Month
June 2011

Top Five Moons

Astonomy is another of my many hobbies, it’s something I find confusing (not having a degree in astrophysics and all) but fascinating nonetheless. So, following on from the recently-touched-upon-theme, I thought I’d try another nonsensical, but hopefully informative Top Five! Hardly what any of you come here for, I know, but I hope some of you might find something of interest here. Let me know if you like it and maybe I’ll occasionally do a few more posts like this… 🙂 [...]

Top Five PC Engine Shoot-em-ups

Until the PlayStation came along, this remained the most faithful conversion of this eternally worshipped, all-time classic yet seen (Lord knows why it never appeared on the MD, come to think of it, that could’ve been a cracking version). Despite the fact that it was initially spread over two separately released Hu-Cards, it was still hard to fault it. The graphics and music are near- faultless and as close to arcade perfect as anyone could reasonably expect, and the timeless level design and gameplay is faithfully recreated. [...]

World of Warcraft: Free till level 20

“We’ve removed the previous 10- and 14-day trial time restrictions, and players who are interested in trying out World of Warcraft can now play the base game for free up to a maximum character level of 20, including draenei and blood elf characters—all they need is a Battle.net account and an Internet connection,” Blizzard explained in a statement. If you ran through a previous 14-day trial, you can go back to your character and continue to play from the point you left the game if you’d like, but the level cap will be set at 20. [...]

A Look Back: Sliders

In the later seasons of Sliders, when it moved to the Sci-Fi Channel, some of the original storytelling was restored, but by then Tracy Tome had left the show, as did many of the cast. Like many sci-fi shows Sliders allowed moral, societal and human condition stories to be told in a way that could appeal to a younger audience. While a “we have to find a way home” story can wear on the audience Sliders did it well because their journey was interesting enough that even if they did not reach home you still wanted to watch. In addition, the character development was well done and you felt the group had a sense of family so you cared about each one of them. [...]

The PFI Tripe Award: The Romantic Ritalin Award

Thus was conceived Meet Joe Black, an interesting movie about how the Grim Reaper deals with life on Earth. The movie starts off good enough, as a fish out of water story. Then he meets some woman who’s father death must collect. From this point on I wanted death to knock on my door and collect me from this crappy sentimental piece of crap. Meet Joe Black was also considered for the Waste Management award. I’m sorry, if there’s gonna be a movie about the grim reaper living on Earth, THE LAST FUCKING thing you do is make him fall in love with an incessant spoiled little bitch. In fact while watching the end of Kill Bill: Volume 2, I was reminiscing of how they took a DEMONIC character and made him a SAP like was done in MJB. This is how MJB progresses. [...]

Will Valve’s New Game Be Free To Play?

Steam, the online game distributor, has recently embraced the free to play phenomenon recently gaining popularity in North America and is now offering this genre an outlet. With games like Champions Online, Spiral Knights, and Global Agenda all feeling resurgence in their populations from this new spotlight its only natural for Valve to try their hand at the F2P model. [...]

Dual Controller Charging Kit for XBOX 360 Review

I recently got my hand on the Memorex dual controller charging kit and it works perfectly for not only charging my controllers, but storing them as well. The unit itself is lightweight and is pretty stylish as well. Since I have a black Xbox 360, it fits perfectly with the style. The charging kit comes with two of its own rechargeable controller batteries, which is great because mine have been undercharging for a while now. [...]

Fallen Skies: Episode 3

This week Fallen Skies settled into the story of learning more about the aliens and how to defeat them. I knew the Ben rescue storyline would continue for a while, but having the captured alien does at a nice twist. It is also good to see more resistance cells out there and the character development of Pope is coming along nicely. I still think the show has a long way to go before it can find a permanent spot on the watch list. I think depending on what we learn about the aliens and their connection to the children could tell us if the ongoing storyline will be a winner or not. [...]

Totally Tiny Arcade

The main attractions of Totally Tiny Arcade are of course the arcade remakes themselves. Impressively, there are more than 20 of them available, each sporting excellent, chunky, retrotastic graphics and some equally impressive sounds, with each game spanning four levels. The games are inspired from an impressive variety of titles including Space Invaders, Spy Hunter, Pac-Man, Joust, Frogger and even the Atari 2600 version of E.T., though -unfortunately- not all of them are equally good. [...]

Is Tropical: The Greeks

Remember when you were a kid and would play Cowboys and Indians or War with your friends? Image if you could add animation to make the battles look real. This awesome video does that and the song is pretty good to boot. [...]

Arcade Works: The Omega Entertainment Machine

Retro gaming is incredibly important today. There’s a huge market of underserved retro gamers who are not looking for the next Call of Duty. Maybe they don’t want to deal with playing online, or they just want something less involved. Whatever the case is, they’ve basically been disenfranchised by the extreme focus on huge titles. This makes sense of course for the big studios, who need to target large audiences, but that still leaves a market unfulfilled. [...]

Streets of Rage 3

The game is part of the trend of beat em up games during the early 90s. This genre was very popular and both Sega and Nintendo wanted in on the money making beat em up master gaming goodness! In my personal opinion, the streets of rage games beat Final Fight by a long shot. By the time Final Fight 3 came out, it was just the same thing as the first one, except with different characters. Streets of Rage 3 introduced different characters as well as new aspects to make the game play different and better to some. [...]

Frozen Grand Central Terminal

This is an awesome video from the folks over at Improv Everywhere. Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 different missions in New York. This mission has over 200 people freeze in place on cue in Grand Central Terminal and the public’s reaction was pretty funny [...]

Survivors

Within days most of the population is dead and these survivors begin to search for a new way to live while coming to grips with what has happened. Slowly throughout the episode the survivors come together and while at first most have no interest to stay together Abby convinces them otherwise. The first episode ends introducing us to a new character David Grant who appears to be a doctor or scientist that has additional knowledge about the outbreak and a plan in place. [...]

Gun Frontier

As might be evident from some of the screenshots, Gun Frontier looks and plays a lot like some other well-known vertical scrollers, notably Flying Shark. It features the same sort of tanks, squadrons of enemy fighters, and ground targets such as gun turrets and buildings, and even some of the backdrops are reminiscent. Not that this makes it a bad game, of course, just not very original. Maybe that’s what the Wild West theme is in aid of. [...]

The Super Fighter Team Interview

Super Fighter Team has an absolutely brilliant name. And it possibly is the only indie developer for retro platforms that has managed to impress the mainstream gaming media; after all, shiny new cartridges for the Sega MegaDrive / Genesis and the Atari Lynx aren’t a common sight. Here are Brandon Cobb (president, Super Fighter Team; Zaku producer) and Osman Celimli (president, PenguiNet; Zaku designer / developer) to discuss both SFT and its latest release: Zaku. Mind you, this is only part of a rather extensive interview filled with exclusive bits of info. The rest of it (including more of said juicy exclusive bits) will be published in issue 4 of the excellent (and very free) Retroaction retro-loving magazine. [...]

Walking Dead: Season 1 Review

I came late to the party on this one. I remembered seeing the previews for the show, but never got the chance to see it. Recently, I watched all six episodes of season 1 back to back and I am so glad I did. Walking Dead is a AMC television series about a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse. It is based on a graphic novel and season 2 is being filmed now and is set to premier in October. [...]

Silpheed

This is probably the best shmup for the short lived peripheral for many reasons which most of you must know already. Lets just say there wasn’t much support or great titles for the Sega CD but there were some unique and groundbreaking ones like Lunar, and Sonic CD. Silpheed is a shmup that starts you right in the action and never lets go. The gameplay is as solid as a shmup game can offer. There are some sorts of power ups which will make you think twice what to pick for your missions again in terms of powering up. The game has twelve stages according to the information I gathered but I’m not sure if there are any secret stages or bonus stages of some sort. [...]

Are Asians Good At All Games?

Quick answer: Nope! Where the hell did this stereotype come from? Where did this claim that Asians are the demigods of gaming originate? I don’t know and I’m sure a quick google search could answer that question for me, but you know what? I don’t feel like opening my browser for such productive means! Instead I’m going to rant while being entirely ill informed and uneducated! Are you ready because I am! [...]

Batman Arkham City: Robin Pack

It looks as if the boy wonder has made his way into Arkham city, at least for those of you who purchase your pre-order through Best Buy. It is confirmed that Robin will be an exclusive playable character in Batman Arkham City and in addition, you will get access to challenge maps if you pre-order with Best Buy. [...]

Fallen Skies: The skies not falling

I did not really except much out of Fallen Skies and I did not get much. This is not to say the show is bad, but it just is not enough, as of yet, to make me believe it will last very long. Fallen Skies is the new TNT drama that takes place on earth after a devastating attack by an unknown alien race. Earth is decimated, 90% of the population is dead and the survivors are building a resistance to fight back. [...]

Urban Legend

The game offers over 30 levels of sheer strategic fun that will definitely appeal to the Fallout, Jagged Alliance and X-Com (a.k.a UFO) crowds, providing a very elegant action points based combat mechanic and an intuitive interface, that’s as simple as left-clicking to move and right-clicking to fire. Then again, moving and firing, admittedly with the added hassle of picking the right weapons and selecting/equipping a modestly sized squad, can be tactically challenging enough to test years of accumulated turn-based combat experience and even lead to frustration and/or insomnia. Thankfully genre beginners and tired middle-agers can always go for the easy setting. [...]

Dirty Harry

Do you feel lucky, well do you, punk? The fans waiting for the Dirty Harry videogame to be released for both the Playstation 3 and X-Box 360 don’t because it actually looked like a really good game. Dirty Harry was developed by The Collective Inc and was to be published by Warner Bros Interactive. [...]

Kid Gloves

It’s a pretty simple game which sees you, as Kid, attempting to rescue your kidnapped girlfriend or some such nonsense. In order to do this he must make his way through the danger-filled, flick-screen world between him and his goal. Each of the screens are populated by various creatures and obstacles, such as pigs, goblin things, whirly blades, etc, which move in short, simple patterns, and some which remain still, such as fire. [...]

Cryptic Studio Has Moved On But Have Their Games?: Star Trek Edition

For those of you waiting for this review after the sudden ending of the previous portion of this two-part article, I apologize. I wasn’t having problems with time or just pure laziness. No, I had problems with how to word my feelings towards Star Trek Online and how best to give an honest review without completely belittling the game. I know, I know. You’re used to that kind of response from me but I decided to be a bit more delicate with how I explain the faults and pluses of STO. [...]

Kirby’s Adventure

The gameplay delivers a very satisfying experience. You feel like you have total control of Kirby as you can fly anywhere and suck monsters to get their powers. The power up system is great as well as you can get certain powers that will help you defeat stronger enemies later on the level. The difficulty of the game is moderate so I suggest you have some patience especially in the later parts of the game. You’ll just have to find the right strategy for certain levels. [...]

The Obsolete Gamer Show: E3 Rocks, Jimmy Kimmel Sucks

This week we talked about our trip to E3 2011 and the various games and products we saw while at the convention. We also discussed how while E3 is awesome it can grow old pretty quick. There was a little Wii 2 hate to be had as we discussed its lack of Blu-Ray, but the most hate came from my story of going to the horrible Jimmy Kimmel show and being given a potato. All in all a pretty funny show. [...]

Ninja Loves Pirate Interview

I wasn’t involved in the demo design, as I am part of the development of the full version taken up by Muskedunder Interactive. As far as game play tuning for the demo though, I think it’s safe to say there wasn’t much tuning. The demo was made under a lot of time pressure and I think the main goal was to make it playable but not excellent. My work with the full development will make sure the ninja and the pirate are a lot more interesting to play, especially in co-op. I’ve emphazied their unique features to make them asymmetrical, both in fighting and in other abilities. The enemies and the fights in general will be a lot more fun, with smarter and tougher enemies [...]

Top 5 Moments in Austin Powers

James Bond films are generally fantastic entertainment, but they are also one of the candidates mentioned that are particularly ripe for spoofing, especially the earlier films. To be honest I’m surprised it took so long, but the combined talents of Mike Myers and Jay Roach did eventually bring us the highly amusing shagathon featured here, which not only represents the birth of the (soon to be ‘rebooted’) series, but which also remains the best film in the series. Well, in my opinion, anyway! As with the film featured in my first Top Five Movie Moments, choosing the five best moments from this film was tough, particularly as many of the gags are visual, [...]

Bomberman

The first stage only features the most basic enemies which seem to be the ‘Floaters’ from the Speccy game I looked at recently, except here they’re called ‘Valcoms’ which look like balloons and don’t cause too many problems. As early as the second stage you’ll encounter the next type of enemy, a blue water-drip type creature called ‘O Neal’. The other enemy types (most of whom have equally obscure names) are apparently introduced one per level thereafter and include ‘Dahl’ which look like wobbly barrels [...]

Some movie studios to skip Comic-Con

You ever get the feeling that some companies just want you to show up, clap and then shut up and go home? The New York Times reported recently that movie studios Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks and The Weinstein Company are call skipping Comic-Con this year. Why might you ask, well some of the reasons include cost and time, but one of the main reasons is they are afraid of bad press. [...]