Casino or Goodfellas. Sure, they are all good movies but not everybody can sit through Once Upon A Time In America. This is sort of the same difference here. Maybe I can compare The Sopranos. Sure, it can show a realistic portrayal of mobsters BUT does it really make an exciting action game? There’s a few shootout scenes for which there were a lot more in Mafia 1 but most of the time I just found myself driving at the speed limit. To see how unrealistic some of the game was look below for my strategy guide tips. I give Fun Factor a score of 3 out of 10. I give Gameplay a score of 5 out of 10.

Value:

I beat this game in 8 hours taking my sweet time playing it. Right now the game is selling for about $50 which is way too high for a game that is so short. I would say rent the game if you’re a console player, for sure, if you are into these kinds of games. For the PC people, I would say not to buy it until it hits the value $5-15 range.

Sound:

The sound of the guns firing is great stuff, as well as the sound of the old cars driving around. It sounds like the actual cars. The voice acting was spectacular. The characters even say racist things which seemed realistic to me. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Music:

The music is this game is authentic to its era. I don’t like 1940s music that much so that part was kind of boring for me but I do like seeing the emergence of Rock N Roll so it added to the factor that you are actually doing things in that time-frame. I don’t know how many people in the console crowd really wants to hear WW2 pop music! The score of the game was really great but there are not many scenes where you get to hear this music play out completely. I wish they had added more. I give the music a score of 8 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game never crashed despite having multiple programs open and alt-tabbing all day long. Stability/Reliability gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are standard for these GTA-style games. The only really annoying part is that hitting the windows key alone will take you to the desktop. Although that was annoying, the game did have the useful function of letting you press ESC during any cutscene and pause the game and even letting you skip most cutscenes. However, pressing the windows key even if by mistake takes you to desktop. This was really annoying at times. Controls get a score of 6 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

The graphics looked really nice, especially the character models. I was surprised by one of the hookers that had actual real looking breasts rather than cookie-cutter breasts like a character in a super-hero comic book. Kudos for that realism. Graphics I give a score of 8 out of 10. As far as performance goes, with my typical 1024×768 on my 2007 Windows XP gaming PC the game ran fine except when I needed it to, which was when I was trying to drive fast or complete some fast maneuvers in a car (like when they are chasing you drilling you with tommy guns). I guess I can’t expect my PC to last forever but I have played other new games on higher settings that run faster. I give performance a score of 6 out of 10.

Strategy Guide Tips:

One of the really annoying parts I found is how much fist fighting there was in the game. My tip on beating those parts easily is simply to dodge all the time. You can try to counter punch if you have good reflexes or you can simply wait until the enemy sidesteps. Once he does that just throw 3 quick punches and he will always get hit. I found sometimes the enemy will try to walk into you (it will look like he is running in place), this is a good time again to launch 3 quick punches. In time, he will go down if you’re patient and it’s easier to just do this every time rather than risk losing and doing the fight again like 6 times.

As far as driving the cars go just drive fast as hell. The game is unrealistic in the sense that cops WON’T pull you over for running red lights or stop signs (the game Driver 1 did) but they HATE speeding. Just make sure you have your finger ready over the L key (PC version) to lock the speed control. It’s kind of like a cheat because the car will slow down without using the physics engine of the tires skidding as you try to force brake. I guess this is a bug and an exploit but whatever works works.

As far as stealing cars, just take parked cars, lock picking them as it doesn’t bring you too much attention and it’s much easier than carjacking somebody that will usually start one of those dreaded fist fights.

For weapons the Dirty Harry magnum is the most powerful weapon in the game. Think of it as the sniper rifle. The tommy gun that holds 50 bullets is the best overall weapon.

My History With This Game & Conclusion:

I was disappointed by this sequel as I was expecting the brutality and difficulty of Mafia 1 all over again. I see more of this trend to make games more noob-friendly and it’s pissing me off even more. I guess I’ll just stick more to more hardcore FPS and RTS games myself. I don’t know if I’ve leveled up too much as a gamer and I refuse to go back but I have talked to other gamers that don’t play as much as I do and they say the same thing.

Well, at least the Obsolete Gamer Crew had fun going to the Mafia 2 release party. ;-]

Martin Brouard: Frima Studio

Frima logo

Name: Martin Brouard

Company: Frima Studios

Profession: Executive producer

Favorite Classic Game: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Quote: Ultima IV was a revolution for me because it had such an epic scope for an RPG at the time. I remember spending a whole summer building up my party and travelling through Britannia’s many cities and dungeons to attain perfection in all 8 virtues. The music was just so awesome that I still find myself humming it from time to time almost 25 years later…


Kevin Saffel: Heatwave Interactive

Heatwave Interactive logo

Name: Kevin Saffel

Company: Heatwave Interactive, Inc.

Profession: CTO (read: uber nerd)

Favorite Classic Game: Ultima 7 and Ultima 7 part 2

Quote: Fantastic RPG with a great party system.  In fact I love the entire Ultima series, including Ultima Online


Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST

Today in the music hall I’d like to share with you one of my favorite soundtracks. Castlevainia has always had good music even back to the Nintendo days. I remember many of the memorable tunes from Super Castlevania, but when SOTN was released on the Playstation I was hooked.

Castlevania Symphony of the Night OST

 

Not only was it such a great game, but it has incredibly well composed music that I still listen to today.

You can purchase the full OST here.

POD: DC Online Universe

Todays Picture of the Day comes from the highly antispasmodic MMO DC Online universe. I have been watching this game developed for a long time now and when I got a chance to try it hands on at E3 I knew it would be a winner for me.

First check out the footage I shot at this years E3.

Now onto the Gamescom trailer.

And finally brand new screenshots from the game, enjoy!

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

PVP vs non-pvp PVE
PVP vs non-pvp PVE

Player versus Player and Player versus Environment was the topic for this week’s show. We were happy to have our good friend Edwin in the studio with us and had a great conversation via Skype with longtime Obsolete Gamer fan, Liz Poisonkiss.

We started off with a recap of last week’s show which featured MMO’s and then moved into our Facebook fanpage question of the week which asked which our fans preferred to play PVE or PVP type games. From there we talked about our Insider Discussion question of the week which asked our panel which had a bigger impact on PC gaming RTS or FPS games.

From there we dove right into the main topic discussing the differences between a FPS mindset playing games such as Quake 2 and the strategy side of RTS games such as the original Warcraft game. Edwin also talked about his online Street Fighter games and said that he preferred to play again a human which we all agreed.

We premiered a new feature on OGS called Skype with a fan where we talk with people who have participated on our Facebook page and Forums and our first guest was longtime fan Liz. Who shared her thoughts on being a gamer girl, fps versus rts and pvp versus pve.

In our final segment Ignacio, Edwin and I discussed our various experiences in PVP from MMO’s to X-box live to arcades. Overall we had a good discussion about an important subject in the world of gaming. So give us a listen and we will be back next week with a brand new show.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

The Interview: Chris Tremmel

Boogerman game
Boogerman game

Chris Tremmel

There are thousands of great games across all platforms that we as gamers have enjoyed for many years of our lives, but what about the people behind them. Just as there are fans of games there are the game makers themselves who weave a concept into code to be displayed on your system of choice. Many times the idea that became the mega-hit game of the year came to the developer or designer in the middle of the night, but from there it was many sleepless nights to turn that vision into reality.

One of Obsolete Gamer’s main purposes is to get the story behind the game and we do this by speaking with the designers, developers and publishers who helped bring us oh so many hours of enjoyment. Sometimes it begins with a gamer profile where we just find out a game they like and from there a dialog starts and soon you find out all kinds of wonderful information.

This is what happened with our gamer profile of Chris Tremmel. I discovered him through his clothing store, Gamer Cultoure and when he submitted his gamer profile with the game BoogerMan I wanted to find out why he liked that game and what I found out was he was one of the main creators of it. After that I had to learn more and Chris was very accommodating in answering our questions.

Gamer Cultoure logo
Gamer Cultoure logo

Obsolete Gamer: Let’s start with a little history, what was it that got you into gaming and working in the gaming industry?

Chris Tremmel: When I was a kid, my parents hooked me up with a Texas Instruments\99-4A computer. I was already a gamer thanks to PONG, and the AT2600, but the TI-99 allowed me to begin making my own games! I think I started with “porting” my choose your own adventure books into interactive form. 🙂

Obsolete Gamer: When did you begin working at Interplay?

Chris Tremmel: I officially started working at Interplay in 1992 I believe. It’s funny because I first interviewed for a tester spot. I didn’t get the job because my “autoexec.bat, and config.sys” knowledge was a bit rusty. I went home, studied up, and returned for a 2nd interview a month or two later. This time I got the job. The 1st games I tested were the original Alone in the Dark on PC, and the Lost Vikings on the Amiga.

Obsolete Gamer: Who else did you work with primarily at Interplay?

Chris Tremmel: I initially worked in the testing department but quickly made friends with a couple of designers and producers, primarily Mike Stragey and Alan Pavlish.

Obsolete Gamer: What was it like working for them?

Chris Tremmel: I hate to sound really cliche’, but working at Interplay in 1992\1993 was “magical”. I was in awe of everything being made and was thrown right in to working with some of the brightest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with. It was an amazing time as I was being taught my core design fundamentals by great guys like Mike and Alan. I knew this is what I wanted to do forever.

Obsolete Gamer: When did you first start working on Boogerman?

Chris Tremmel: I believe we started Boogerman in early 1993? It’s hard to remember exactly.

Obsolete Gamer: Who else worked with you on Boogerman?

Chris Tremmel: My boss, and the man that hired me out of test Michael Stragey. 🙂 Also Alan Pavlish was the executive producer who we would run stuff by on a regular basis. We also worked with an external animation house called Little Gangster, as well as some in-house artists, and additional programming support, but primarily it was Mike and myself.

Obsolete Gamer: How did you come up with the concept and story behind Boogerman?

Chris Tremmel: Interplay came to Mike and said “we want to make a gross-out game that appeals to the Garbage Pail Kids demographic.”

Interplay logo
Interplay logo

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us a little bit about the development process?

Chris Tremmel: Conceptually we knew we wanted to make a “gross” game. Mike came up with the idea of a gross Superhero and off we went! The ideas just starting pouring out from Michael and myself, I would say we were never short of ideas for characters, locations, etc.

As for the design of the characters, we worked very closely with Little Gangster and went through dozens of designs until we finally settled on what you see today. Funny enough, several of the bosses in the game including the main boss BoogerMiester were originally design concepts for Boogerman himself.

Obsolete Gamer: When Boogerman was ready to launch did you believe you had a hit on your hands?

Chris Tremmel: Ya know, this is a weird thing… I was so new to the industry and so excited and stoked every day to be making games that I never really thought about “hits”. We knew we had something fun, and we knew people responded to the content the way we wanted, so that was enough for me. I still remember our very 1st magazine preview EVER. It was in Diehard Gamefan, they dubbed it an “instant classic”, we were happy.

Now some gaming sites and magazines game you high marks while others gave you more middle of the road scores. Do you think they just didn’t get it or what was the disconnect?

I think we were pretty happy with the reviews. We had some serious competition that year with Earthworm Jim being released at the same time. I think Boogerman got the scores it deserved, it was a good game, just not everyones cup of tea.

Obsolete Gamer: What was your feeling about winning the grossest character of 1994 award from Electronic Gaming monthly?

Chris Tremmel: Honored for sure. The entire Boogerman universe is still very close to our hearts to this day (Mike and myself). I still believe the franchise has a lot of potential.

Obsolete Gamer: Was there a plan to make more Boogerman related games?

Chris Tremmel: Yes, absolutely. AND a cartoon. The cartoon was actually started, at least script writing, character design, etc. but I believe in the end Universal went with the Earthworm Jim cartoon that was in development at the same time. Which btw, I am a massive EWJ fan and I loved loved loved the cartoon.

There were clocks made, t-shirts, and even a Boogerman phone. In addition we DID start the sequel on the Sega Saturn. We had a basic design document done and had contracted some amazing matte painters to start working on backgrounds. Unfortunately, it never came to fruition. Michael and myself left Interplay to pursue work with another company, I think we both wish Boogerman 2 could have been made. We had some really fun ideas.

Obsolete Gamer: How was it to see Boogerman released for the virtual console in 2008?

Chris Tremmel: Neither Mike or myself were involved in this. I believe this happened after Interplay changed hands. We were incredibly happy to see it up there though, downloaded it immediately!

Obsolete Gamer: Did you play Boogerman a lot yourself and do you still play it today?

Chris Tremmel: Absolutely! Mike and I both played all the time while making the game, AND after the game was released. Out of all the games I have made, this one probably got played the most. I definitely still bust it out once or twice a year. I like looking back and try to figure out what the heck I was thinking with a particular layout, or just to laugh at some of the character designs. Lot’s of laughing during the development.

Obsolete Gamer: After Boogerman what came next for you?

Chris Tremmel: Mike and I left Interplay to make a game for EA based on a Saturday morning TV show called “Bump in the Night”. Unfortunately this game was never finished\released, although we did have a rad demo running on the Saturn. I ended up at Virgin Interactive after that working on the N64.

Gamer Cultoure dog tag
Gamer Cultoure dog tag

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us a little about Gamer Cultoure?

Chris Tremmel: Sure! Gamer Cultoure is a side project I have started that is clothing centric. It’s really a basic line of T-shirts, hoodies, etc. that are gaming themed. The line is really small right now, but I intend to continue to grow it over the next year or two. After leaving Activision early in the year I decided to take a little time off and try something different for a little while. It has been a fun, rewarding process for sure.

Obsolete Gamer: What do you think of gaming today in comparison to gaming back in the early to mid nineties?

Chris Tremmel: Oh no, this is a loaded question. 🙂 It is definitely different. The process has become more complicated, usually requiring a large number of people to make something significant. The money involved in some of the triple A games is staggering with some budgets now reaching 100 million dollars. That naturally changes everything in terms of peoples priorities, and agendas. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. One of the nice things though as of late is seeing the rise of the “indie” studios, small teams executing on great ideas. It is very easy to get distracted now a days when making something. The bar has been raised so high, and with so much money involved it takes some serious planet-aligning powers to take something killer to market. All of that being said, I hope the younger guys and girls that are in the industry today feel the same sense of magic that I felt in 1992.

Obsolete Gamer: Are you working on any video games at the moment?

Chris Tremmel: As of right this second, no. Expect that to change very soon. I will definitely keep you posted any news. 🙂

I quickly wanted to give a shout out to all the people I worked with at Interplay. Thanks Mike, Alan, Brian, Rusty, Tim, Burger, Kerry, and way too many more to list. All of you guys helped me get started on this amazing journey and I appreciate it to this day.

Obsolete Gamer would like to thank Chris Tremmel for taking the time to answer our questions.

Jonathan Sabella: Ninth Dimension Studios

Ninth Dimension Studios logo

Name: Jonathan Sabella

Company: Ninth Dimension Studios, LLC

Profession: Co-Founder, Executive Creative Director and Artist

Favorite Classic Game: Blades of Steel

Quote: I just can’t get enough of the fast paced hockey action from the classic NES system, I still love the dynamic of winning fights giving your team an advantage and worked hard to bring influences from classic games like Blades of Steel and Ice Hockey to my design work on The Hockey Experiment.


Free Stuff: DOSBox

DOSBox Logo
Dos Box logo

If you are a fan of classic PC gaming (pre-windows era) then you need to have and use DOSBox, especially since it’s free and there’s hundreds of DOS games legally free all over the internet.

You can download DOSBox for free at its main site here. You can adjust the speed of the game using hotkeys and it’s not just for gaming. I’ve ran a bunch of DOS applications that banks, doctors, lawyers, and accounting clients of mine still use that are from the DOS days. It’s the best legacy program I know. This is one of the top favorite programs of the Obsolete Gamer Staff.

You can get many free games from Abandonia and Home of the Underdogs.

Get out there and get them!

Alex Kutsenok: Dreamspike Studios

Dreamspike Studios logo

Name:Alex Kutsenok

Company: Dreamspike Studios

Profession: Project Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Everquest

Quote: I got into Everquest as a sophomore in high school. It was my first MMORPG, and the level of immersion was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I also appreciated that there was a real consequence to death. It meant you lost a ton of experience and had to track across the world to retrieve your stuff. That kind of consequence made the adventure more real and exciting because you knew that there was always something at stake. Finally, I liked the freedom that came from choosing where you wanted to hunt. You didn’t need to worry about compeleting repetitive quests and could level in any number of zones.


POD: Homefront

Homefront logo

Today’s Picture of the Day comes from the THQ game Homefront. I first heard about Homefront shortly before I went to E3 and learned more about it once there. I like the story behind the game and it does look like it will be a load of fun.

Here’s the story:

The year is 2027. The world as we know it is unraveling after fifteen years of economic meltdown and widespread global conflict over dwindling natural resources.

A once proud America has fallen, her infrastructure shattered and military in disarray. Crippled by a devastating EMP strike, the USA is powerless to resist the ever expanding occupation of a savage, nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic.

Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles. A once-free people are now prisoners… or collaborators… or revolutionaries.

Join the Resistance, stand united and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force in Homefront’s gripping single player campaign penned by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn). Stand alongside a cast of memorable characters as an emotional plot unfolds in this terrifyingly plausible near-future world. Experience visceral, cinematic first-person shooter action as you fight your way across Occupied USA using guerrilla tactics, and commandeer military vehicles and advanced drone technology to defeat the enemy.

Multiplayer brings epic warfare to the online arena as infantry, tanks, attack helicopters and combat drones battle across huge, open battlefields. A rich feature set offering layers of tactical depth combined with a game-changing innovation in the multiplayer space will set a new benchmark in online warfare.

Check out this trailer about Homefront’s backstory.

Now on to the screenshots.

POD: Mortal Kombat 9

Today’s picture of the day comes from the upcoming Mortal Kombat game.

The newest chapter of the iconic fight franchise marks a triumphant return to the series’ mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic. Driven by an all new graphics engine, the fan favorite Fatality is back and presented in more gory detail than ever before. In addition, Mortal Kombat introduces a number of new game-play features including tag team and the deepest story mode of any fighting game. Players can choose from an extensive line up of the game’s iconic warriors and challenge their friends in traditional 1 vs. 1 matches, or take on several new game modes.

Which genre had a bigger impact to PC gaming RTS or FPS games?

Panel Discussion microphones
Panel Discussion microphones

What pulled you into PC gaming was it the fact that a new type of gameplay was created that just couldn’t be found on console systems? For many PC gaming took time to get into not only because of the cost of the systems, but that some of them took work to get running. However, the rewards were great for those who ventured into the world of PC gaming and through today some feel consoles are killing the PC gaming market (besides MMO’s) there are still millions of PC gamers out there.

If you look past the MMO’s and Flash games what would you find on these systems. Which would you find more of FPS, First Person Shooter Games or RTS, Real Time Strategy Games? Obviously with the recent release of Star Craft II I am sure you will see a Battlenet icon on many gamer’s task bars, but overall, who had the bigger impact on the PC gaming world?

In my opinion it is FPS games and this is coming from someone who loved to play RTS games and even turn based games. For me it was games like Wolfenstein, Rise of the Triad and of course Doom that had me going to Egghead software to slam three hundred dollars on the table for a Western Digital 750mb hard drive to build my first custom rig.

When I went to my first LAN party here in Florida it was the guys from Red-Eye that showed me how to use mouse look in order to properly use the hook in Lithium Quake 2. Now don’t get me wrong, StarCraft, Warcraft, Total Annihilation were also a big part of our LAN gaming, but it was games like Tribes, Duke Nukem, Shogo and Doom 2 that ruled our playtime.

We asked our panel of industry insiders their opinion on the question.

Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

I would have to go with FPS. Granted in the PC platform, RTS is bigger than it is on other platforms like the consoles. But even so I’d go with FPS having a bigger impact.

Juan Gril from JoJu Games wrote:

In my opinion, Starcraft on RTS, and Quake on FPS.

Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote:

I’d say RTS. Where FPS had a huge impact on hardware and game design. I think RTS brought a ton of previous non-gamers to the table for the first time and kept them there.

Danny Greig from XGEN Studios wrote:

I would say the FPS has had a larger impact on PC gaming but not by much. Doom/Doom 2 and Quake had just too much impact on PC gaming to ignore; I don’t think any RTS has had the impact of those games.  Blizzard has basically owned and dominated the RTS genre which has had a very large impact on the PC gaming industry but falls just short of what the FPS has done in my opinion.

Jason Shankel from Stupid Fun Club wrote:

In terms of technology and broadening the appeal of the PC as a platform for gamers, I’d have to go with FPS.  In the early days, FPS highlighted the power of the PC as a gaming platform with superior performance to consoles.  There simply was no other way to play DOOM or Quake except on a PC.  The RTS on the other hand highlighted the power of the keyboard and mouse as an input control, but was not fundamentally limited to the PC.  It would have been possible to play Dune II on a console.

In terms of creating a genre that is uniquely PC, I’d have to go with RTS.  Today, consoles perform roughly as well as PCs and there are many shooters available on console.  And even though FPS controls are still superior on a PC, FPS is certainly no longer a PC-only genre.  Yet no one has really cracked the RTS nut on consoles.  With no technological barriers to clear,  RTS is a genre that’s simply best played sitting up with a keyboard and mouse, not reclining with a console controller.

If I have to pick one answer, I’m going with RTS.  The FPS made a bigger initial splash, but the RTS has endured as a uniquely PC genre and thus had a longer lasting impact on that platform.

David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

I’d say first person shooters.  They survived longer as a genre, and people talk about Quake and Doom a lot more than they do Starcraft (I).   Me, I’m not a fan of the FPS genre.  I think there are more first person shooters as there are Phil Collins ballads… and they are largely just as indistinguishable from one another 🙂 .

Gary Manica from Smashing Ideas wrote:

Easy answer for me.  I want to say RTS games because I prefer them, but realistically they don’t come close to FPS games to me.

FPS games in general have been one of the (if not the biggest) pushers of hardware development on a PC for many years running.  Dev houses constantly refine massive engine libraries to push more and more polygons and maintain the minimum framerate that crazy FPS players demand.   Engines like CryEngine, Unreal, Source, idTech, etc provide a platform for, and push developers (hardware and software) to really go above and beyond while being able to use a mostly pre-built framework.  The tech they build in these engines has been filtering down to other gaming genres for decades now.  And there is a reason that other genres are adopting FPS aspects to them.

There are many instances of amazing RTS games out there, with a lot of really good ideas.  But I don’t think they affect the industry as a whole to the scale FPS games do.

So what is your take? Let us know your answer by posting in our forums below. See you next week.

Keith Pichelman: Concrete Software

Concrete Software logo

Name: Keith Pichelman

Company: Concrete Software, Inc.

Profession: CEO of Concrete Software

Favorite Classic Game: Lode Runner

Quote: The game had a ton of levels!!! It seemed like you could play it forever… the later levels really got you thinking outside the box which could get so frustrating until you finally figured it out… but so satisfying when you did!  It was also one of the first games I can remember where you could create levels.


Games Are Not Art

GTA IV Jack Thompson
GTA IV Jack Thompson

If you couldn’t already tell, I like games. I want to spend all of my time writing about them or playing them. I won’t ever stop playing them, or at least enjoying them, no matter what happens. Why did I just say that? Because I’m about to piss a whole lot of gamers off, and I want them to remember I said that when we get into the meat of this article.

At this moment in time, games are not art.

It’s not that I think they’re bad, they just aren’t what one would define as “art”. Do I have a concrete definition for art? Absolutely not, and I could care less about it. We seem to be looking for the entitlement that comes as an “art form”. While I would like it if society stopped thinking that games are for kids, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are an art form.

Games are not currently art in my opinion, because of what art is, in its current form. It has several properties which exclude gaming. The main one is simple: Games are meant to be played. You do not interact with most things that are classified as art. But there is no piece of artwork that can be played. The difference being, that you view art, you absorb art, the only way you interact with it in almost all cases is to see it, in some respect. You cannot “view” a game. If a piece of art has outside influences that inherently change it, then it is currently not art. Simple as that.

Flower game screenshot
Flower maybe the closest we get to an "art" game

It’s an observation vs interaction argument. Some art can be interacted with. Some people make sculptures that can be moved, but that isn’t changing it, just rearranging it in a way that is intended. Games aren’t meant to be observed. Games by definition, cannot be observed. You play a game. You are controlling the character, making decisions that inherently change the game. In Flower, you control the breeze, but there is still an objective and things that you must complete in order to progress. Current art doesn’t have that. There’s no part of a book that will stop you from reading it until you’ve successfully read every word on every page to the book’s satisfaction. If “The End” snipes me on my ass every time I play Metal Gear Solid 3, (assuming I don’t cheat) I will not progress further into that game. I will never be able to see the ending, or how the story continues because I cannot progress any further.

How many times has that happened to you when you were a kid playing games? There is this one part that you just can’t get past, and you put the game down and never pick it back up again. For me, that happened in The Bouncer. I got to the final boss, and just couldn’t beat him. I never got to see how the story ended, and never got the satisfaction of seeing the man that I had worked so hard to build up the energy, stamina and power to defeat, actually get defeated.

If I wanted to, I could skip to the end of my Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit book and figure out exactly how it ends. Nothing will stop me from doing so other than my own notion not to spoil the ending for myself. When I watch Salt or The Social Network, nothing’s going to stop me from skipping to the end of these movies and looking at the conclusion that both those movies will probably be terrible.

Braid screenshot
Games can be pretty, but can't be "art" right now

Can games eventually be art? Of course, once they change the definition of what “art” is. When art can be interacted with, engaged, enjoyed with and through the person using it instead of enjoyed by the person seeing it, then games can be art. But allow me to ask a simple question:

Why in the hell would games want to be art?

Games are so much better than art. The point of this article isn’t to prove that games aren’t art, it’s to prove to you that they shouldn’t be considered art. To say that games are art degrades the games themselves. If it is true that games are not art because art is not generally interacted with as I just said, then that becomes a limitation of art, not an expression of art’s superiority. Art isn’t better than games, no matter what Ebert wants us to believe. Games are better than art, solely because they can be interacted with. In books you are forced to use your imagination, because the limitation of the book is that it can’t show you moving pictures. The limitation of the movie is that you cannot interact with it, you cannot take control of it, you are essentially just a person viewing it with no control over the events. In games you get that control. You control the main character. Your actions are his actions, and you are being led through worlds that could be replicated by movies, but not with the same feel. Games are far better than art, and game designers don’t wear those pretentious hats and act with an heir of superiority. Why are we fighting for a position that is beneath us? Do you fight for second place in Crash Team Racing? No, of course not, so why is it that gamers are so hell bent on trying to be given a title that is currently beneath them? If anything, art should be begging for games to be in its little club. Instead, (as the medium before it always does) they act like they are somehow better, more pure or are superior to the medium that surpasses it simply because they can’t keep up.

So no, games are not art, in art’s current definition. But I am proud to say that games aren’t art. When art’s ready, we’ll be waiting. Until then, we should be the ones with the sense of superiority on our faces. All movie-goers can hope for is to be us. To give the person interacting with it the sense of control, of bonding and of attachment with the main character. At the end of a movie, the audience cheers for the main character’s triumph, or cries at their failure. At the end of a game, we are that main character. We’ve been through what they’ve been through. Lets see any type of art do that.

Greg Wohlwend: Mikengreg

Mikengreg logo

Name:Greg Wohlwend

Company: Mikengreg

Profession: Lead Greg

Favorite Classic Game: Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire

Quote: My brother and I were obsessed with this game. It came on a dozen or so 3.5″ hard disks (high tech back then) and included a semi-complete faux vellum map. Most of the game took place in either a huge city or a huge desert with tons of little secrets hiding everywhere. That, coupled with the fact that you had to type out most of your actions, made for a world that really felt alive. Plus there was num-pad based real-time combat and different character classes to choose from with different quest lines for each. Though, it’s not the feature list that makes this game great, it’s the love that it was made with that shines through in the end.


You can check out one of Mikengreg’s games Solipskier here for free at this link.

GAMES COMING OUT SEPTEMBER 2010 FOR CONSOLES

Halo Reach trailer
Halo Reach trailer

Ah September the time when many go back to school and fall is just around the comer. Nah, forget about that, you can’t tell the seasons are changing if you are locked onto your television screen now can you? This month there is actually a good reason to succumb to your gaming addition.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Fans of the Kingdom Hearts saga can rejoice the Square Enix hit is back. Here’s the story: Long before Sora was chosen by his Keyblade, the worlds’ safety lay in the hands of the true Keyblade Masters. Three youths – Terra, Ventus and Aqua – have been training long and hard under Master Eraqus to prove that they, too, exhibit the Mark of Mastery. But they will soon find themselves in the middle of a crisis affecting worlds far beyond their own – just as another Keyblade Master, Xehanort, goes mysteriously missing. Three friends, three destinies. Everything will link back to the beginning. I really was hoping to see some Marvel characters since Disney acquired the studio. Maybe next time.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Quick, what’s better than Spider-man? If you said four Spider-men then you are correct. Activision releases Shattered Dimensions which has Spider-man fighting to reassemble pieces from a shattered tablet and along the way he runs in the different versions of himself. Hey, as long as it’s not as bad as that awful clone saga this one could be interesting.

Halo: Reach

Seriously, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this game? Simply put, if you like any of the Halo’s you are getting this game and if you don’t well I guess this awesome trailer will mean nothing to you.

Dead Rising 2

So there is this gameshow where you battle against a city full of zombies and if that isn’t enough other human players. Dead Rising 2 is a zombie slayers wet dream and with thousands of ways to take out your undead foes it is guaranteed to keep you interested this fall.

Now there are more games being released, but honestly with a line-up like this you are going to be booked this month. Don’t worry though October is looking good to with games like Castlevania: Lord of Shadow so stay tuned.

POD: BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite logo
BioShock Infinite logo

Today we bring you not only two high res screenshots from the upcoming BioShock  Infinite, but the debut trailer as well. 2K and Irrational games takes you out of the water and into the skies to a city called Columbia. It is 1912 and the city was to be a shining symbol of American pride and power, but of course something went horribly wrong.

The city disappears into the clouds and you, playing the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt are sent to the city to rescue a young woman, Elizabeth who has been imprisoned there since childhood. When you find her the two of you have to make your way out which won’t be easy thanks to a ton of crazy citizens. Luckily the lady you recued has abilities which you will need not only to augment with your own, but to help you fight off the horde of baddies indoors and out including high-speed sky-line combat.

Mafia 2 Release Party Miami

Mafia 2 Release Party Miami by Honorabili

Our friends Kevin Wasielewski and Hector Penton at OriginPC invited us to come to the club Grand Central Miami to celebrate the release of the Max Payne/GTA/Saints Row clone sequel Mafia 2. Grand Central itself was a nice club. It seems to be a converted train depot.

Here are some pictures of JA Laraque and some hot Mafia 2 models to get your attention. Hey, sex sells!

The event was free and open to the public.

I got a chance to play the Mafia 2 demo on the PCs that were doing the demo of the game by OriginPC. As far as my impression of it goes (just based on the demo and me playing and beating the original Mafia 1), the game seems a lot easier than the first game with your guy regenerating health if he doesn’t get hurt within a certain amount of time, a trend in many recent games. Mafia 1 was really brutal from what I remember in the last time I played it. Mafia 2 itself is nice eye candy and the version of the game I played was using the latest and greatest 3D gaming technology that was supplied by NVIDIA. I spent a good amount of time talking to Andrew Coonrad, the Technical Marketing Analyst from NVIDIA. He informed me (and I agree) that we will see this 3D technology implemented in a lot of future games. I think it works really well with games where stuff is being shot at you like FPS games or stuff like Descent as well as a lot of racing games.

The rest of the time I talked to a lot of local gaming people, drank about 7 cups worth of cranberry & vodka, downed a bottom of a local drink called Game Juice (which they make in Medley, FL and it tasted somewhat like Mountain Dew Baja Blast mixed with some other flavors), and talked about the future of gaming and a ton of science fiction movies with my friend Nery Hernandez, CTO of Monkey Plum Media.

For the most part they had a bunch of hip hop music playing really really loud.

As far as loot goes the event dropped a nice XL Mafia 2 shirt as well as a bunch of posters, stuff we can give away to you guys in the future. 😀 They had a contest where they randomly picked whoever screamed the most and gave them free shirts and copies of the game for PC, PS3, or XBox 360.

Overall, I will be playing Mafia 2 shortly (and probably comparing it more to the original game if I review it).

Nicolai Dutka: Archon Games

Archon Games logo

Name: Nicolai Dutka

Company: Archon Games

Profession: Producer/Project Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Final Fantasy  (The original for NES)

Quote: The original Final Fantasy was the very first role-playing game I had ever played.  I was instantly hooked into the genre and have been a die-hard RPG fan ever since.


Blizzard’s New World of Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base?

WoW Kobold
WoW Kobold

Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base

Rumors have been coming down the grapevine that Blizzard is moving away from the traditional attitude of making each expansion easier than the last. The audience that they garnered in during Wrath of the Lich King seem to be involuntarily entering a new “old” era of World of Warcraft. Not only is the expansion revamping the old vanilla zones but it seems that old combat rule sets are about to follow in. Are they attempting to isolate their WOTLK Ez-Mode audience that has been showered in epic loots for sneezing in the right direction? It sure seems so.

Some Beta contestants have been mentioning that level 81 greens in Cataclysm are stronger than epics that drop off of Arthas in WOTLK. Sound a bit familiar? The same formula was used in Burning Crusade where you could replace your entire Tier 3 set and weapons by level 64 with vastly more powerful “uncommon” gear. On top of this change, they are putting the “epic” back into purple by making blues a much more common drop. Testimonials from people in Beta have been mentioning they have yet to have seen a purple item. They are mentioning that the abundance of blues are the equivalent of seeing a warrior in Valor Armor with a purple from Stratholme or UBRS before Molten Core came out. In Vanilla WoW, when you saw someone with an epic, even just one, it really meant that item was purely epic because of the miniscule chance something like that would drop. Is there a reason Blizzard is reverting to this style of loot dropping? Some players are so upset about this they have even vented their rage on the forums how there will be more blues in Cataclysm than in WOTLK. One possible troll stated even if the blues have stats that are equivalent to a purple they refuse to have to raid to get purple colors now. A bit immature? Well, that’s WoW’s community for you.

Another homage to the old school playing style of World of Warcraft will be the return of Crowd Control! That’s right, Mages! You can start Polymorphing again! It had seemed that during WOTLK, CC had become a thing of the past and players would do the simple thing and just body pull and use Area-Of-Effect spells to burn everything down quickly. Healers would just spam their fastest heal and keep the tank up constantly. In Cataclysm, Blizzard (and something beta tester can attest to) mentions that combat difficulty has increased significantly and just nuking everything that is still moving isn’t going to work anymore. Players are going to actually have to use their crowd controlling abilities to keep pulls safe.

Tanks are also going to have a bit more of a problem now because healers are being forced to use more than one heal to keep them alive. Yes, they are making healers have actual heal rotations because they are making their spells more mana hungry. Tanks hit points won’t be able to keep up with massive bombardment from 9 mobs at once any longer. It looks like Blizzard is trying to make all players fill a more important and diverse role in a group even in lowly dungeons.

Is Blizzard looking to bring back players that have left and also bring in new players that haven’t been spoiled by WOTLK easy handouts with the new Team Jacob race? If this is the case, how is their majority audience in WOTLK going to fair when Cataclysm releases? The expansion still has awhile to go before their release date and there are always more features and additions to throw in but if this is the course that they are going how negatively could this impact their current population?

Games Coming Out September 2010 for PC

Civilization 5 pre-release picture
Civilization 5 pre-release image

Games Coming Out September 2010 for PC by Honorabili

August had some nice releases but September looks like a heavy month for PC gaming as well!

Aion: Assault on Balaurea, September 7 2010

The anticipated expansion is released, which will appease this game’s many fans. Click here to see all our articles regarding this game.

R.U.S.E., September 7 2010

Interesting concept behind an RTS where you can deceive your enemy with imaginary armies. Let’s see how it does considering most people are still playing Starcraft 2.

Amnesia The Dark Descent, September 8 2010

The date had gotten pushed back for this game. Click here to see what I had to say about it last month.

The Patrician 4, September 14 2010

I used to play a lot of The Patrician on Amiga. It was a great sea-faring times trade and city management simulator. Check this one out if you’re into that sort of thing. ;-]

Civilization 5, September 21 2010

Whereas the release of Starcraft 2 was the apocalypse for Korea, this game is the same for me… Prepare for my disappearance as we will see yet another masterpiece in wargaming history.

F1 2010, September 21

Although I will be playing Civilization 5, this immersive Formula 1 game is being released the same day by Codemasters. It’s next on my list after Civ 5!

Final Fantasy XIV, September 22 (Collector’s Edition) and 30 (normal version) 2010

Another epic Final Fantasy… Let’s see how this one does. Click here for details as to what you will get with each copy.

Darksiders, September 23 2010

Looks like yet another God of War clone to me… If you buy it through Steam they give you Titan Quest Gold, a game we like to make fun of.

Front Mission Evolved, September 28 2010

Since MechWarrior is dead in the water, this game will pick up the slack in the meantime.

Dead Rising 2, September 28

This is one of those retardedly fun games that involves zombies and lots and lots of gore. Always a winner!

H.A.W.X. 2, September 30 2010

H.A.W.X. 1 has a special place in my heart and it’s probably the funnest game I played in December 2009. I look forward to this action packed sequel! Make more!

Tera Online: World Origins Gamescom Trailer

TERA logo
TERA logo

En Masse Entertainment is pleased to release a brand-new trailer for their award-winning action MMO title TERA, as the game is unveiled for the first time to the European audience at this week’s gamescom 2010 festival in Cologne.

This new trailer details the origins and background of the world of TERA. When the gods turned away from them to make war on one another, six mortal races were left to make their own way through the war-torn world that remained. Now the splintered peoples of TERA—humans, castanics, poporis, amani, barakas, even the elves—must unite and take aim, control, and action to preserve the last glimmer of a future hope against the growing darkness.

Everquest II Extended Free to Play Beta

EverQuest II Extended BETA free adventures logo
EverQuest II Extended BETA free adventures logo

Starting today players can create new free to play accounts for Sony online entertainments Everquest 2. No credit card is required and there are additional tiers of membership upgrades you can take advantage of. Here is a look at their pricing plan.

Everquest 2 extended membership plans
Everquest 2 extended membership plans

Here is the official press release:

WHAT: Starting today, players can experience the dark and dangerous depths of Norrath without a subscription with the release of SOE’s new free adventure service, EverQuest® II Extended! SOE has liberated portions of the critically acclaimed PC franchise, EverQuest II, including five plus years of impressive, award-winning content, for free. EverQuest II Extended joins the highly successful EverQuest II live subscription service, and together they provide EQII players with a choice of either a subscription-based or free-to-play business model, thus offering two distinct experiences operating in parallel, which is a first in the MMO industry. EverQuest II Extended players can login now and experience the unmatched content and adventure that no other free to play massively multiplayer online game can offer! To sign up, players should visit http://everquest2.com/free_to_play.

ABOUT EXTENDED: Extended also provides players with quick and convenient game access through a new web-based streaming download application that lets players get into the game quicker than ever before. Extended also includes the recently improved EQII user-interface and Golden Path progression system!

Extended offers multiple tiers of membership upgrade options that allow players to customize their gaming experience to fit their needs. Details of these options can be found athttp://everquest2.com/_themes/default/images/extended/membershipMatrix.jpg.

POD: Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2 title screen
Dead Rising 2 title screen

Our Picture of the Day comes from Capcoms Dead Rising 2:

North America – August 31st, 2010
Genre: Zombie Action
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Rating: TBC
Developer: Blue Castle Games

Several years have passed since the Wilamette incident, and Dead Rising 2 shifts the action from the everyday world of mid-West America to the glitz and glamour of Fortune City, America’s latest and greatest entertainment playground. People flock to Fortune City from around the globe to escape from reality and the chance to win big and for some, this means competing in Terror is Reality.

Like millions of Americans former national motocross champion, Chuck Greene, is gripped by the TV sensation that is Terror is Reality. Hosted by the flamboyant Tyrone King, Terror is Reality pits ordinary members of the public against an arena full of zombies with a simple challenge – kill more zombies than your opponents and stay alive with the winner collecting big money and the chance to come back and secure even greater prizes. So, what is it that has forced Chuck to come to Fortune City and risk his life in the modern day gladiatorial contest, is he trying to recapture the fame of his motocross days, does he have a reason to hate zombies, or is it simply the lure of big money?

Fredrik Liljegren: Antic Entertainment

Antic Entertainment logo

Name: Fredrik Liljegren

Company: Antic Entertainment

Profession: CEO

Favorite Classic Game: Match Point (Commodore 64)

Quote: It was the first real tennis game (not just paddles and a moving blob!), many many 5 set matches that took hours was played on this game with my friends, and it was the first game that made think about making one myself.


Warhammer 40K: Gamescom 2010 Trailer: The Imperium of Man

Warhammer 40k Dark Millennium Online logo
Warhammer 40k Dark Millennium Online logo

Even before Warhammer was released to MMO fans people everywhere were calling for a 40k game and soon it will be here. For now check out this awesome trailer that premiered at Gamescom 2010.

The THQ/Vigil Games trailer features one of the games playable races, the Imperium of Man. The humans of 40k are a galactic empire whose reach extends over a million planets. Stay tuned to the MMO department for more details.

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Public Beta

Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures logo
Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures logo

While at E3 earlier this year I got a chance to play Clone Wars Adventures and while it is true the game was made for a younger audience it was a fun play. Currently you can give it a try by heading over to their Public Beta page and signing up.

Here is their press release:

Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts are looking for video game enthusiasts of all ages and fans of the Star Wars®: The Clone WarsTM animated television series on Cartoon Network to be the first to get hands-on in the open BETA testing that begins today for Star Wars®: Clone Wars AdventuresTM. Get a sneak peak of the highly anticipated free-to-play online virtual world and provide feedback to help put the finishing touches on the final game scheduled to be released later this year on September 15th.

The ultimate virtual destination for a new generation of Star Wars fans, Clone Wars Adventures is an action-packed virtual world where players can go online to experience fun minigames, daily activities, events, rewards, lively social environments and competition. Clone Wars Adventures lets players duel iconic adversaries with their own custom Lightsaber, speed through the galaxy in a custom Starfighter, defeat enemies and take down starships.

Clone Wars Adventures is a free-to-play game, but players who want to take the galactic action to the next level can purchase a monthly Membership subscription for $5.99, while a variety of epic items can also be purchased through Station Cash® micro-transactions. The Clone Wars Adventures Galactic Passport is scheduled to be available at thousands of retail locations in North America later this fall and will include a 90-day membership, 500 Station Cash, the ability to unlock the Togruta playable character, a Yoda monitor topper, and more.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 6

MMO collection
MMO collection

Love it or hate it massive multiplayer online role playing games or MMORPG’s for short have played a big role in gaming and this week on OGS we wanted to talk about some of our favorite times and memories involving games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest. In addition during our research for a review on the documentary Second Skin I discovered a good friend of mine was featured along with her guild in the film.

This was our first show using Skype and we wanted to bring some of our longtime fans and friends on the show that either currently or in the past played MMO’s. First we talked with Edgar who gave us his take on World of Warcraft from him fighting off the addictive nature of MMO’s to how the gameplay had to be modified to accommodate new players who may not have the experience of more seasoned gamers.

MMO logos
MMO logos

Next we spoke with an officer from the World of Warcraft guild Amber Knights. Candice is also a good friend of mine and fan of Obsolete Gamer and we spoke to her about running a guild made up of friends and how it can differ from being in a guild of strangers. In addition we talked about her maintaining a happy marriage with her husband and fellow gamer Felipe and finally we chatted about being a gamer girl in a gaming world dominated by men.

Our last Skype interview was with Javier aka Vigo from the World of Warcraft guild Decent. Both Ignacio and I worked with Javier at Alienware (along with Edgar by the way) when World of Warcraft was released and we talked about how we all decided to play it and the choice to either PVE or PVP. The connection was a little bit off for this one, but it was still a good conversation and we were happy to be able to have a good discussion with our fans.

Ignacio/honorabili talks about his best experiences with Auto Assault, Global Agenda, Warhammer Online, and Battleforge. His most memorable memory from Auto Assault is running an elite guild and meeting a group of old gamers that have been playing together since Mechwarrior Online.

Throughout the show we played clips from my interview with Sairys who was one of the couples featured in the documentary Second Skin. We talked about how she got introduced to the Second Skin guys and how she first joined her guild (also profiled in the film) The Syndicate. She told us a heart filled story about how members of the guild helped each other even in the saddest of times and recounted hers and Ebony’s (he boyfriend) fondest memory in a MMO.

All in all a great show and we hope you enjoy it as well and as always leave us feedback and tell us how we did.


The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 6

Anthony Castoro & Tim Schubert: Heatwave Interactive

Heatwave Interactive logo

Name: Anthony Castoro

Company: Heatwave Interactive

Profession: I make games.

Favorite Classic Game: Wing Commander 2 (with Voice Pack)

Quote: So cinematic, great graphics, great combat!  Space Lions (Kilrathi)! What else could you want?


 

Name: Tim Schubert

Company: Heatwave Interactive, Inc.

Profession: MMO Development Zealot

Favorite Classic Game: StarFlight

Quote: “I love games that have a lot of replay value and reward you for exploring.  Starflight was all about both.”


Limbo Review

Limbo screenshot
Welcome to Limbo

“Some days, you’re just screwed from the moment you wake up, till the moment you lay back down”

(Author’s note: I do give games a score, but I use a different system than most. It’s simple really. I give the score based on the price of the game. For example if a game is $60 but pretty decent, I’d give it a $30/$60, and recommend that you should buy it for $30. With MS Points, it’s the same thing.)

Limbo, released July 21st at the beginning of Summer of Arcade on Xbox Live, had a lot to live up to when I first heard about it. It reminded me of Braid from 2008’s Summer of Arcade launch at first glance, however as I played through it, I realized that this is not like Braid at all, it triumphantly surpasses Braid and every other game on Xbox Live Arcade, be it puzzle or otherwise.

Limbo screenshot
This is not a happy place

Limbo’s minimalist art style is striking enough at first glance to warrant immediate attention. The small boy’s only distinguishing feature being his two hauntingly glowing eyes. He wakes up on the floor, clueless and without guidance, and immediately embarks on an adventure that would (and has) made grown men shudder with fear.

While Limbo may look like a simple “artsy” puzzle game, here lies the main difference between Limbo and Braid: Limbo is completely terrifying. Despite the boy being a “silent protagonist” who we know absolutely nothing about other than he kind of looks like Ness from Earthbound, I felt absolutely compelled to try to keep him out of as much danger as humanly possible.

Danger however, is everywhere. Bear Traps, Giant Spiders, Automated Turrets, even things as simple as a flaming tire become absolutely petrifying in Limbo. As I played through, knowing that the game was designed to terrify you and kept my guard, the people watching me play were screaming and cringing in absolute terror. Limbo is painful. Limbo is unrelenting. Most importantly, Limbo is completely unforgiving.

Limbo screenshot spiders
The Spiders are a formidable foe

While we’re on the topic, let’s talk about the deaths in Limbo. “Limbo is unforgiving” is a complete understatement. It’s more than unforgiving, it makes you look like a pathetic fool as well, should you make a mistake. Run too far without paying attention? Bear Trap has now turned your body into an Ocarina. Happen to be in a calm state of mind? Limbo sends a giant spider to impale you and then shake you off as if it stepped in something. Didn’t jump down at the right spot? Limbo forgot to show you that spinning buzz-saw blade waiting to turn you into meat shuffleboard pieces.

Whereas Braid was about using one mechanic, time travel, in many different and mind-detonating ways, Limbo takes the opposite approach. Limbo throws everything at you it can possibly think up. While gameplay consists mainly approaching the puzzle, solving it and moving on without getting turned into cannon-fodder, these puzzles are simple, yet elegant in design and are amazingly difficult to figure out. Towards the middle of the game however, I seemed to get better at solving them, but almost as if the game was recognizing that I was getting better at surviving, it shifted dynamic and the puzzles began to take a much more sinister turn. However none of the deaths seem unwarranted. I was never playing a part of the game and screamed “OH COME ON I SHOULD HAVE MADE THAT!” as we all do when we’re playing these puzzle games. It’s almost as if Limbo has a life of its own. If you are accurate, you are rewarded for your accuracy, but if you aren’t flawless, you most certainly will pay. Greatly.

Uncommon with most art games is Limbo’s “story.” There isn’t any progression however, this isn’t a true story, but as you progress further in the game, you start to figure out why you’re in this horrible, horrible place. However unlike Braid, the story is woven during playtime, not through some awkward text at the beginning of the level. More importantly, this story is one that is simple enough to understand, but satisfying enough to digest. All without any speech or text of any kind.

Limbo is easy to classify, difficult to master, but most certainly one of the best of it’s kind. As long as you are willing to continue forward and figure out the puzzles, Limbo will easily be one of the most (if not the most) satisfying arcade game you will play this summer.

Score: 1200/1200 (MS Points)

Jay Stuckwisch: Twisted Pixel Games

Twisted Pixel logo

Name:Jay Stuckwisch

Company: Twisted Pixel Game

Profession: Community Manager / Merchandising Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Contra

Quote: I loved that you were Military Vs. Aliens, pretty awesome!  The mix up of game play was a pretty sweet effect too.  I would have to say that game is what evolved my love for video games and made me want to be a part of this industry.  Game on!!


Obscure Gamer – Into the third dimension

 

Avatar has been hyped from here to outer space, but it does represent an important trend. Both the movie and the tie-in game are best viewed in 3D, and Hollywood’s appetite for the third dimension is apparent. Can the same be said for viewers at home and in the world of games?

Attempts at 3D have been around for a long while. Early games relied on the old-fashioned red and green specs, including a game called Wanderer. Badly received by the press, programmer Mike Singleton said that he could almost see in 3D without the specs by the end of the development period.

As graphic power increased, so 3D engines became more impressive but not necessarily at generating an image that stood out of the screen. The Virtual Boy was a failure for Nintendo with its odd shape, the headaches induced by the twin red LCD displays and a lack of decent games.

With the first 3D-capable monitors and TVs arriving, so games started to take advantage of them. Many relied on the shuttered principle, with special glasses synchronising as two separate images are displayed to each eye.

Nintendo themselves are trying again with the 3DS. Interestingly, this includes a control button to turn down the depth of the 3D “field”, presumably in an attempt to make things comfortable for the player. Shaped like a conventional DS with two screens, only the top screen displays the 3D image – the bottom screen is still touch-sensitive. Familiar Nintendo franchises will make the leap to 3DS, including the long-forgotten Kid Icarus, Zelda and Starfox.

Sony has updated the PS3 firmware to include the ability to display games in 3D on a suitable display. Killzone 3 has the double honour of being both in 3D and motion controlled, aiming to appeal to the hardcore gamer. These displays of course rely on the special glasses, a fact that Nintendo did not hesitate to point out.

Where does that leave Microsoft and PC users? There are monitors and graphics cards capable of displaying 3D, and of rendering existing graphics with added depth. But as ever it is money and development time that will prove costly to increase the number of 3D games. It could take years for fully 3D gaming to become the standard, much as there is still a large audience that does not game in high definition.

In the end is a monthly subscription fee bad for gamers?

MMO monthly subscription
MMO monthly subscription

When I first heard about having to pay a monthly fee for a game it was in Everquest. At first I thought the idea was just plain stupid. Who in their right mind would pay to play a game every month? Less than a week later I was hooked and even when the subscription rate went up I was fine with it because it was a fun game and I understood the reason for the cost.

However, one thing I did notice was that I did not buy or play many other games. One point was that I was enjoying Everquest so much I did not feel the need to play other games, but I also felt justified for paying a monthly fee because I was not buying a fifty dollar game each month.

Now when a new game with a monthly subscription came out I found a new dilemma. I liked the new game, but I still loved EQ and had not only spent a lot of time in it, but money as well. I was torn between trying something new, giving up EQ or playing both. I found it hard to justify playing two games that took time to level your character and gear up and paying two monthly fees.

Now there are several good MMO’s out there and many more on the horizon. Some MMO’s like DC Online Universe cross over into consoles where many are finding the idea of a monthly fee hard to swallow. Does having an almost universal monthly fee of $14.99 hurt gaming and gamers? Perhaps it only hurts MMO’s because people are less likely to play and pay more than one at a time.

Panel Responses:

Danny Greig from XGEN Studios wrote:

Subscriptions aren’t a bad thing as long as the players are getting something in return. In general, it makes the developers keep their games fresh and updated or they lose subscriptions. The gamers themselves get a game at a $14.99/month price point; much easier to swallow than the $50 for a console game a month. The players know that $14.99 also implies regular updates and content to a game which they already enjoy. Most people still pay more than $14.99 for their TV a month yet likely use it less than any game they have on subscription.

Corey Dangel from Detonator Games wrote:

Games that charge a monthly subscription have to stand up to the rigorous competition offered by a crowded field of quality entertainment options. So, in short, the de-facto standard of $14.99/month is good for both game makers and players. There’s no doubt that making games, especially subscription-based games (MMOs if you like), is a difficult and expensive proposition. And as much fun as it looks like on the outside, making games is a business like any other business. It all comes down to creating and maintaining a product that enables the company to recoup it’s investment and (ideally) make some profit.

Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

I think monthly subscription fees are good for premium games that are released from major studios, like a Starcraft 2 for example. But for smaller MMOs and especially new ones trying to break in, there are simply better payment structures to use that can appeal to a wider range of customers depending on their level of commitment to the game. When you’re only collecting per month, you are forcing the customer to spend that amount per month when he might like to spend less or more than that each month.

Jacob Stevens from Riverman Media wrote:

In general, I don’t have a problem with a subscription model. If a developer is doing regular work to support a game, such as maintaining servers, adding new content, and moderating the game world, it makes sense that players would pay for this service. On the other hand, I think a subscription model leads to something more insidious: the pressure for developers to create “addictive” games that keep players paying the subscription fee month after month.

Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote:

I think the MMO genre is in trouble if it can’t find a way to reduce the cost to players. Like you said, people are generally unwilling to abandon a game they’ve committed thousands of hours to and they are also unwilling to try a new one while the old one still – even if it stinks. I’d like to start seeing a meta-service or MMO Portal where I pay $15/mo and then switch between several MMOs over the month.

Josiah Pisciotta from Chronic Logic wrote:

MMO’s having a monthly fee of $14.99 is good for gaming and gamers, although the exact price is not important.  The fact is that running a MMO’s costs money to maintain its persistence and update its content as well as the support the players.  If an MMO is not charging a monthly fee it is going to be trying to recoup the costs in other ways, which will probably be advertising or micro purchases.

David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

I don’t see that most hard core console players play for-fee MMOs, and vice versa.  So while there is a little overlap, I don’t feel that one is crowding out the other.  After playing my first MMO (Everquest) I was interested in the genre all right, so when new MMOs came out, I would pick them up.  They usually came with a month to three months free, with the purchase of the game, so could get the feel of the game.

Grace Snoke from EOGamer wrote:

Honestly, I look at playing and paying for MMOs of any sort to be my “entertainment” expenses for the month.  While I still go to a movie or two in the theater, I don’t spend money going out to the bars and drinking.  The money is spent on something I enjoy, something I can look back at and see where I’ve spent the money.

Justin Melendez from Lan Slide PC’s wrote:

Everquest was also my first experience with a pay per month gaming model. At first I was pretty taken back by the idea of having to pay a monthly fee. However, as I played, I realized that the game was providing a unique experience that I couldn’t get elsewhere at the time. Pretty soon I was hooked and found the monthly cost pretty easy to justify. After all, in college, didn’t I spend more than $10 a month on much more frivolous things (potato cannons, pirate costumes, bail money); why not on a game?

What’s your take, is a monthly fee bad for gamers or nessary because of the service? Join the conversation on our forums and see the full comments from our industry panel.

Alexis Hebert: Terminal Reality

Terminal Reality logo

Name:Alexis Hebert

Company: Terminal Reality

Profession: Community Relations Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Halo CE

Quote: Halo CE will always be my favorite because it was the first game I was better at than my natural born enemy, my little brother. Not to mention any game who’s music was written by the same man who wrote the Flinstone’s vitamin jingle is O.K. in my book.


Free Stuff: Souleye’s Music

Souleye Digital Music
Souleye Digital Music

If you love tracker & chip music, including the soundtrack of the awesome game VVVVVV, you will enjoy Souleye’s music website! Click here to visit his site.

Music is available in tracker (MOD, S3M, IT, XM), mp3, and ogg file formats, for your listening pleasure!

Tim Fields: Certain Affinity

Certain Affinity logo

Name:Tim Fields

Company: Certain Affinity

Profession: Director of Sales & Marketing

Favorite Classic Game: Bard’s Tale 3

Quote: I love the classic RPGs. Of these, the Bard’s Tale always had a special spot in my heart. I still remember meeting Hawkslayer through the ages, and remember how excited I was years later when I met Joe Ybarra, whom the “YMCA” [Ybarra’s Mystical Coat of Arms] spell was named after.

Fury of the Furries OST

Fury of the Furries OST
Fury of the Furries OST

Frédéric Motte is cool enough to share the entire soundtrack for Fury of the Furries in mp3 format for free!

Click here to get the OST directly from Frédéric Motte’s site! The soundtrack for this game is classic, classic Amiga music! 😀

If you don’t know what Fury of the Furries is click here to read our review of it!

Smashing Ideas: Gamer Profile

Smashing Ideas logo

Name:Victor Allen

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Associate Technical Director

“It’s hard to choose:”

Favorite Classic Game: Tempest

Quote: “Avoid Spikes”


Favorite Classic Game: Joust

Quote: “Flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap bonk”

Favorite Classic Game: Sinistar

Quote: “Beware, I live. Run Coward! ReeeeeeeeeAAAAAAAAaaaargh!!!!”


***************************

Name: Steve Markey

Company: Smashing Ideas Inc.

Profession: Games Producer

Favorite Classic Game: The Legend of Zelda:  a Link to the Past


Quote: Probably the best incarnation of “classic Zelda.”  The balance of exploration, story and ability progression just pushed all my buttons the right way (I still giggle at the thought of firing a hookshot).   It  actually made me call that old “Nintendo Help Line”.  For hours I couldn’t find a dungeon area.   The phone “helper” casually tossed off  “Okay, push the block off the ledge, then go straight, then left, then right, then…”

“Wait! Stop. Go back.  I can… push blocks?”

“Um, yeah. You can.” *Facepalm*

********************************

Name: Avi Mizrahi

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Associate Producer

Favorite Classic Game: The Secret of Monkey Island


Quote: This was one of the first games I played where you were given the freedom to experiment with your surroundings and think ‘outside of the box’. These actions often lead to humorous outcomes and commentary from the game’s characters, and LucasArts ability to poke fun at themselves never got old. Plus, how can you go wrong with a game that consists of both Pirates AND Monkeys!

Favorite Game Dialogue:

Guybrush: At least I’ve learnt something from all of this.

Elaine: What’s that?

Guybrush: Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game.

Elaine: A what?

Guybrush: I don’t know. I have no idea why I said that.

**********************************

Name: Carrie Peters

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Director of PR & Marketing

Favorite Classic Game: Centipede


Quote: Great game, fun to play and reminds me hanging out in the roller rink in the 80’s when life was simpler!

****************************

Name: Dimitri Sevenster

Company: Smashing Ideas

Profession: Director of Finance

Favorite Classic Game: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out – Original NES


Quote: My favorite thing was the many different fictional characters/boxers from around the globe and their unique qualities that added spiritm humor and challenge to the game.

Quote of the Game: “Those are the fastest fingers I have ever seen.”   …..Mike Tyson’s standard comment when beaten.

Key Cheat Code: 007-373-5963 to skip all and go straight to Mike Tyson.  Code still seared into my memory 23 years later.   🙂

Stirge’s QuakeCON Diary – 4 days of glory!

QuakeCON 2010 logo

Obsoletegamer.com Coverage of QuakeCON 2010

Once again, for the 6th time (99-2004 and now 2010), I have made the trek to Dallas, TX for the one and only QuakeCON. Arriving in Texas I remember why we refer to it as Africa hot, I live in south florida but dry texas heat is something to be experienced. Regardless, we pressed on and made our way around the convention attempting to reconnect with friends from years past. After collecting a reasonable running crew we did the QuakeCON crawl and partied away the night before the convention. I found a couple guys that I haven’t seen in years, some of you may remember them…

Todd H. – Terrance A. – Melinko – Marty S. – QuakeCON
Todd H. – Terrance A. – Melinko – Marty S. – QuakeCON

Day two it was ready for the actual CON to start. We went upstairs to receive our badges and they were very happy to give them to us, we entered the vendor area and started looking around. In my time working for Alienware I had helped create some amazing convention setups, but mainly with pc’s. When I looked over at the Alienware booth this year they had a hummer, that you could sit in the back of and play on, that was kind of cool. There was not much room overall for people to get their Quake on but the set was very pretty so a congratulations to Claudina, a stay over from my days at Alienware, she is still doing a great job at the shows.

After checking out the Alienware stuff I stopped over by the Asus booth to speak with Origin PC’s very own Richard ‘DarthBeavis’ Surroz. He had some really impressive custom built rigs which can be seen below. He was nice enough to do an interview with us on the show floor and for that we give him a big Obsoletegamer.com thank you! Check out his blog here!

On Friday I got to do a hands on with Fallout: New Vegas, it was a bit short since as you know, if you have ever played Fallout, it’s going to take you an hour just to get through the beginning of the game so I more or less got to the point where I acquired a gun and started to diffuse some issues inside of a nice little western town. The story was instantly compelling and actually made me want to speak with the NPC’s, so that was definitly a plus. There is still the same targeting system, which for me personally being a huge FPS fan is a bit of a turn off, you don’t have to use it, but on an XBOX 360 controller I have 0 accuracy so I had to use it if I wanted to kill anything. Regardless without dwelling on that too much, it looks like it will be a fantastic game, I will buy it for the PC and I’m sure I will enjoy it. Thanks again to Bethesda for inviting me to play and a special thanks to Angela Ramsey for setting it up, she did a hell of a job!

Battleforge Guide: Raven’s End Solo Run

BATTLEFORGE

If you’re like me and have way too many things going on but gaming is one of your passions and you want to play stuff more efficiently, it sometimes helps to figure out in a game what’s most effective and stick to it, although experimentation can yield great results. Since lately I’ve been playing Battleforge like a crackhead, both in PvE and PvP games, I’ve decided to expand our library of articles regarding this game as I know some of my friends started playing it and rather than manually train them, they can now see how I get my level 100+ decks created in just a few hours.

If you don’t know what Battleforge is then click here to read my Battleforge review. If you prefer doing Battlegrounds to missions then you can click here to read my short general strategy guide on how to farm Battlegrounds.

I found Raven’s End played solo to be the highest yield of tokens over time with no way of losing, if you have the right deck, every single time. Of course, in order to take advantage of mission token farming you will need the Element of Conversion, to make upgrades into tokens, and Element of Creation, to double rewards. 300 BFP is not a high price to pay considering the hours of grinding you will save (plus I’m bored of level 9-10 solo battleground runs).

If you don’t want to see the videos from youtube and you would rather see my replay in game you can download my replay file here.

My main PVE deck consists of Nature, Shadow, Nature, Nature.

The foundation for the deck as far as Nature goes are Enlightenment, Breeding Grounds, and Wheel of Gifts. Enlightenment brings out Tier 4 units at Tier 3 and Wheel of Gifts grants healing first, then immortality through 8-12 damage resistance wheels, and then to speed things up 6-12 damage boosting wheels. Breeding Grounds save you 25% power cost (at level 3 upgrade level) in producing a unit and that power adds up. As far as Tier 4 units go, Giant Wyrm (my favorite CHEAP Nature card) and Primeval Watcher are all you need. Anything that shoots and/or flies is great for this map.

As far as shadow goes, Offering (Nature affinity), Embalmer’s Shrine + Furnace of Flesh combo, Unholy Power, Rifle Cultists, and Ashbone Pyro are essential. Offering (Nature affinity) let’s you kill a (ideally) low power unit and get +1 charge for every card you have in that Tier. I combine Embalmer’s Shrine to boost the multiplier effect of corpses which gives almost instant power refunds of Void Power from the Furnace of Flesh. Although Ashbone Pyro costs 100 Power, he has a lot of life so when combined with Embalmer’s Shrine he’s well worth the Offering. This is important because Furnace of Flesh refunds power based on the life force of corpses in its radius. Ashbone Pyro is also highly effective for defending bases and if you want to do a quick Siege rush you can’t go wrong with his damage/power output. Rifle Cultists are merely there to do Offering on to get charges for my other REAL Tier 4 units. ;-] Unholy Power is useful to give +50% damage output and 50% damage resistance.

Let’s get down to the replay so you see how I can do this mission alone under an hour with no rush or worry (sometimes I do parts AFK especially once my wheel of gifts for damage resistance come up).

Part 1 of 13: (don’t worry they’re short clips)

In this part, I focus on killing small units fast and kiting groups of enemies away from where they are getting artillery support. Near the end of this part, I kill those guys on the hill to activate the gate ONCE. Should you play the other side (which is a mistake because it’s MUCH harder) you would activate the gate TWICE.

Part 2 of 13:

One has to be careful not to aggro the wrong group at the wrong time if not you can lose most of your units. I prefer to use ranged units in that sense, in PVE, because they are more “civilized”. Notice the kiting to get out of artillery building range. The rageflame is REALLY annoying so he is a priority target. I screwed up in this part as you can see most of my guys died. Just because it’s not a perfect run doesn’t mean it’s time to give up! I ran, kited, and killed off the segregated enemy. Notice I focus fire to kill specific enemies as that’s really important. In this part you let the ship blow up the stonekin turret, then you camp to the side waiting for it to get within range of your base and jump it. If my guys hadn’t died he would have gone down. If you notice that he’s going to run away because he has like 50% health still and most of your guys are badly hurt don’t let them run after him because he will shoot you with cannons while he flies away.

Part 3 of 13:

Once that rageflame is history you focus on the stonekin dinosaurs that attack you with their back artillery mode. I mess with them by making any of my ground units run up to them at point-blank range. This forces the AI to make them do melee attacks instead which are less effective because they don’t knock back your small units. Once the hill is secure, hit Tier 2 safely as they never attack that hill again. If you didn’t kill the ship before, now’s a good time to do it. I like to piggy (Curse of Oink) him so that when he’s turning around to run away, I force ALL my units, even the shamen, to drill him into oblivion. Once the ship is dead he will never come back.

Part 4 out of 13:

This part consists of cleaning out the area that’s going to be your forward base. Once you secure the area, set up your third orb, a breeding grounds, and a furnace of flesh, especially near an area where the enemy and a few of your own troops may die. This will boost Void Power refund a LOT. I also put down the Embalmer’s Shrine just in case a lot of units die and I need to regenerate all the power right away.

Part 5 out of 13:

The first thing I build with Tier 3 is the first Wheel of Gifts, which is going to be the healing one. Just build one because healing does not stack. Kill off Tier 1 units and the Furnance of Flesh will just eat their corpses quickly for a huge power boost. With Enlightenment, I make a Primeval Watcher for defense whose ranged attack and melee range paralyzation is very useful. Now starts the part where he will defend, backed by Ashbone Pyros, which in turn will be sacrificed via Offering to keep pumping out those Wheel of Gifts! The Bandit Windhunters are to be a priority target because they in turn can paralyze your units. Take them out always as soon as possible and this map will be much easier.

Part 6 of 13:

Just defending some more, which is pretty easy, and the end of this part we see the activation of the Wheel of Gifts damage resistance wheels (near immortality). With 11 wheels up, you pretty much just finished all the hard part of the mission. That wasn’t that bad now, was it? 😀

Part 7 of 13:

Notice that I screwed up one of the wheels. I don’t like to build them where they are not right next to each other so it gets deleted and I get its cost back to the Void Power pool minus the penalty for building it. Notice how all the units are now pretty much immortal (gods). I start to bring out the Giant Wyrms, which are extremely useful in this map because of their mobility. Okay, so at this point the SLAUGHTER begins. You have to start cleaning up the Stonekin camp although care must be taken not to kill everything (leave the bottom 2 turrets alone; they won’t attack you unless you are close). You can just focus on the Stonekin area, although I sniped that Bandit Tent with my dragons just to save time.

Part 8 out of 13:

You can make a 2nd army of cheap units, like Ashbone Pyros, to go start to clean up the middle to upper part of the map on your side. Since the wheels make them nearly immortal they’ll be fine! I like to focus fire on priority targets such as the Windhunter and the Deepfang. In this part of the video I kill the Stonekin production building that kept sending those annoying troops to assault my forward base. No need to defend anymore because I am cleaning up the top with my Ashbone Pyros. I send a T4 unit to the top to speed up the mission run. For the Stonekin area, the only really hard part is the middle of their camp because of the two Hammerfalls and the other artillery piece there, which have that Gemeye guy to back them up. Just focus fire and they’re dust.

For some reason the game started to lag in this area but make sure that you take caution like I did to not kill the bottom two turrets. Leaving them alive will prevent the orb capping requirement (which has a timer) from happening until YOU WANT IT TO. Start capping the power wells of any area you cleaned out (so long as you do it in this order or if you know no enemies patrol there). Activate Gate C as soon as you can, although the reinforcements are pointless since you just finished nuking the Stonekin to the Stone Ages (get it?? GET IT?!).

It’s safe to pick up Tier 4 now, by the way! Not like you needed it!

Part 9 out of 13:

Goodbye Lenin, I mean Stonekin! Anyways, I split my dragons so they go kill and cap the area where the other players would have started at. The mid to upper left Bandit camp is taken with my small number of troops. You use the gate where B should have been twice so that your ground troops can cap 4 power wells in that are of the map. Always make sure to get those chests because this mission gives a nice amount of gold. Wheel of Gifts with the damage boost power construction has started. Kill any old buildings that you will not use for areas that are all clean. I establish a new forward base where the middle-top left Bandit base used to be.

Part 10 out of 13:

The forward base army now starts to attack to top left Bandit camp at the same time that the army on the right bottom to middle side of the map just finished cleaning up and capping. Use gate D to trigger more of the plot. Use E to keep going again. At this point the Primeval Watcher that’s been capping stuff alone regroups with the main eastern attack force. The top left Bandit camp is history and the middle and middle to top Bandit camps are history on the right side of the map. Use F and start getting ready for the end.

Part 11 out of 13:

The assault on the top right camp has started. I like to kill all the ships in the top middle because there’s a chest there and also because there’s 4 power wells. I’m hurrying to finish the damage boost wheels and now all camps are DOWN.

Part 12 out of 13:

Notice that I tried to go too fast and I make one of my Primeval Watchers go back to help cap. Since the game has a 120 population cap, half of your army stays at the top center and the other half goes to the bottom where the Stonekin camp once was (so long ago…). Basically, this means 6 mega units at the top and 6 mega units at the bottom. Make a breeding grounds at the bottom if you didn’t already build all 12 T4 units. Position your top units by where the treasure chest is. It’s time to end the mission so activate all remaining wheels. I use Offering on the Rifle Cultists (CHEAP) to quickly put out my T4 units for the endgame.

Notice the orbs… every orb on the entire map MUST BE CAPPED before you trigger the end of the mission, if not you will have a 3 minute time frame to do it and if you weren’t ready, you’re screwed. Once construction has begun on all of the orbs you can simply trigger the end by killing the last structures of the H Stonekin camp (those turrets I mentioned earlier). The top units will just annihilate Ravenheart and his posse, so you can just go afk because it’s game over, man! Make sure that you leave the bottom units at the chest and pick up that sweet gold. Make sure not to manually attack Ravenheart because if not your units will chase him and I’ve seen people lose doing that.

When I used to do this mission 2 player with my French friend Tigrou we would kill Ravenheart (Blight) so fast that the game would skip ahead too much and crash the Battleforge.exe 😀

Part 13 out of 13:

Notice that Blight is talking which I killed a WHILE ago. Too much DPS I guess?! Listen to the dialogue although I beat the mission a while ago. Now comes the good part, the loot. Although this run I didn’t get a lot, sometimes I get drops that give 36 victory tokens a piece. It’s just a matter of luck…

Well, I hope this guide can help you reach your goals in Battleforge, whether they be PvE deckbuilding or if you’re like me getting tokens to keep building PvP decks that are DEADLY! See you in game! (I’m MsFreeze in game btw and Honorabili in the Battleforge forums.)

If you want to see these videos in high definition visit our youtube channel.

Japan, I Left Your RPGs On The Sidewalk And Changed The Locks. We’re Through!

Chrono Trigger cry
Chrono Trigger cry

Japan, I Left Your RPGs On The Sidewalk And Changed The Locks. We’re Through!

Dear Japan,
My dear and sweet Japan, it breaks my heart to write this message. I hope this tear stained letter lets you know that the way I felt about you… about us was something I will always cherish. While the flickering flame on the candle that represented my love for you has been snuffed, the moments we shared will always be emblazoned into my mind and heart.

Do you remember when we first met, my childhood friend? I was seven years old walking through the SNES rental section of Blockbuster looking for a new game to rent. My little childish sticky hands were all over the Aladdin rental box, a smile stretching from ear to ear as I imagined taking the fight to Jaffar. I skipped down the aisle looking for my mommy so that I could go home with Aladdin and enjoy the adventures of an Arabian night. The other games looked on as I gleefully took flight down towards the register. I was blind to their laminated glare.

Like a rifle’s laser scope, I could feel the pressure of a presence weighing down upon me. This entity’s gaze was fixated on me, reaching out for a friend. Slowly turning to my left, my heart went a flutter. Behind the plastic wrappings of the case was an unknown creature holding a wicked sword. Its white fur and pink nose were innocent yet it held a darkened tormenting blade that screamed out to me like a van with free candy. My grip on Aladdin loosened as he fell to the ground face down and like a handicapped older woman was unable to get up without my help. That is where Aladdin would remain though, living away his last breaths as I stepped closer to examine the enigma in front of me. My fingers raced against the title as I dared to utter the name, your name…
Final Fantasy III.

At the time I was ignorant to your true identity. How could I have known? I was only a child and you offered me the ambrosia of adventure. I brought you into my home and for the first time in my life, I learned from a game. I read, I established connections with a game’s characters, I felt remorse for a fictional struggle, and I…

Well, you know…

I fell in love.

Yes, I said it. I fell in love with you, Japan and your RPGs. I still wanted to take that magic carpet ride but not with Aladdin. You engrossed me into your adventures and made me actually care about story and my characters. I chose characters who statistically sucked but because I felt for their background, I strived to turn them into weapons of perfection so we could see their adventure through to the end. I never thought I would experience anything like this ever again. I thought our love was a once in a life time voyage, a one night stand that left me laying in my motel room bed dripping like a used whore.

I was wrong. You kindled my heart through and through for the years. You invaded my life like a powerful militant country raping and pillaging my childhood for resources. You attempted to take them by force but you didn’t expect one thing, Japan. I welcomed you with open arms.

Like Teth-Adam meeting his Isis, your power and my love for you flourished for years to come. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and the others. Month after month, year after year, it seemed like an eternity that our love would last.

Then things changed…

You became predictable. Another story about a hero who has amnesia? Another villain who dresses like David Bowie? What was that? Someone wants to destroy the world for no fucking reason? Wait, what? The hero can’t speak and can only express themselves by exclamation points and question marks? This is what you bring me?

Like a disgruntled woman on her anniversary, discontent with the predictable present of flowers and a dinner at Bennigan’s, my loins yearned for more than what you had to offer. I had seen too many movies on Lifetime. You were the villain in all of this. You were the man who didn’t lust for me and you know what, Japan? I stopped lusting for you. I went back home. I went West. I went to America.
The West showed me something that you couldn’t show me. They showed me how my actions can change the story. They showed me how my hero was capable of the greater good or the most unspeakable horror. America wasn’t one dimensional. They let me choose.

You forced me into this linear adventure with the same old characters. You took away the tragedy that I loved in you. There wasn’t any drama. You filled your games with twelve year old heroes who from the very beginning accepted their role as a savior. You are nothing like America and I’m sorry for that.

I love my complicated and deep storylines. I love my free reign in the events to unfold. I love not playing as a clean shaven emotionally complicated hero. I love The West’s Clint Eastwood attitude. It makes me feel like I’m in control. Not you! Me!

Knights of the Old Republic, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age have yanked me from your grasp. I didn’t secretly leave you. The evidence was there the whole time. They took what your wrought and pushed it to another level… a level that I’m afraid you won’t reach.

Japan, you are the clean shaven boy with flowers who took me to the prom, the one who promised to bring me home before 11pm. America is the boy I want to leave with after 11pm. He has tattoos, he smokes, and his motorcycle is fueled by the blood of kittens. At the end of that night, you hope I give you a kiss but America hopes they can pop all my cherries in one session.

I’m sorry Japan, but for now this is good bye. Your lack of creativity, your undying urge to force me into a position I don’t think I want to be in, your inability to manifest a story that hasn’t already been done, and making me play as a he-she has forced this.

Is this the life that you want to lead? Will you take the road that has been laid out before you or will we meet again somewhere else in our lives?

Good bye Japan…
Your Umi-kins.

Andy O’Neil: Bluepoint Games

Bluepoint Games logo

Name: Andy O’Neil

Company: Bluepoint Games

Profession: President/Programmer

Favorite Classic Game: Robotron

Quote: Hard to play and harder to master, Robotron is one of the purest shooters ever made. No fluff in the design and relentless action that still holds up today, you can’t beat Robotron for that fast arcade adrenaline fix.


Aaron Hunter: Playtechtonics LLC

Starport logo

Name: Aaron Hunter

Company: Playtechtonics LLC

Profession: Lead Designer of Starport

Favorite Classic Game: Star Control 2

Quote: It was so amazing. It had a great storyline while not sacrificing open-ended game-play, as well as action elements and character-building role-playing as well. The overall presentation was polished, and there were even nice touches of humor and surprising events.


Luke Burtis: Casual Games Association

Casual Games Association logo

Name: Luke Burtis

Company: Casual Games Association

Profession: Production Director

Favorite Classic Game: Monkey Island

Quote: How could one NOT like this game?

Insult: “You fight like a dairy farmer.”

Comeback: “How appropriate. You fight like a cow.”


Game Theory with Scott Steinberg

Game Theory with Scott Steinberg

If you are in the gaming industry, are interested in game design, and the future of that industry, Scott Steinberg’s show and website offer great insight.

You can visit the main blog here at http://gametheoryonline.com. They offer great articles as to the direction the gaming industry is going as well as their show Game Theory that often has gaming industry pioneers or insiders that give us their opinion as to where the future of gaming will be.

They discuss things from massive layoffs at huge companies like EA and Activision to way we will buy games in the future to future subscription based game services and more.

Here are the first two episodes of the show:

Episode 1 – Reinventing the Video Game Industry

Episode 2 – Time for a Reality Check

The website has more videos. Check it out!