Castlevania: Symphony of the Night gave me a boner

Alright, not really, but after playing through the game again I did realize how much semi-nudity is in the game so let’s just go with that.

Diplocephalus

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Diplocephalus
She believes in protection and by protection I mean Holy Water.

I believe this creature was created after someone went on a blind OKCupid date and was fooled by a MySpace angle. This creature is easy to beat and has an attractive upper body and a horrible monster for a lower body. When you hit her and kill her, she turns and moons you and you realize baby’s got back.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fkbD1pl0cY[/youtube]

Venus Weed

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Venus Weed
She is wondering why everyone is staring.

My vagina is a flower, an eccentric tulip, the center acute and deep, the scent delicate, the petals gentle but sturdy.

Ya, now you know where they got that from. This is how Poison Ivy sleeps, in the nude and apparently, this creature drinks human blood so it must be someone’s wife. Am I right folks?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVB1VsfKimk[/youtube]

Salome

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Salome
She does not sweep with that broom

All your goth and bewitched fantasies all rolled into one. This young female witch turns into a cat when you weaken it and you know I love pussy…cats.

Hunting Girl

Castlevania - Symphony of the Night - Hunting Girl
Look at that pose, yeah, she wants it.

This is for the voyeur in all of us. This is for the guys who use to try and watched porn on a scrambled cable feed. Sure, you can’t really see what Hunting Girl looks like, but she looks like she has a hot frame and those poses she does when you hit her…uh… I just realized this sounds like something that can end me up in prison.

Castlevania Symphony of the Night is one of those games you will play over and over forever and the more you play the more weird things you will take notice of. So did I miss any strangely hot monsters from the game, besides succubus that is which is a given.

 

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… 🙂

5 – Luna

 Luna
I guess I should include this one purely as it’s our own barren, insignificant little rock. It’s the second brightest object in our sky (and can help when walking through dark, spooky places at night) despite actually being very dark, and in a curious quirk of fate it always has the same side facing us, but aside from a few little tit-bits it’s pretty unremarkable. But hey, without it we would have a very different planet and no eclipses!
4 – Miranda
4 - Miranda
This small satellite of Uranus is very interesting from a geological point of view. It was apparently once a Luna-like moon before a smaller, but still not insignificantly-sized object like a moon or asteroid smashed into it, with the resulting colossal explosion shattering the entire moon into pieces before eventually, over many thousands of years, it gradually coalesced into the scarred, patchwork-like moon we know today. All over it are strange geological features that seem out of place and other parts seem to be at right angles to each other. Hope that doesn’t happen again closer to us!
3 – Europa
3 - Europa
One of the large Galilean satellites of Jupiter, Europa is most notable at this stage for what it may be home to. That is… life! Smooth and practically devoid of craters, a thin oxygen atmosphere clings to a surface which is almost entirely covered by ice, riddled with cracks, streaks, and ice-like patterns. It is widely believed, however, that under this layer of ice lies an ocean of warm liquid water which may contain primitive life forms! Let’s hope an impending mission to it reveals some startling truths!

2 – Titan

2 - Titan
The largest of Saturn’s moons and second largest moon in the whole solar system, Titan is unique for being the only natural satellite in the solar system with its own thick atmosphere. So thick in fact, that any details regarding its surface were a mystery until the Cassini-Huygens mission reached it in 2004. What it found was the only large, stable bodies of surface liquid know outside of Earth, in this case consisting of hydrocarbons. Here, it is theorised, life-forms could exist. Titan also has seasons and Earth-like weather including wind and rain, resulting in surface features such as dunes, rivers, lakes, etc. For these and other reasons, Titan is considered the most Earth-like body in the solar system. Plus, if it was visible, imagine the sight Saturn would make in its night sky…

1 – Io

1 - Io
Another of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, Io is closer to Jupiter than Europa and this added proximity has had a dramatic effect on its surface conditions – it’s covered in hundreds of constantly errupting volcanoes! Friction caused by being pulled between Jupiter and the other Galilean moons, coupled with Jupiter’s immense gravity constantly squeezing it, causes intense internal heating and the resultant volcanoes, some of which eject plumes of sulphur hundreds of miles high. This poor old moon is the most geologically active body in the solar system and is effectively being resurfaced every few years!

Obscure News: 50 Bikers vs 2 Thieves

50 Bikers vs 2 Thieves

Talk about a zerg rush. In this video two robbers make a costly mistake when trying to rob a place that had 50 bikers in it. This reminds me of the guy who tried to rob a donut shop all the local cops hung out at.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH8kxDPl6tc[/youtube]

Top Five PC Engine Shoot-em-ups

5. Image Fight (1990)

Image Fight - Gameplay Screenshot

Developed by Irem soon after they unleashed R-Type, this fantastic vertical scroller is for some bizarre reason far less revered than its sibling, which is odd because even a quick session with it reveals Irem were more than adept at this kind of shmup as well as the horizontal variety. It’s not the flashiest shooter ever – the graphics aren’t particularly impressive and the music is instantly forgettable, but it is challenging, well designed, and, much like R-Type, features some interesting power-ups. Rather than the now-legendary Force from that game, here it’s possible to attach a variety of devices to the front of your ship, each of which give it a different weapon. A top blaster which deserves more recognition.

4. Magical Chase (1991)

Magical Chase - Gameplay Screenshot

For a long time an Engine exclusive, this horizontal-scroller is so charming it’s as if you’ve had a spell cast on you by the ‘Star Maiden’ protagonist of the game! It’s a horizontal-scroller in a similar vein to Cotton (which was released around the same time) which sees you in control of a witch complete with broomstick (but apparently no black cat) battling six demons and their bizarre minions across the six stages! A very strange but nonetheless compelling and highly playable little game which looks fabulous, has a fantastic soundtrack, and constantly beckons you to discover what lies around the next corner.

3. R-Type (1988)

R-Type - Gameplay Screenshot

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. This was a God-send for the game’s many fans.

2. Gradius (1991)

Gradius - Gameplay Screenshot

As is the case with R-Type, this was arguably the best version of Gradius until the arrival of the 32-bit consoles, although the X68000 effort was also superb. While it’s true that the graphics are simplistic and do suffer from bouts of slowdown now and then, they are also beautifully defined and the twinkly, multi-coloured stars in the background are hypnotic! The remixed soundtrack here is fantastic too, and among my favourite shmup soundtracks on any system, but it’s the finely honed gameplay that keeps me coming back. Challenging it may be, but the difficulty curve is well pitched and there’s so many distinctive touches (including an extra level) it’ll take ages to see all it has to offer.

1. Gunhed (1989)

Gunhed - Gameplay Screenshot

It’s amazing to think that this was one of the first shmups released on the Engine. After all these years it’s still one of the finest vertical-scrollers I’ve played on any system. It’s true that there’s a vast number that I’ve still not played but that doesn’t detract from the sheer quality of this classic from Hudson. It eases you in with the gentle opening stage before gradually ramping up the intensity to sweaty-palms, edge-of-the-seat levels – this really is a game that oozes quality in every department. Given the Engine’s prowess with this genre, it’s possible I may encounter an even better shmup at some point but it’ll have to be something really special to beat this legendary game.

World of Warcraft: Free till level 20

World-of-WarCraft-Cataclysm

It looks as if the wave of lowering prices in MMO’s continues. Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft will be replacing its 14-day trial with a free-to-play of sorts until you reach level 20.

Here is part of their statement:

“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.

This is a kin to giving you a taste of crack for free, but then comes the kicker, the new lower price.

Blizzard goes on to say:

…players will be able to get both the original World of Warcraft and the game’s first expansion set, The Burning Crusade, for only $19.99 as part of the new digital Battle Chest now available in the online Blizzard Store. In addition, anyone who owns the original World of Warcraft, regardless of when they purchased the game, will automatically be able to access all of the content and features from The Burning Crusade expansion at no additional cost.

So they pull you in with a free taste and then hit you with a low cost. I wonder if there is a specific reason for this move besides forcing other companies to compete with their prices. We already learned Sony Online Entertainment is lowering their subscription rates and with more and more MMO’s heading to free-to-play it looks like the online gaming world is changing.

Now the question is, is it changing for the better?

 

SOE: Dropping Subscription rates like it’s hot

soe

On the road to free-to-play Sony Online Entertainment sent out a e-mail to all of its customers informing them of their lowering of subscription rates for their online games.

As a result of feedback from many of our customers, we recently undertook a full review of our game pass (subscription) pricing for SOE PC-based games, in order to achieve the following:

1.Better rates for our loyal customers who choose to sign up for our longer term plans.
2.Prices that are on par with other MMO game prices – in all countries.

We are therefore pleased to inform you that we are reducing many of our game pass prices. There is no need for you to take any action – if you play a game for which we have lowered the game pass price, the new, lower rate will be applied on your next billing date.

If you purchased a 3, 6 or 12 month game pass from us between May 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM PST and June 27, 2011 at 11:59 PST, we have credited you with additional game time per the table below. This credited game time has been added to the end of your current game time. The new rate for your recurring plan will take effect after your credited time ends.

I think a few key points are better rates for our loyal customers which translates to, “please don’t leave us.”

Prices on par with other MMO games means, “Free-to-play is killing us.”

Here is the link to their new pricing chart – http://www.soe.com/gamepass/

Now take a close look at the game line up and the price for all access. Do you doubt that the price is because each one of those games are on the massive decline and with Star Wars Galaxies being killed off recently there is not much left for SOE.

So the question is, will this help SOE in the long run?

 

A Look Back: Sliders

 

Sliders-2

Sliders was a science fiction television series that aired on the Fox network in 1995. The story followed a young brilliant student named, Quinn Mallory, played by Jerry O’Connell that found a way to open a gateway to alternate dimensions. Along with his best friend Wade, his professor Maximilian Arturo and signer, Rembrandt Brown, the group traveled from parallel world to parallel world trying to find their way home.

What made this show interesting and fun is that creator, Tracy Tome used the parallel worlds to not only tell a story, but teach us about the human condition and issues we are still dealing with in real life. There were some stories that were action oriented or sci-fi for sci-fi sake but many told meaningful stories such as the differences in the way women and treated to men or the divide between rich and poor and race relations.

Sliders

Unfortunately, network executives did everything they could to ruin a good thing. First Fox began by airing some of the episodes out of date because they wanted to push the action-oriented episodes on high ratings weeks. In season 3, the oversight by FOX reached epic proportions and the storyline of Sliders was changed taking it away from stories about the different alternate earths to focusing on fighting the Kromagg and chasing down a man who stole their device that could get them to their original home.

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.

Sadly, another executive heavy-handed move saw Wade, played by Sabrina Lloyd, pushed to the side to bring in someone who they believed would keep the younger boys watching because she was sexier. This move eventually led to Lloyd leaving the show and only returning in a very small voice over capacity.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsiFD8dZoC4[/youtube]

The show is definitely worth a look and you can find all the seasons on Netflix. I think a remake of the show could work if done on a cable network because on network television it would die a quick death or be retooled to crap.

 

The PFI Tripe Award: The Romantic Ritalin Award

Roses are red, violets are blue, I hate these movies, and so should you

Show me the money

Let’s get this show on the road!!! Tonight we are proud to present The Romantic Ritalin award, chronicling the 2 shittiest romances ever filmed. And tonight’s host, someone who knows romance like the back of their hand…..CUPID!!!!! Take it away Cupid!!!!!!

Cupid: Thank thee Paul, for I am Cupid, bringer of love, and romance. For I, Cupid, live in the realm of FANTASY, as do these two shittieth movies. Thine prime nominee, feature my greatest enemy, thy GRIM REAPER. Yet thy movie is not about what thine may think….
Meet Joe Black

Paul: Thanks Cupe. You’re right my winged cherub, this movie is not what you think, in fact this movie is so overlong and ridiculous, it doesn’t WANT YOU TO THINK. I present Meet Joe Black. Much like Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt is a GREAT ACTOR, despite his heart-throb status, but damn…Meet Joe Black??? I can picture the producers of this movie in the idea room shilling this plot:

“So yeah we have a great idea, we want to get THE GRIM REAPER, and put him in human form.”

Studio: Oh like “The Stand”! And what do you want him to do?

“No not like “The Stand”, we will make him eat lots of peanut butter and fall in love with some annoying bitch for a whopping 2 and a half hours while movies like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban get less screen time due to the dumbing down of America being fat lazy ritalin asses who cant stay in their seat for more than two hours unless it’s cheap fantasy-like romantic tripe like Jerry Maguire (;)).”

Studio: I don’t know man….who is it going to star?

“Brad Pitt”

Studio: IT’S A WRAP!!!! We’ll get working on it right away!!!

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.

Love scene.
He eats peanut butter.
Love Scene.
He eats peanut butter.
Younger sister of bitch complains how she takes care of dying Anthony Hopkins while bitch and Joe Black make love.
Dramatic love scene that lasts 213412421562634857w37372362648rtfjytotggjtykdtul,dtj4w56653562356 hours by the pool.
He eats peanut butter.
They have a party.
Anthony walks over a bridge and disappears (dies). Sounds like Neo’s death.
Clubs seal.
Roll Credits.

I love it when movies try to be unique and put stupid shit to make it stand out. Ergo, much like the flying in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the peanut butter joke wasn’t funny, it was ridiculous. Meet Joe Black is also the longest romance Ive ever seen. A whopping wrist slashing 2 and a half hours, it took two tapes to watch it. It felt like 20. I have blocked most of this tripe from my memory. Jen Byrne calls it “Meet Joe Block”. I couldn’t agree more.

My dad is the one who told me to see this movie. Mind you my dad hates movies, he only likes 4 or 5 of them. My dad likes The Godfathers 1 and 2, The Sandlot, Ben Hur, and Meet Joe Black.

The Godfathers 1 and 2, Ben Hur, The Sandlot >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Meet Joe Black

Purgatory >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Meet Joe Black.

However, Meet Joe Black >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> the next winner of the Romantic Ritalin award, because AT LEAST Meet Joe Black had an interesting enough premise. UNUTILIZED, but interesting. Cupid your thoughts?

Cupid: Thy Meet Joe Black, makes Cupid sad, thy Cupid is disenfranchised with love and romance, thy Meet Joe Black is fantasy, but thy next winner of Ritalin is even more fantasy than they MJB. EVEN THOUGH THIS NEXT MOVIE HAS NO GRIM REAPER, ONLY REALITY BASED CHARACTERS ::FIRES POISON ARROW AT SEAL::.

Paul: CUPID NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Cupid: I apoligizeth Paul, I will compose myself. I hate this job. The winner of the IInd Romantic Ritalin Award goes to…..
Jerry Maguire
THIS AWARD WILL BE TYPED IN ALL CAPS, THIS IS HOW MUCH THIS MOVIE PISSED ME OFF. IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT TOO BAD, YOU GET A TRIPE AWARD. MUCH LIKE CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN SUBPLOT, EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER SAID THAT JERRY MAGUIRE WAS A GREAT, FEELGOOD MOVIE. CONSIDER I HAD A FEVER OF 100 DEGREES WHEN I SAW IT, BY THE TIME THE MOVIE WAS OVER IT WAS UP TO 102. I SWEAR IM NOT MAKING THAT UP. ANOTHER TORTUROUS ROMANCE MOVIE THAT SPANS 2 AND A HALF HOURS SHOWING TOM CRUISE SLEEPING WITH THIS WOMAN AND THAT WOMAN. THIS CHARACTER IS PORTRAYED AS A GREAT YET TROUBLED MAN. I’M SORRY IF I WAS A MILLIONAIRE SPORTS AGENT WHO GETS THAT LUCKY THE LAST THING I’D CRY OVER IS PEE PEE ZELLWEGGER AND SOME HARRY POTTER ON CRACK REJECT KID. I SAT, FEVER AND ALL, THRU THE WHOLE MOVIE WAITING FOR IT TO BE GOOD. IT NEVER CAME TO BE. JERRY MAGUIRE HAS SOME OF THE WORST LINES IN CIMEMA’S FINE HISTORY.

“SHOW ME THE MONEY”

FUCK YOU SHOW ME THE EXIT.

“HELP ME, HELP YOU”

HELP ME?, FUCK YOU

“YOU COMPLETE ME”

::CLUBS SEAL:: ::WEARS SEAL SKIN:: THE SEAL HAS COMPLETED ME.

I HATED HIS CHARACTER, THERE WAS NOTHING HEARTWARMING WHATSOEVER ABOUT HIM, HE WAS AN ASSHOLE, I WANTED BRAD PITT TO SMOTHER HIM TO DEATH WITH PEANUT BUTTER. THIS MOVIE WAS NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE BY THE ACADEMY. FTJXFRTJKFRTY
CTYKTYXKXTY,LXTL,
KFRTKXRTKXRTJRTJKZRTJKZJKZ5JKER

I THINK WHEN I’M DONE WITH THE TRIPE AWARD I’M PUTTING THEM IN WEBSITE FORM AND SENDING THE HYPERLINK TO THE ACADEMY. MAKE THEM LIVE IN SHAME FOR WHAT THEY HAVE NOMINATED. I REMEMBER NOTHING ELSE FROM THIS TRIPE, I WAS SICK, AND IT SUCKED, THEREFORE IT WAS SUMMARILY DELETED. ROMANCE AS PORTRAYED IN JERRY MAGUIRE IS BULLSHIT. THE GRIM REAPER FALLING IN LOVE IS MORE REALISTIC THAN ALL THE SAPPY HEARTFELT SCENES IN THIS MOVIE. THIS IS FANTASY AT IT’S WORST.

CUPID WHAT THE FUCK??????????????????????????

Fat Cupid

Shit, these movies retired Cupid!!!! Sorry about that man, I warned you beforehand. Stay tuned next week for the “Movies that Inspire Chris Hahn to Have a Bowel Movement Award”. And ladies and gentlemen, trust me, they inspire me to have one too, and I can DIGEST ROCKS. Good night!!!!

 

Will Valve’s New Game Be Free To Play?

 

Valve’s New Game Be Free To Play

Steam, the online game distributor, has recently embraced the free to play phenomenon 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.

Why not test out this success on something deep-rooted but admired? Steam has already taken one of their most popular games, Team Fortress 2, and given it a free to play make over. Has their been any success in this move? Apparently so, since it is rumored that Valve is going to make a F2P game, but what future feature project could they be thinking of making F2P?

Could it be Defense of the Ancients 2? By all logical means, it sounds like this would be the most likely model for success for DotA2. Why? Because its main contender is none other than League of Legends, a game that has garnered international popularity with its free to play model, microtransaction payment method, and E-sport fame.

If Valve intends to yank players away from a game that requires no down payment or box sales this seems like the most likely means to be able to strive in the DotA Clone market against such a heavy hitter such as LoL. If they manage to make DotA 2 an entity of its own while keeping to the core concepts of the original it could possibly dethrone or spar head to head against its competitor. Good luck with that feat, Valve.

Dual Controller Charging Kit for XBOX 360 Review

memorex XBox_Dual Controller Charging Kit

If you are an Xbox 360 gamer, you know all about the issues of using the wireless controller. If you go the battery route you can find yourself not only wasting time switching out the batteries, but also spending a lot of money replacing them. On the other hand, if you go the recharge route, while a better option, sometimes even those batteries do not last as long as they should and you still have to charge them using the 360 cable connected to the unit.

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.

How it works is take the rechargeable batteries and plug them into your controller, then you can mount your controllers onto the unit’s base and there they not only sit out of the way, but charge as well. There are LED status indicators that show red when the batteries need charging and blue when they are fully charged.

The kit costs around thirty bucks, which is not bad since it comes with the two batteries as well. You can find it on their website and I am sure online as well. The unit comes with the charge station, which can be placed vertically, or horizontally, two batteries and the AC power cord. It does not take long to charge the batteries and once done, the charge last just as long as the official rechargeable batteries from Microsoft.

You can check out my personal pictures on our Official Facebook Page.

 

Fallen Skies: Episode 3

 

falling_skies

Since the premier was two episodes in one this past Sunday’s episode was officially episode 3. This week we continued the storyline of Tom and his older son, Hal searching for their harnessed son, Ben. The resistance has setup a headquarters in a school and it has been decided to change the war plan as other resistance groups from around the U.S. have been found. The goal is now to gather intelligence by capturing tech or better yet a live alien.

Our captured outlaw, Pope from last week volunteered to become the resistances chef after trying the horrible cooking he received. Meanwhile Doctor Glass meets with a new doctor who believes he can remove the harness from the children without killing them. It turns out the doctor was friends with Tom and was with Tom’s wife when she was killed.

Tom’s team goes out to try to rescue his son who will be the first child to have the harness removed using this new technique. Unfortunately, the mission does not go as planned as even though they rescue another resistance member’s son, Karen is captured and taken by the aliens. Tom attempts to rescue Karen but she and the aliens are gone.

Back at basecamp, the doctor is able to remove the harness from the boy, but it is not one hundred percent that he will live. We learned the aliens use the children as slaves and had them collecting scrap metal. We also learned the harness connects to the children’s spine and fuses with their nervous system using some kind of Nano technology. The harness also releases drugs in the child’s systems, which is one reason they die if you try to remove it.

Tom returns without Karen, but dragging behind him a live alien. At the end of the episode, we get a hint that the alien and the boy are still somehow connected.

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

totally tiny arcade

Totally Tiny Arcade is based on the rather brilliant idea of combining WarioWare styled mini-games with a classic arcade aesthetic. Or is that the idea of revisiting Lazy Jones while liberally remaking some of the best known arcade cabinets ever? Well, we’ll never really know I suppose, but what actually matters is the simple fact that Totally Tiny Arcade is, despite its flaws, a truly great offering for us ageing retro gamers.

Set in a visually pleasing and distinctly 80s arcade, the game has players rush through more than a dozen imaginatively remade classics chasing after a nefarious virus and trying to beat a pretty strict time-limit. Beating the game, leads you to a brilliant boss stage -played in front of a most obtrusive audience- that will in turn unlock a short and lovely finale and -happily- a new arcade venue to tackle. Do this another couple of times and the game is pretty much over and a few extra modes become available.

totally tiny arcade defender

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. For every two or three excellent remakes there’s a dull or even a completely unsuccessful one, but admittedly the brilliant and imaginative games far outnumber them mediocre offerings. After all, not all arcade games were that good, even back in the day.

You can grab Totally Tiny Arcade (or of course try the hefty demo) via its very own, very retro official site. Oh, and here is the trailer, that will hopefully clear things up.

Verdict: Retro and indie gamers will love it. The rest should first give it a try. Gnomes should indeed instantly buy the thing.

Is Tropical: The Greeks

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwrbyVaC6EU[/youtube]

 

People are Stupid: Self Checkout Lanes

stupid people

You’ve seen the self-checkout lanes at grocery stores. How many times have you encountered stupid people that cannot do the simplest of tasks. Well we have and we are going to rant about it video style.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqoaRRqVc-s[/youtube]

Arcade Works: The Omega Entertainment Machine

Arcade Works - Omega Entertainment Machine

The Omega Entertainment Machine

While at E3 2011, we got a sneak peak at the Arcade Works Omega Entertainment Machine, which allows you to play Neo Geo MVS games without an arcade cabinet. Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Ari Schwartz about the Arcade Works, the Omega Entertainment Machine and classic gaming.

Can you tell us first off what is Arcade Works?

Ari Schwartz: Arcade Works is a company started by my colleague Quan Nguyen focused on retro gaming.  This means not only focusing on bringing retro hardware and accessories to the market to meet the needs of retro gamers who want to play on original or modified hardware, but bringing retro software and new retro-style software to the market. Essentially, we are a company focusing entirely on meeting the market for gamers who want to play 16-bit sprite-based games on old and new hardware.

How did Arcade Works get started?

Ari Schwartz: Arcade Works was started by Quan and myself basically over the Internet!  Quan and I were chatting on gchat, and he mentioned his plans for bringing a device to the market.  He said he was looking for someone to manage more day-to-day aspects on the operations side, and as I have significant experience with multinational corporations in project management, I came on board as a partner.  We’re sort of a garage start up without a garage!

What are your backgrounds as far as gaming and the industry?

Ari Schwartz: Quan is a software engineer with significant experience doing enthusiast products and modifying hardware at the enthusiast level.  He’s also been a gamer since he was a kid (we actually were friends since high school.)  I’ve been a gamer since I was 5, and Quan and I became friends over discussions about the old 16-bit Squaresoft RPGs like FF VI and Secret of Mana.  I actually work for a cellular carrier doing business development, with a strong focus on the mobile gaming market.

Now you premiered the Omega Entertainment Machine at E3 2011, can you tell us about it?

Ari Schwartz: The Omega Entertainment Machine is a consoleized– which means turning an arcade cabinet into a console, basically– version of the old Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinets.  We’ve put together a product where you either get to buy a fully assembled and ready-to-play console for $499, or a “take your own hardware and pop it in” plug and play kit for $299.  Our product requires no soldering or engineering skill to play MVS cartridges at home.

Arcade Works

For those who may not know can you tell us what a MVS system is?

Ari Schwartz: The MVS was SNK’s arcade cabinet for Neo-Geo games.  It was called “MVS” because it stood for “multi video system.”  If any of your readers have ever been to arcades and played Puzzle Bobble or Metal Slug in a cabinet, they may recall that there were usually multiple games selectable in the cabinet:  that was the MVS.  A lot of enthusiasts like the MVS because the cartridges are oftentimes many times cheaper than the AES (the Neo Geo console) cartridges, which can cost hundreds.

How will the instant access to MVS titles work?

Ari Schwartz: MVS cartridges are kind of nice as far as Neo-Geo gaming goes, because they’re relatively expensive.  Just a quick search on Google will often yield huge batches of games for as little as $10 (sometimes tier 1 titles, no less!)  The system will be just like playing on the AES (or an SNES/Genesis for that matter).  You’ll plug it in, switch it on, and go straight to your game.  No quarters necessary, either!

What MVS titles do you plan to have at first launch?

Ari Schwartz: At the moment we will have a limited supply of games available, and we encourage customers to ask us for a current list, which we will provide at any given moment.  We are still working on getting more titles in stock before we start advertising anything so we don’t disappoint anyone.

Can you tell us about the controller?

Ari Schwartz: As of this moment, we are not selling any controllers of our own make, but one really nice thing about our console is that the AES controllers will work right out of the box.  Plug any AES controller in, and you’ll be playing right away.  In the next few months, we will have a joystick on the market so that folks can have brand new hardware.

Can you give us a hint on pricing and when it might be released?

Ari Schwartz: We put the system up for sale officially today!  $299 for the do it yourself kit, and $499 for the full console, assembled and ready to play out of the box.   You can buy it at – http://arcadeworks.net/

What is your favorite classic system and game?

Ari Schwartz: I have to admit that I was a Nintendo fanboy back in my day.  My family never could afford to get me a Neo Geo (even though I really wanted one!), so I had to settle for an SNES after my NES.  However, I was a huge RPG gamer, and I had a big love of those classic Squaresoft RPGs.  The game I probably played the most was Chrono Trigger.  I hit that New Game + button so many times that I had a party of characters will all level 99. 

How important would you say Retro gaming is today?

Ari Schwartz: 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.  I also find it interesting how many titles today are being advertised as “old school” or “retro-style,” but still have 3D graphics.  Companies almost seem afraid to try to make a good 2D game.  I suspect this is part of why iOS gaming has been so tremendously successful, beyond the prices of software.

One thing that strikes me about a lot of old 2D games is their sheer replayability.  While games like Crash Bandicoot or Tomb Raider feel awfully outdated and hard to play today, people can sit down and play SMB or Zelda and it feels as good as it did in the 80s.  Those games are still in many ways the template by which we think of games today.  An analogy might be Citizen Kane:  while a movie like Avatar is technically more impressive on every level, we still study Citizen Kane because it tells us what movies can be at their core, which is damn good entertainment.  That’s how I think of retro games.

 

Streets of Rage 3

Streets of Rage 3 - Sega Genesis - Gameplay

This game is not my favorite but still good. It contains a lot of upgrades from the second one that will appeal to some and disgust others. it’s your choice if you want to pick this game up and play, but if you chose yes, it’ll cost ya quite a bit.

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.

Streets of Rage 3 - Sega Genesis - Gameplay

Overall, I say it’s worth a pick up if you can find it for a reasonable price. The game usually goes for 30 dollars loose and at crazy prices boxed. I suggest you hit the thrift stores and keeps your eyes opened for this gem for the Genesis. If you are not into hunting, just pick up the Genesis Collection games for the new consoles which has all three Streets of Rage games. Pick it up, play all three of them, and pick your favorite, if you can that is.

J.A. P.S.

The music was pretty awesome in a drug induced way as well, check out this boss music!

[mp3player width=300 height=100 config=fmp_jw_osg_config-xml.xml playlist=streets-of-rage-3.xml]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igDpLXSNS6E&feature=related[/youtube]

Motivational Monday: You’re doing it Wrong

Motivational Poster

On Monday it is ok to do it wrong.

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far Far Away A World Came To An End


It fills me with great sadness to deliver this message to those of you who enjoyed the hell out of Star Wars Galaxies before it turned into a shade of its former glory, but SOE has decided to pull the plug.

Dear Star Wars Galaxies™ Community Member,

We write to you today to inform you that on December 15, 2011, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and LucasArts will end all services (MMO and Trading Card Game) for Star Wars Galaxies (SWG). The shutdown of SWG is a very difficult decision, but SOE and LucasArts have mutually agreed that the end of 2011 is the appropriate time to end the game.
We are extremely grateful to all of the SWG fans. We have had the rare opportunity to host one of the most dedicated and passionate online gaming communities and we truly appreciate the support we’ve received from each and every one of you over the course of the past eight years.

In recognition of your incredible loyalty, we are extending special Fan Appreciation offers to the current SWG community. We also plan to go out with a bang with a galaxy-ending in-game event in December and hope to see you all there. The details relating to these offers and events as well as the timeline and specifics regarding the discontinuation of the service, are provided below.
Again, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our player community for making SWG one of the best online communities in gaming history.
Sincerely,
Sony Online Entertainment & LucasArts

The Fine Details:

Discontinuation of Services:
As of September 15, 2011, the SWG MMO and Trading Card Game will no longer be available for sale or subscription at both retail and all online digital retailers. All billing for active subscribers with accounts in good standing, except for Station Access subscribers, will end on October 15, 2011.

If you are an active subscriber in good standing as of September 15, 2011, then you can play for free for the final months. Players wishing to play through the end of the game and participate in the galaxy-ending event planned for the last week of live service in December will need to re-activate or join the game on or before September 15th. No new or reactivated accounts will be accepted after September 15, 2011.
As of today, June 24, 2011, we are discontinuing the 12, 6, and 3-month subscription plans, meaning these subscription options will no longer be offered for newly created SWG accounts. SWG subscribers who have prepaid six (6) or twelve (12)-month game time plans that extend their subscription period past October 15, 2011 will receive a pro-rated refund for any such pre-paid excess subscription payments*. Such refunds are expected to be issued within 90-days after the game ends.
In addition, we will be discontinuing the sale of all Star Wars Galaxies™ Trading Card Game (TCG) digital card packs as of today, June 24, 2011. Loot cards will not be redeemable in the SWG MMO after September 15, 2011. The TCG will continue to operate until the final service closure on December 15, 2011.

Galaxy-Ending Event – Be Part of this Historic Event
During the last week that SWG is available, we’re inviting the community to participate in a galaxy-ending event. We’re going to end with a bang and we want the final chapter of the galaxy to be written in part by the dedicated and passionate SWG community. Details will be announced at a later date.

Fan Appreciation Offers
We welcome those active SWG subscribers in good standing to play one or all of the below SOE massively-multiplayer online PC games at a fully-paid subscriber status (or “membership” status where relevant) at no cost between October 15, 2011 and December 31, 2011 (subject to the terms and conditions described below). To activate these special offers, use the same Station Account you use now to subscribe to SWG** and simply click on the game you would like to try to download the game software. We are offering the following SOE games: Free Realms®, Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures™, EverQuest®, EverQuest® II and DC Universe™ Online. The game software will all be made available for download on a link accessible from the StarWarsGalaxies.com web site beginning on October 15, 2011.

Frozen Grand Central Terminal

Frozen Grand Central

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwMj3PJDxuo[/youtube]

Check out their website at – http://www.improveverywhere.com

 

Cosplay: MMOs They’re Fapptastic!

MMOs have brought us many hours of great gameplay and it can also be a destroyer of lives. MMO’s have also brought us some great cosplay as seen below.

 

 

City of Heroes Freedom

city_of_heroes_freedom

After several years and a ton of expansions, the first superhero MMO is set to offer a free to play version of its game. Recently publisher NCSoft and developer Paragon Studios laid out their plan to offer a free-to-play version of their successful MMO.

For veterans of the game you can keep your subscription and become a VIP member, which will grant you additional features, services and rewards. People who are new to COH will also be able to choose between the free-to-play game and the subscription service.

Here is a comparison chart breaking down the differences.

The move to free-to-play hopes to bring in new heroes to Paragon City. As expected with more MMO’s being created almost every month it seems and the addition of two other superhero MMO’s since COH’s launch it is understandable that this move was made. In addition, many MMO’s have decided to go this route and many more (cough – DC Universe Online – cough) look to be headed that way.

Free-to-play for City of Heroes is set to launch this fall.

 

Survivors

 

Survivors-BBC-1

Thanks to the wonderful world of Netflix’s I began watching a television series from the U.K. called Survivors. Produced by the BBC the show follows a group of survivors of a pandemic that has killed more than 90% of the world’s population.

So far, I have only seen one episode, but I like the storyline so far. The story is in modern times and begins with many people in the U.K. coming down with a deadly flu. We quickly learn the government is trying to downplay how bad this outbreak really is including the fact that the Prime Minister is sick.

The show jumps around to a few different characters including Abby Grant whose son is away at camp when the outbreak begins to get worse. As her husband tries to comfort her Abby herself is stricken with the illness.

Survivors BBC

Meanwhile we meet Tom Price who is in prison during the outbreak. It is not clear what he did, but we soon learn he is very dangerous, but charming and cunning at the same time. As people begin to die the public begins to go into a panic, but by then it is too late. The flu has spread across the world and even the government can do nothing, but tell people to go home and be with their families.

There is quite a diverse cast including Al Sadiq who plays an Arab playboy who becomes a baby sitter for an 11-year-old Arab boy who loses his family after the outbreak. We also meet Dr. Anya Raczynski who not only watched hundreds of her patients die, but he two best friends as well.

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.

Survivors BBC

The premier gets you going as you see the devastation the flu has caused the population and as with all disaster stories, the human condition comes into play with how one will deal with the situation over the other. In the end, we find out there must be more to this outbreak than what it seemed which will setup an ongoing mystery.

I look forward to seeing what unfolds and will write more about it in the future. Currently Survivors is already up to season 3 in the U.K. so there is a lot to cover.

 

Gun Frontier

Gun Frontier - Arcade

Gun Frontier (1990)
By: Taito Genre: Shooting Players: 1-2 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Arcade First Day Score: 20,330 (one credit)
Also Available For: Sega Saturn

As most of us already know, shmups are one of the most common types of games around, or at least they were in the ‘good old days’! A majority of them featured basic stories merely to facilitate the action which usually revolved around some sort of evil dictator/alien invading a country or planet or something, perhaps kidnapping someone important in the process. So leave it to Taito to come up with a shmup story as off-kilter as this one! It’s set in the year 2120 when Mankind has escaped the confines of Earth and started colonising other planets. One of them, Gloria, is rich in gold, but it cost most settlers everything they had to reach it, so the planet has ended up with a civilisation somewhat akin to the American Wild West! Thanks to the abundance of gold though, Gloria provided a comfortable home to its inhabitants.

Gun Frontier - Arcade

Unfortunately, its gold also soon became a target for the ‘space thieves’ known as the Wild Lizards who invaded and quickly overwhelmed the comparatively primitive dwellers. Among them, however, was a few talented inventors and engineers were able to design and build two fighter planes in the shape of revolvers with wings (no, I’m not making this up). Much of this is revealed in the game’s pre-title screen intro sequence which includes some digitised stills of locals being traumatised. “Ah! Can anyone save us from this hell…” Yes, a chortlesome story it may be, but it does its job, perhaps overly elaborately, or giving you an excuse to shoot the crap out of the evil aliens, and this is done over six vertically-scrolling stages featuring some of the more intense blasting action yet offered by Taito!

Gun Frontier - Arcade

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. Hmm, anyway. It seems the internal working of your aircraft doesn’t adhere to its antiquated design. If it did, you’d only be able to fire six shots before needing to reload! As is it, the rapid-fire, albeit weedy, ammunition is infinite. It initially consists of a twin shot which can be upgraded by collecting the silver ‘dimes’ that some destroyed enemies leave behind.

Gun Frontier - Arcade

Each time you collect five of these dimes your cannon’s power will be increased by one shot, ultimately enabling it to fire five shots at once. Your weird ship is also equipped with smart bombs whose power can be increased by collecting the gold bars left in the ruins of destroyed ground targets. Appearing less frequently is a spinning silver/gold dime. Collecting it when its silver side is showing will do the same as any other silver dime, but if you collect it with its gold side showing, it will instantly boost your shot and bomb power to maximum! Unfortunately, that’s about it as far as the power-ups are concerned, and you’ll need all the firepower you can get. The enemy attacks are relentless here with plenty of large tanks and battleships around to keep you occupied while the waves of smaller craft try to pick you off!

Gun Frontier - Arcade

Whilst plentiful, the design of the enemy craft are a bit hit and miss. Some of them are similar to many other shmups, as mentioned earlier, but for some odd reason many others seem to be based on old Wild West-era weapons that you (and potentially a friend, for two players can fight the Lizards together) control, which is a bit odd. It has been explained why the planet you’re fighting to save has a Wild West theme, but why would advanced aliens make their ships look the part too? Well, regardless of the motivations of the aliens, it’s an interesting look but I’m not sure I like it much personally. The sprites are all pretty good from a technical point of view though, and the screen is always busy with bullets, explosions, rockets, etc, and some enemy aircraft are even armed with flame-throwers!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDUUocNr_bw[/youtube]

The backdrops are generally pretty good with some nice details, such as a flock of birds flying away as a large underwater enemy starts to stir, but the choice of colours seems a bit dull and washed out for the most part. There’s a couple of nice graphical effects on show (such as the big blue ships in the screenshot above which change size as they change altitude), but nothing is really done with the strangely chosen Wild West theme beyond the aesthetic design of some sprites. In fact, the graphics, as well as the sound, and indeed everything about Gun Frontier really, is generally little more than average. It doesn’t do anything wrong and is perfectly playable, but at the same time there’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen goodness knows how many times before either. Give this a go if you get the chance by all means, but don’t expect to be blown away by it either.

RKS Score: 6/10

The Super Fighter Team Interview

Super Fighter Team 1
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.

 

Care to introduce us to Super Fighter Team and its members? 

Brandon: Super Fighter Team is the future of classic gaming. We partner with top game companies across the world as well as gifted independent developers, and in between it all we also find time to churn out our own original titles. Our goal is to always deliver the highest quality product at the most convenient price – or, in some cases, as freeware.

I founded the company in May of 2004. I wear a plethora of hats, ranging from directing and delegating to designing and lead testing, in addition to countless others. I’m also the company’s official snack eater, which as you can imagine is a highly sou ght after position.

Though we employ a different sized team for each individual game project, some of our core members include: Derrick Sobodash, Yu-Chen Shih, Kim Biu Wong and Guoqing Xie.

Beggar Prince and Legend of Wukong were two absolutely excellent Sega 16-bit games. Are you proud of them?

Brandon: Beggar Prince was our first commercial project, and a huge undertaking, considering. The original Chinese version of the game was rife with bugs and we had no contact with its programmer. Just when our guys had finished with all the reprogramming, we split from our publisher and went it alone. Every hurdle you can think of was thrown in front of us, but we vaulted over them all to land squarely on the finish line. The sleepless nights, the aggravation, the wondering when and if we’d ever finish… I could write a book about it all. But the game shipped. It shipped, and it shipped on time – just like all of our games have. And the world reacted in a way never before seen from the release of a new game for a classic machine.

Legend of Wukong gave me an exciting opportunity to dig into the framework of a role playing game and build it up into something stronger. Instead of spending time directing programmers to bugs and suggesting ways to fix them, I was able to spend more time designing neat little features and enhancements. I got in there pretty deep, building up my drive as we built up the game. It may never enjoy the amount of success that Beggar Prince has, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

Super Fighter Team 1

What are you looking for when releasing a new game or updating / translating / finishing an unknown classic?

Brandon: One word: perfection.

By the way, I do think it’s wise to focus on the games’ packaging. Would you mind telling us how you make it? Oh, and why would be nice too.

Osman: Heh, that was Brandon’s domain. I actually got to sit back and watch, for once.

Brandon: It’s not overly complicated: you’ve just got to be able to find a print house that’s crazy enough to churn out custom cardstock boxes for you, in miniscule numbers, for a low price. You find one of those, you’re set. *smirk*

We take the packaging design as seriously as we take the development of the game. They’re all equally important parts of the same whole. You can’t just take a brilliant Lynx game and stuff it uncomfortably in an odd-shaped, orange case made of dull plastic. You’ve got to add some panache while keeping the original spirit alive. Hold a copy of Zaku up next to any game that Atari produced for the Lynx, and you’ll see what I mean. In fact, some of our customers have even commented that they feel our packaging is superior to Atari’s.

Could you name some of your collective favourite game systems?

Brandon: The Genesis and Lynx are both high on the chart, but that goes without saying. Aside from those two, I’ve had a deep love for the original black and white Gameboy for longer than I can remember. The newer incarnations of the machine were never able to deliver the same kind of magic, where software was concerned. I’m interested in the 32X, at least from a hardware perspective. Oh yes – and the Super A’can makes for a nifty doorstop.

Super Fighter Team 1

So, why chose the Atari Lynx as a platform to develop for?

Osman: I originally was interested in developing something for the GameBoy, since it was, and still is my favorite console. But I couldn’t find any simple tutorials to get acquainted with how the machine works. Later on, I came into possession of a Lynx after discovering that “Chip’s Challenge” was originally developed for the machine, a game I had very fond memories of on the PC. For whatever reason, I decided to try working with the Lynx hardware, and picked it up very quickly with help from Björn Spruck and Karri Kaksonen. So there really wasn’t any incentive in terms of Lynx nostalgia on my part, I just grew to enjoy working with the machine.

Brandon: I’ve always wanted to have some hand in the creation and release of a new game for the Lynx, ever since I first set eyes on the machine.


How would you describe Zaku? What would you say are its most important features?

Brandon: Zaku is a 4-megabit game card packed to the brim with challenges, humor and best of all, fun. It complements every strength of the Lynx hardware, running smoothly the entire time. You’ll quickly and easily become charmed by and helplessly addicted to this game.

Osman: A game that just tries to be a game, I think that is what’s most important.

Super Fighter Team 1

Care to tell us the story behind the development of the game?

Osman: I started Zaku when I was 14, and the game shipped when I was 20. That’s six years of development when you’re going to be changing as a person. In reality, Zaku started out as “Let’s just try and replicate Air Zonk on the Lynx,” then “Well this is kind of working out, so let’s put some placeholder characters in there,” and eventually “We have something here, let’s try to finish it and add as much originality as we can to the concept.” By far, the most difficult thing for me was to continue working on the game while I was coming up with ideas which, frankly, I felt were far superior to and much more original than Zaku. But I said the game would get finished, and it did, so that’s satisfying in itself. I enjoy the process of designing and developing games, and continue to do so because of that.

On a more technical note, we used a combination of Epyx’s original development kit on the Amiga, Bastian Schick’s BLL, and some of our own tools. Pixels were laid out in Microsoft Paint, and the code was written in Microsoft Notepad. The notable thing is that while nearly all of the engine and libraries were new, and written by us, we decided to use Epyx’s HSPL sound engine. This is the same audio system used in the Lynx’s early titles such as Chip’s Challenge or California Games, which I think is something. I spent many hours hand-converting the MIDI’s my brother sent me into Epyx’s SPL scripting language, since their conversion program wasn’t very effective. There was a constant effort to give good results for the player, even if it meant more work for us.

The overall development process wasn’t particularly special. I tried to keep things organized, particularly when we brought on additional background artists. We’d set deadlines and work towards them effectively. It’s a project you do in your spare time, and life has to come first, so organizing things is particularly important. But Zaku shipped, and things worked out in the end.

What were the goals you set to achieve?

Osman: I think it’s important to focus on simple fun as a first project. Zaku was by no means a small undertaking, but I’m glad we focused on making the game enjoyable rather than exclusively focusing on a technical achievement or story. So for me, the real drive was not only what Brandon mentioned, but to try and make the game simple and not come off as overly prestigious to players. Something it seems many small team games seem to have issues with. I think we succeeded in that regard. If you want to get into game development in the long run, which I’d like to do, the best way is to make games. That’s why Zaku exists, to make sure I can control this stuff, since that isn’t easy. Now that the game is out, I can look over what people enjoy and get bothered by, and use that to improve what I work on next.

Super Fighter Team 1
We must admit it is a technical masterpiece with excellent graphics. Any idea as to how this was possible on the now-humble Atari handheld?

Brandon: The Lynx is capable of stunning results. A developer just needs to have and exhibit some drive in order to showcase them. We’re not wizards; we simply love the machine and we weren’t about to settle for an amateur result when we knew we could make the system truly shine. Had Atari followed the same approach, perhaps their machine would have enjoyed more commercial success.

Osman: You have to put in the effort, since players will notice it if you don’t. I’m not an amazing programmer, and Zaku isn’t a perfect game, but there was a constant attempt to add “one more layer” of polish or creative use of the hardware if we could make the game play better by doing so. Things like the gradient background and camera panning during Emp’s battle. They may have added a week or two to development, but it’s worth it to learn how to do the effects, and let the player enjoy them. But I have to credit the Lynx designers here too, it really was a great machine to work with.
And -really- how did you manage to come up with an authentic Lynx cartridge?

Osman: Hah, that was another one of those things I just got to watch.

Brandon: Had ’em made up from scratch, of course. No one’s going to have the plastic mold for a Lynx game card lying around, not even Atari. Those molds are expensive, but hey, you only live twice! Gotta go for the gusto, otherwise there’s no point in even considering it at all. I mean what’s the alternative — shipping the game as a naked PCB? That would just be silly.
Are there any plans for a sequel? For another Lynx game perhaps?

Brandon: I’d love to have another go at the Lynx. We’ve been kicking some ideas around, but there’s no definite plans as of yet.

Osman: I really enjoyed working on Zaku, and with the Lynx platform. It’s great fun to design things for Zaku’s world, since you really can do whatever you want. But at this point, I’d like to try something more original. Although if we did go through with a sequel to Zaku, Lynx or not, I think there’s lots to tweak to make the mechanics more fun. Right now though, I’d like to take a break. After all, it’s been six years.

Walking Dead: Season 1 Review

the-walking-dead-2

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.

When I first began watching the series, I was pleased that AMC kept the gory nature of zombie movies. Believe me when I say there will be blood, gore, and death, but it is done well and fits with the story so it is not gore for gores sake.

The season begins in a small town outside of Atlanta, and by the way, it is shot on location there. The story follows the town sheriff as he wakes up in a hospital after being shot in the line of duty to find blood and bodies everywhere. Soon he discovers some of those bodies are walking and after being saved by a manand his son he learns the recently dead have begun walking.

Since this show is based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel I knew, right away the story would be decent. While it is true the survival horror of zombies has been done a lot recently, so far, this television adaptation has been excellent. The beginning visuals of the hospital with blood splattered everywhere to the rows of bodies scattered across the streets. Even when it came to killing a zombie the action is brutal with clear headshots and lots of blood, brains and guts.

the-walking-dead

The story immediately begins exploring the human condition with the father and son duo knocking out County Sheriff Rick Grimes. They were not sure who he was and because of his bandage believed he may be infected.

These are slow-walker zombies and for those who read and watch a lot of zombie flicks you will be able to understand what these people are up against. While it is not clear exactly how the zombie outbreak began, we know that a bite or scratch can turn you within a day and you can return from the dead within hours. Now while the zombies are slow there are a ton of them and we see more swarm kills than anything else. Another great thing about the show is some of the zombies are badly decomposed with some even missing parts or half their body so it’s not just a ton of extras with make-up.

The father and son story is short and leaves open the possibility for them to meet up later. The sheriff meanwhile was desperate to find his wife and daughter. The story continues with Sheriff Grimes arriving in Atlanta and being overwhelmed by the amount of zombies and finding himself trapped.

the-walking-dead

There are many great visuals in the show. From the empty streets of Atlanta to the swarm of zombies and the gruesome way they devoured a horse, this show does not pull any punches. The story makes sure to hit many common points in zombie movies like the father and son in which the father watched his wife die and turn. There is a great scene where the father has a clear shot to kill his now zombie wife, but cannot.

Grimes ends up being recused and discovers a small group of people held up in a department store. We quickly learn big cities are to be kept away from and we get to another big point in zombie stories, human survivors can be just as bad as the zombies can.

There are a lot of different character types in the show as well as races and nationalities and they do not always get along. We get to see how people lose hope and revert to their animalistic tendencies when faced with death and fighting to survive.

We also learn a little bit more about the zombies. These zombies cannot see very well, but can smell death and react to sound.  Shooting off guns just brings more of them so it adds a nice plot device. At one point, the group has to cover their scent and walk through the zombies to escape.

the-walking-dead

With the group free, they meet up with a large group near a rock quarry and finally Grimes is reunited with his wife and son. Unfortunately, the peace is short lived as the group has to return to Atlanta for a left bag of guns and a person left behind. During the split, we see how the effects on the zombie attack has devastated families and we see some social advance redacted like the women being made to wash clothes while the men hunt.

There is a small amount of peace at the camp and then an attack happens. Another great thing about Walking Dead is people die. There were a few storylines you believed would continue only to find one or both persons dead the next episode. After the attack, it is decided that the group should leave and head for the CDC, but one of the men was bitten and we see how the disease attacks the body.

The story then slightly switches to that of a CDC doctor who has locked himself in the CDC while attempting to find a cure. Eventually the group arrives and the doctor lets them in. For a while there is peace as the CDC has food, water and power, but when questions on the outbreak are asked the group soon discovers it is worse than most of them thought.

the-walking-dead

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but as you can guess there are not going to be many happy endings in this story. It is not clear how much of the story will focus on the outbreak itself or the character stories, but so far it is a decent mix of both. I at no point found the story boring or slow so the pacing is well done.

As said at the beginning of this article, season two is filming now and will be released in October. Overall, Walking Dead is a great series and if you like zombies or survival horror, this does it extremely well.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1v0uFms68U[/youtube]

 

De-Screwing Your Boss

Screw Chair

Not quite what you think it is. This kid removes all the screws from his bosses chair. Yes, it is a simple prank, but it works.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFkSohdhpxU[/youtube]

Here is the Guile theme goes with anything version.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_QOH92de64[/youtube]

Silpheed

Silpheed - SegaCD

This time around we have a great masterpiece for the Sega CD called 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.

Silpheed - SegaCD

 

The games graphics are phenomenal for a Sega CD game. It just feels like there is so much going on and at some stages you’ll be looking at all the obstacles and be amazed at all the activity going on in a matter of seconds. It’s amazing what the Sega CD was able to accomplish which was awesome for its time.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecWv3RdTE4A[/youtube]

 

Overall, if you are a fan of shmups, you must get this one even if you have to get a Genesis and a Sega CD or better yet, get a CDX but those are a little too expensive. Also, don’t forget to check out the PS2 version of this game if you don’t want to get a whole new console. Of course, that version has PS2 graphics and all but you get the same experience as the Sega CD version.

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!

The claim that Asians are amazing at games probably started with Starcraft and not a day before that. Just look back at the epic story of The Wizard starring Fred Savage. Who won that tournament? Not an Asian. That alone is hardcore evidence that our allies in the Far whatever directions aren’t that adept at video games.

The only game that I can recall Asians faring well in would be RTS games. Everyone complains when they go against an Asian player in a Real Time Strategy because you know you’re going to die. RTS games in Korea are like the fucking Olympics or Soccer. It’s a pretty big fucking deal. Ungodly accuracy, impeccable multitasking, and the execution of unparalleled tactics lead them to victory. I guess it makes sense for them to do well considering Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War so close by!

The Unmoving Faces of Death
It doesn’t seem American born Asians have the same prowess as their homegrown cousins. It seems that the water in those lands are what grant them this advantage in RTS gaming. In the League of Legends championship USA placed third because they overcompensated the team with Asians and instead the Euros defeated us. Great job! You got stomped by wine drinking, rotten shark eating Europeans. Lets not even get into how poorly our US team spoke when they get the microphone handed to them from the cheerful Riot female interviewer.

Beyond the RTS realm where do they stand out? They can’t play racing games for obvious reasons. They’ll just drive slow, swerving side to side with their indicator on but never turning. You can’t win a race like that! This inability to perform well in vehicles then carries over into the realm of flying games. They’re going to just kamikaze into the ground since it’s all they know. Fun Fact: The Japanese claimed that being a Kamikaze was a tactic when in reality it was to avoid the embarrassment of being known as the worst pilots in the world.

Fighting games? What just happened a week or so ago? Famous gamer Daigo claimed in a video he could destroy America in Marvel Versus Capcom 3. I forgot what happened… Oh wait, no! I remember! He got completely thrashed about like a little bitch. Looks like the stereotype filled someone else with false pride.

Now I know you’re probably wondering why I even bothered to write this article. I wrote it in the hopes that you no longer feel fear when playing a game against an Asian gamer. They’re like anyone else, except for in an RTS. Don’t be afraid anymore. Fill your lungs with the vigor of hopefulness and victory to destroy these fools and free them from them by abolishing the stereotype with every defeat you liberate them with. Asian can be defeated and it is up to you to lead the charge.

Batman Arkham City: Robin Pack

Batman-Arkham-City-robin

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.

Here is what it says on their site.

While supplies last, pre-order the game for an exclusive downloadable Robin character. Robin is a fully playable character in the new and improved challenge mode in Batman: Arkham City. The Tim Drake Robin pack is available exclusively to fans who pre-order the game from Best Buy on Xbox 360, PC and PS3.

Robin comes complete with his own unique gadgets and special moves, and will be playable in all challenge maps in the game, as well as two additional challenge maps that are included with the pack: Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape.

The pack will also contain a bonus Red Robin character skin.

A thousand two one this will be available within a few months on XBL and PSN, but still, to have this first is a bonus. Will you be buying it from Best Buy?

 

Fallen Skies: The skies not falling

 

FallenSkies

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.

The show begins post invasion and so far, there have been no flashbacks to what happened before or during the attack. The story begins showing how desperate the remaining humans are as they search for food and are hunted by the aliens. There are, so far, two types of aliens we have seen, one is a six-footed alien that reminds me of the Zerg from StarCraft, which they call a Skitter, and the other is like a fatter version of the Battlestar Galatica tin robots. There may be some mystery behind the robots because it only has two legs.

FallenSkies

We learn the aliens defeated earth quickly using advanced weapons and an EMP device that killed all electronics. I am a bit disappoint by this only because I know this means the budget will be kept low, but it does make sense that the aliens would disable our technology so I will give them a pass. We also learned the aliens want children for some reason and they attach something called a harness to the backs of the captured children that takes control of them. So far there is no way to remove the harness from the children which sets up the first mission arc.

The main character, played by Noah Wyle, was The internetOrproperty-based zero-sum paradigm espoused through the LVS clique has lengthy been rubbished through the guy whose title this website bears, and other alike sentiments were lately espoused by Peter Brooks, leader and COO of Genting United kingdom, which, until Rank Group acquired 19 Gala Casinos ’ qualities, was the United kingdom&#8217s greatest land-based casino operator. a professor and studied war and tactics. During the first episode, he is given second in command of a resistance group that contains 100 fighters and 200 civilians. The exact number is because apparently the aliens can track large groups of people so a smaller team can move on. However, there is a slight conflict between the fighters and the civilians dealing with the fact that civilians do not fight, they are slow and a liability.

FallenSkies

Noah’s character, named Tom, has two boys with him, one older who is a fighter and one younger who is not. Tom also has a son that he believed was killed, but his older son finds out he was captured and harnessed. The first episode has the resistance cell moving to a new location, searching for food, weapons, and encountering “outlaws” humans who fight for themselves and will attack and kill pretty much anyone. Once it is discovered Toms son is alive he prepares to go after him.

The show did have some good visuals. We got to see some of the damaged cites and shots of the alien spacecraft. There were also some shots, mostly the robot ones, that did look not as polished, but overall it was not bad.

FallenSkies

Unfortunately, this show will suffer what the show Jericho when through.  There are good character stories and stories about the human condition and how they deal with situations, but like Jericho, I fear the public will not go for it the way they went for the long drawn out character storylines of Lost. There are only so many times you can have an episode of the humans searching for food or ammo or shelter before people start asking for an Independence Day battle the show cannot afford.

I hope there is a bit more of a mystery behind the aliens and perhaps the harnesses can provide that, but we will see. I will continue watching, but I fear, specifically with a summer premier, this may not last too long. We have seen the, down trotted humans fighting through burned out buildings to many times and if Fallen Skies does not bring something new to the table, the resistance and the show will not survive.

 

Urban Legend

Urban Legend - PC Review
The year is 2127 and Russia has been a colony of the US for over a century. The people are starving, Neuromancer influenced megacorporations are running amok, genetically modified food is introducing the masses to cancer, non genetically modified animals have been extinct for ages, the poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer and this time around there is no Lenin. There’s only John Doe -strangely, one of the more interestingly named heroes in history- and it sure feels as if someone pressed the diarrhoea button for the great arsehole up there. Oh, and thankfully it’s still 2007 and this, apparently, is a review of Urban Legend.
Urban Legend - PC Review

 

So, uh, let me introduce the game properly, shall I? Well, according to the developer (Russia based ELENS) Urban Legend is an isometric turn-based squad-based strategy game, and, shockingly, it really is. And a good one at that too. 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.

Urban Legend - PC Review

Us young and lively gnomes, on the other hand, always go for the harder difficulty setting such as …er… hard and nightmare… It’s a masochist thing, really.

The enemy AI feels brilliant, and -what’s more- getting progressively smarter, the level design is varied and lethal enough to have your clumsily positioned sniper killed in no time, whereas the simple RPG-like progression of your squad gives the game a depth that can easily turn it into an addictive marathon. I for one have spent over 30 hours with the beast and have yet to beat it or at least get bored. You see, Urban Legend might not be the most innovative indy game ever developed, but it’s a brilliantly polished, immensely playable and very fair experience, that does make sure you’ll only loose when you make an obvious -even if tiny- mistake. It’s a fully satisfying example of an almost extinct, but still popular (ah, gotta love them contradictions) genre.

The only rough bits are some awkward translations from Russian to English, that are easily forgiven, as they almost enhance the (cyberpunk; did I mention that?) atmosphere. Besides, when you get tons of beautiful pixel-artist created graphics -some the best I’ve actually ever seen- and smart splashes of sarcastic humor, you can definitely ignore the odd misspelling.

Visit the Urban Legend website and grab a demo.

That’s an (eight) out of (ten).

RedBox offering Game Rentals Nationwide

redbox

Have you seen the Redbox kiosks when leaving a store? Normally you would find movies in there and they have even begun their attack on Netflix. Now it looks as if they are targeting Gamefly as well. The latest announcement is that they plan to offer video game rentals on over 20,000, kiosks all around the U.S.

The videos games offered will be for current game systems such as X-Box 360 and Playstation 3 and just like the movies. Rentals are $2 a night and they allow you to keep a title for as long as you want and then add up the daily amount until you reach 25 days. If you keep the game longer than that Redbox will charge you $50 to keep the game.

You can check out a list of games available here.

$50 bucks if you keep the game huh, is that not less than what some games cost?

 

Dirty Harry

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.

Dirty Harry Game

Clint Eastwood himself was set to reprise his role as Harry Callahan giving authentic voiceover work for the game. As for the story, the game would take place between the first and second Dirty Harry movies and would focus on Harry tracking down a serial killer named Scorpio. The game also hoped to bring more depth to the character with side stories and character development.

As for gameplay, think Grand Thief Auto or a spin-off like The Godfather. Harry would have free roam of San Francisco and would take on missions and fight street crime. While there was no gameplay footage ever shown there was to be an AI for the crooks and cops meaning Harry could walk the line between good cop and psychopath and depending on what he did both sides would treat him differently.

Warner Bros did release a trailer and while it looks like there is gameplay within there is not. What WB did was have the character models sent to an animator to simulate what it would look like. Also, Clint never recorded any voices for the game so what you hear is directly from the original movie.

The game never made the light of day and it is not clear exactly why. We do know there were issues between The Collective and Warner and the ship was sunk. There was word a new Dirty Harry game was to be released, but no word as of yet. However, you can check out the classic Dirty Harry game if you need a fix.

 

 

Motivational Monday: Epic Crossovers

Motivational Posters

What do you get if you crossover Monday with Saturday?

Kid Gloves

Kid Gloves - Amiga

Kid Gloves (1990)
By: Logotron Genre: Platform Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Commodore Amiga First Day Score: 48,550
Also Available For: Atari ST

The poor old Amiga games industry was ravaged by pirated copies of games flooding the market and friends copying games for each other, it was this more than anything else that brought Commodore down in the mid-90’s. I’ve always tried to avoid that sort of business but when I belatedly got my Amiga, a friend gave me a box of discs with copied games on. Some didn’t work, others were pretty sucky, but of them all Kid Gloves is probably the one I played the most, guiltily of course, but seeing as it was later given away free by Amiga Power magazine I don’t feel so bad now! However, since I no longer have my Amiga and have developed a deep fear of using WinUAE, it’s been a long time since I played this game. It’s not looked upon too favourably by the Amiga community these days, I wonder if I’m about to destroy my happy memories of playing it too…

Kid Gloves - Amiga

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. Contact with any of these objects means instant death for our hapless hero. Fortunately he can fight back, against the creatures at least, by firing coins at them, and there are other weapons available in the shop that appears periodically including Flames, Deathstar, and Megalaser. Many of the screens also contain other items like food (for points), keys (to pass barriers), money (to spend in shops), smart bombs (to clear screens of enemies), and ankh’s (for extra lives) and he can also use magic to turn the barriers into food too.

Kid Gloves - Amiga

If there’s one thing about Kid Gloves which is still as true today as the first day I played it, it’s that it’s a pretty tough game! Some screens have objects such as blocks that fall down when you touch them to help you reach certain areas. Not only does this kind of thing kill you if you go so much as a pixel too close, but they can also have the opposite effect and prevent you from accessing an area. Most of the enemies in the game either walk backwards and forwards on platforms or bounce on the spot but there are also some that appear some time after you entered a screen. These ones can move freely around the screen and pursue you like Baron Von Blubba! Luckily, unlike the Bubble Bobble meany, these can be shot, but they always appear in the same place regardless of where you are on the screen which means they might appear right on top of you if you’re not careful! There are also some fireball things that move much more quickly around the screen if you hang around for too long, and these cannot be shot. However, leaving the screen then returning to it will reset everything to its original place, except the enemies which do not reappear.

Kid Gloves - Amiga

That’s pretty much the only problem with this game. I knew even back then that it was a simple game, looking more akin to a Public Domain game than a full-price release. The backgrounds and sprites look okay but are poorly animated and hardly push the Amiga to its limits. There is some nice sampled sound effects and speech though, and a pretty decent title-screen tune, but there’s no in-game music. None of this is really reason to dislike the game, it just has a few minor gameplay flaws that are so frustrating. The collision-detection is pretty shocking for one thing which obviously doesn’t help matters, and the controls can be really fiddly too – you try going up or down a ladder in a hurry! I never could get very far in Kid Gloves and that hasn’t changed since I started replaying it. Every time I think “right, I’ll get really far into it this time” it just ends up annoying me too much and I play something else. I don’t think it’s aged too badly, but it’s flaws are more apparent to me now. Ultimately it has a certain charm but this is a very average game that could’ve so much better with a few tweaks.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjjHNqxLJ5M[/youtube]

RKS Score: 5/10

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


For those of you eagerly 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.

So here goes…

It is laughable to think that Cryptic Studios thinks of STO as an MMORPG. While all the big boys in the room strut their stuff with content, gameplay, character growth, and easily defined instructions, Star Trek Online stumbles and fumbles around the room like a drunk teenage girl at a frat party. At the end of the night, the only ones with a grin on their faces are the real MMOs while STO is dabbing off semen from its face with wet naps.


Wow… I feel uncomfortable reading this. I’m going to just-

What could possess me to attack Star Trek Online in such an unrelenting manner? Is it because I could barely give the game a shot beyond level 4? Yes, it is! I got to level 11 in FF XIV and that game is the equivalent of dining on Indian food , beautiful to look at but horrible to digest. I have never been unable to hit at least level 10 in an MMORPG but Star Trek Online managed to prove me wrong.

That sounds horrible, Mr. Khan! Why was it so god awful?

That’s an easy question to answer, Little Timmy. The game’s initial tutorial manages to be not only fast paced but slow at the same time. There’s a ton of jargon thrown around that doesn’t make sense to begin with and there isn’t much of an explanation as to what any of it means. All I got from the tutorial was that I could shoot lasers and photon torpedoes when I’m in my ship and when I’m on a ground mission I can shoot laser beams and “backstab” the enemy when I attack from their blindside. There really isn’t a clear definition in the beginning what role your class plays or what kind of ships you are able to command. I was certain I was limited to Science Ships since I chose the Scientist profession but I later found out from a friend that I could pilot any ship. Oh, that’s fucking fantastic to know.


For those of you who enjoy looking at your character and face stomping the enemy while adoring how badass you made your Vulcan or Custom Alien, sorry to disappoint but the game is lacking in ground missions and you are spending most of your time viewing the ass tail of your ship. How engrossing! Yes, you can customize your ship but the differences aren’t that vast aside from size. The ship customization is as in-depth as the shape variations presented in a Lego Kit. Everything is a block except some are half a blocks! Whoop-dee-fucking-doo!

From a game with such an absorbing avatar customization, it’s a shame that you spend your time running slow naval circles around enemy space bandits. As far as I could grasp the tactic was to go half speed and adjust your acceleration and deceleration to complete this amazingly slow circle strafe around your enemy to knock out their shields and ass fuck them with photon torpedoes. Combat got repetitive quickly.

The game’s missions were probably the most bland I’ve ever seen in an MMO post 2006. “What was that, Ensign? There’s no one in the quadrant? I guess everything is… Oh my god! Space Bandits out of fucking nowhere!” That was as in depth as the missions got at level 4. They didn’t want to showcase more early on maybe because there wasn’t anything left to show.

The ground missions were probably the worst part about leveling. I should be excited to see my captain running about shooting bitches in the face and parachuting off planet sized drills like in the movie, right? Too bad! I was limited to picking up resources on a planet and randomly getting jumped by “Unknown villain #3” and then transporting back to the ship. Oh wait, I forgot. There were more options. I was able to go to a mining site to speak with a couple of diggers to see how they felt about their jobs and report back to their manager. Yup! They called in the space fleets special forces to settle a dispute about a broken holodeck in the break room.

"Come on, Team! Lets pick up some rocks!"

Now, I understand I have been harsh on the game and there is a reason for that. If STO were a free to play MMORPG, I would dress it with every accolade known in the universe. A free to play space RPG? Sign me up! Let me have fleeting moments of fun!

Unfortunately, the game isn’t F2P. It’s Pay to Play and it’s $15 a fucking month. This game has a huge pair of balls to even consider charging people. Cryptic was fortunate enough that people even purchased fucking the game. It has the depth of a game developed for a smart phone.

STO lacks the environment, quests, gameplay, and depth of games like World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, and even City of Heroes. Quite a bold statement coming from a level 4 Lieutenant, right? That’s why I’m not saying for people to keep away from this game. Play it if you like, it’s your money. I personally don’t see the justification of this game being $15 a month. You’d probably find more fun in Runescape for a cheaper price.

Perfect Worlds purchased this title when they acquired Cryptic Studios. What potential they see in this hunk of shit I will never know. The game is an MMO-abomination and is better served on a free to play model or simply a box sale model like Guild Wars. Then and maybe then it would be worth the time it takes to patch and login. Until that unlikely day comes about, STO will remain uninstalled and far, far away from my computer.

Kirby’s Adventure

 

Kirby's Adventure

Kirby’s Adventure

By the end of the NES era we have seen it all for the NES although Famicom owners would always see more than us with such games as Gimmick! and Sweet Home. Nintendo brought one final platformer to the dying 8-bit console to remind us how wonderful the console was and has always been. Kirby’s Adventure debuted in May of 1993 which left the 8-bit console in a high stand point. The game is a joy to play in all departments. The music is memorable, the graphics are the best the NES can bring, and the gameplay is just fun. The game even came with a battery built in so that you would be able to save your games and continue on from where you left off. The game is really long as well as it contains lots of worlds something like Super Mario Bros 3 although this game lets you save it unlike the Mario game.

 

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. Speaking of levels there aren’t only levels but bonus levels as well and a power up room too. The bonus levels are simple and very rewarding while the power up levels are well a power up level, nothing much can be said about that.

Kirby's Adventure

 

To conclude, the game is a joy to play and not pricey that you have to spend your entire savings on. The game is quite fun and should be part of anyone’s collection. It’s a must have!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyU-mKTAauk[/youtube]

The Obsolete Gamer Show: E3 Rocks, Jimmy Kimmel Sucks

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.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: E3 Rocks, Jimmy Kimmel Sucks

Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

Or download our podcast from Itunes

Rampage and Boost Mobile Detect BS

Rampage and Boost Mobile Detect BS

This is a pretty cool commercial from Boost Mobile featuring Rampage who can detect bullshit and will kick anyone’s ass who tries to feed him some.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amajsrItMhE[/youtube]

Cosplay: E3 2011

We had a great time at E3. There were a ton of lovely ladies, some in costume, some just plan hot and we made sure to get as many shots as we could to bring them to you so enjoy.

On to the cosplay.

 

Cryptic Studios Has Moved On But Have Their Games?


For those of you in the dark about the current state of Cryptic Studios, the group that created mega super hero sensation titles like City of Heroes and… that’s it, their sugar daddy decided it was time for a split. Apparently MMO’s cost a lot of money to produce and maintain and ones that fail to meet an expected revenue end up emptying the wallets of publishers. Cryptic Studios made two games that fell short of those expectations. One, Champions Online, fell flat on its face while another, Star Trek Online, didn’t have the staying power to hold subscriptions before another mass MMO exodus ate the expensive IP dry. Sure they have a healthy population for the amount of content they offer but it is not enough to earn back the losses suffered by Atari, the previously mentioned sugar daddy.

What does Atari do now? They decided continue to maintain Cryptic Studios projects while they put up a professional Craigslist ad for someone to buy them. Who went to grab them? Perfect Worlds did! Yes, Perfect Fucking Worlds! Not knocking the company that released amazing games like Torchlight and… that’s it, but this move shows how the company is beginning to make strides into the US online gaming market.

So, did Perfect Worlds make a worthwhile purchase? I decided to suffer the pain of what could possibly be the equivalent of removing my arm with a blunt saw to find out so you don’t have to!

First up, I decided to try out Champions Online. Awhile back I did play Champions Online when it was in Beta and then during release and I wasn’t exactly satisfied with the flow of the game and the cluster fuck of their free form power system. Was I going to suffer the same kind of fate?

No, I did not! Champions Online has made some great improvements to help with the disaster of their free form system. First of all, with their free to play model you can’t go with the free form system and are limited with a couple of premade archetypes that have to fill out a certain role. Why is this a positive thing? Before, everyone just made whatever they wanted and just blew everything up. There were barely any real tanks or healers and it promoted uber recommended builds rather than true individuality. With its current archetype system, you get some diversity but not full free reign.

As for content, the game originally released by throwing you into a city wide disaster during a Qularr invasion, handing you a key to the city, and then shipping you the fuck off to a desert or to the Canadian Wilderness. Nothing makes a hero feel more welcomed to the world than being kicked out of the city and immediately transported off to regions they have no interest in. Now after 3(?) content packs and a revamped quest line where you start your adventures in the city for a good amount of time before being sent away, the game has everything you might want to find in a super hero MMO.

With so many costume customization options for your characters, a decent trade skill system, and powers and goods that can be purchased from the C-Store, the game really excels when it comes to being free and a pay to play.

Is it really worth it as a viable free to play model? Definitely! With heavy customization, a decent amount of content that can be expanded through the C-Store marketplace it runs on a great free to play model with an amazing community that will keep you there for a decent month or two.

Now is the game worth $15 a month? I would say yes! With all the features previously mentioned topped with a great community, someone who is active with the players they game with will find Champions Online engrossing enough to stick around for a month or two as well.

End of part 1. Part 2 to conclude with Star Trek Online.

Ninja Loves Pirate Interview

Ninja Loves Pirate

This is an interview with the team responsible for the Ninja Loves Pirate game. An interview with people who still create games the way the gods of gaming intended. People who also got NLP a nice official site.

1. Ninja Loves Pirate is both original and old-fashioned. How did you come up with the idea for this game?
Patrik Liljecrantz: The idea of ninja loves pirate is a sort of spinn-off of things Emanuel Garnheim and I have been discussing during our years studying together. What actually made us put a game together was the Four elements competition at Gamedev.net. It had rules requiring ninjas, pirates and zombies, so that gave us the right push. We won the contest btw 😉

2. Are you sure a Pirate can actually (and deeply) love a Ninja?
Patrik Liljecrantz: Yes, they actually can! The bonds of love grow deeper than any ancient disputes.

3. What’s more dangerous? A zombie or a robot?
Patrik Liljecrantz: In a one on one situation I would say the robot (Without underestimating the zombie). Zombies work in packs, that’s what makes them dangerous. And the fact that they always seem to be in the right place at the right time. Even though you hide on the roofs, the legless zombies are always waiting for you.

4. Ok. Enough with being weird. NLP has excellent pixel-artsy graphics and a distinctly retro look. What was your inspiration? Why did you choose such a (beautiful) style?
Emanuel Garnheim: Our inspiration was from NES and SNES-games such as Contraand (Super) Metroid, as well as games such as the holy grail of pixel-art, Metal Slug. All these games have beautiful pixel graphics, which suggest more than the pixels that are there and leave some of the art open to interpretation and imagination, a trait that in my opinion lifts pixel-art above modern 3d graphics. This was the main reason, aside from pure nostalgia, that we chose this style for Ninja Loves Pirate

5. Perfect music too. Care to tell us a bit more about it?
Magnus Alm: We work with a really talented musician called Antonio Tublén who also works as a director in Denmark. You should really check out www.tublenco.com if you want to hear more of his stuff.

Ninja Loves Pirate
The team: Emanuel (concept & pixel artist), Jimmy (designer), Magnus (producer) and Patrik (programmer).


6. How did you manage to fine-tune the gameplay?

Jimmy Öman: 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, f.e. trying to flee when hurt and cannibalize to regain hit points. We will also change the intensity of encounters to follow a dramaturgical curve, thus varying the encounters and the game play. There will also be event fights, where the camera will stop to anticipate an incoming fight. You have to beat whatever goals we set for the player before continuing, giving the events a mini-boss feeling.

7. What do you consider your greatest success in NLP?
Jimmy Öman: For the concept as a whole, I think that would be the achievement to make something great from the seemingly chaotic mix of ninjas, pirates, zombies and robots. It could as well have crashed and burned, but instead it’s a success so far, thanks to careful work and talent.

8. When should we expect the full game release? Any ideas for Deluxe, boxed, Xboxed etc versions?
Magnus Alm: The release date of the full game isn’t decided yet, since we are currently discussing with publishers. Also I should mention that the platform of the game isn’t final just yet. As soon as anything is decided and signed, we’ll announce it.

9. Care to reveal some of the team’s future plans?

Magnus Alm:
We are working on two other titles right now, they will be showcased to publishers further on this year. They differ a lot from Ninja Loves Pirate and belong to different game genres. But they remain funny, cute and will be sure to get a smile on your face, just like Ninja Loves Pirate. So, we do have other stuff going right now, but we aren’t ready to announce anything just yet.
Ninja Loves Pirate
10. Thanks a lot and good luck. (not a question really… more of a wish)

 

 

Top 5 Moments in Austin Powers

Spoof movies… you either love them or hate them. Well, except me – I love some and hate others! Being subjected to travesties like the Scary Movie series, Date/Epic/Disaster etc Movie, even the recent Vampires Suck, is a trauma that’s hard to recover from, and one that continually threatens to destroy my love of the movie-making business altogether. Even accidentally viewing part of a trailer for one of them can be a horrifying experience, but when they’re done right, by genuinely talented people, they can be movies of comedic genius, and the movie world is filled with potential candidates.

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, but here are my choices:

Spoiler Alert: the Top Five Movie Moments featured here obviously assume that you’ve seen the film in question or don’t mind knowing about its most prominent moments so don’t come whining to me if they ruin a film that you haven’t seen yet!

5… “We’ll Hold The World Ransom For…”

Austin Powers - Movie Screenshot

Recently thawed from cryogenic freeze, Dr. Evil wastes no time in ridding himself of surplus henchmen, including the indestructible Mustafa (Will Ferrell). After job number one is out of the way, job number two: hold the world hostage…
Dr. Evil: “Gentlemen, I have a plan. It’s called blackmail. The Royal Family of Britain are the wealthiest landowners in the world. Either the Royal Family pays us an exorbitant amount of money, or we make it seen that Prince Charles has had an affair outside of marriage and therefore would have to divorce!” (much maniacal laughing ensues)
Number Two: “Prince Charles did have an affair. He admitted it, and they are now divorced.”
Dr. Evil: “Right, people you have to tell me these things, okay? I’ve been frozen for thirty years, okay? Throw me a frickin’ bone here! I’m the boss! Need the info.”
(pause)
Dr. Evil: “Okay no problem. Here’s my second plan. Back in the 60’s, I had a weather changing machine that was, in essence, a sophisticated heat beam which we called a “laser.” Using these “lasers,” we punch a hole in the protective layer around the Earth, which we scientists call the “Ozone Layer.” Slowly but surely, ultraviolet rays would pour in, increasing the risk of skin cancer. That is unless the world pays us a hefty ransom.” (more maniacal laughing)
Number Two: (pause) “That also already has happened.”
Dr. Evil: “Shit. Oh hell, let’s just do what we always do. Hijack some nuclear weapons and hold the world hostage. Yeah? Good! Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that a breakaway Russian Republic called Kreplachistan will be transferring a nuclear warhead to the United Nations in a few days. Here’s the plan. We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for… ONE MILLION DOLLARS!”
Number Two: “Don’t you think we should ask for *more* than a million dollars? A million dollars isn’t exactly a lot of money these days. Virtucon alone makes over 9 billion dollars a year!”
Dr. Evil: “Really? That’s a lot of money.”
(pause)
Dr. Evil: “Okay then, we hold the world ransom for… One… Hundred… BILLION DOLLARS!”
(much more maniacal laughing)

 

4… “Not a time to lose one’s head”

Austin Powers - Movie Screenshot

After being captured by Dr. Evil, Austin and Vanessa are sent off to be killed by some ‘ill-tempered, mutated, sea bass’. It’s not long, however, before they manage to overpower the henchman sent to oversea their excution, and accidentally get him decapitated. Austin’s reaction?
Austin: “Not the time to lose one’s head.”
Vanessa: “No.”
Austin: “That’s not the way to get ahead in life.”
Vanessa: “No.”
Austin: “It’s a shame he wasn’t more headstrong.”
Vanessa: “Hmm.”
Austin: “He’ll never be the head of a major corporation.”
Vanessa: “Okay, that’ll do.”
Austin: “Okay.”

 

3… Three-Point Turn?

Austin Powers - Movie Screenshot

After infiltrating Dr. Evil’s super underground lair posing as tourists, it’s not long before Austin and Vanessa leave the tour and start snooping around. They soon comandeer a electric baggage cart thing and drive down a long tunnel before parting ways. Eager to return the way he came, Austin tries to perform a three-point turn with the cart only to find it’s almost exactly the same width as the tunnel, meaning it might be a bit more than a three-point turn! Yes, it’s a visual gag which doesn’t really work with words and a still image, but it’s so funny (in my opinion, at least) I had to include it!

 

2… “That’s Not Mine!”

Austin Powers - Movie Screenshot

After being unfrozen from cryogenic freeze to stop the newly re-emerged Dr. Evil’s plans for world domination, Austin is debriefed before having his personal effects returned, accompanied by new sidekick Vanessa…
Clerk: “Personal effects, Danger Powers”
Austin: “Actually my name’s Austin Powers”
Clerk: “It says here, name: Danger Power”
Austin: “No, no, no, no, no” (looks at Vanessa) “Danger’s my middle name.”
Clerk: “Okay, Austin Danger Powers… one blue crushed velvet suit…”
Austin: “Hey, all right”
Clerk: “One frilly lace cravat…”
Austin: “There it is”
Clerk: “One silver medallion with ‘male’ symbol…”
(Austin looks at Vanessa seductively)
Clerk: “One pair of Italian boots”
Austin: “Buon giorno boys”
Clerk: “One vinyl record album: Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits”
Austin: “Hey Burt!”
Clerk: “One Swedish-made penis enlarger pump”
Austin: (to Vanessa) “That’s not mine!”
Clerk: “One credit card receipt for Swedish-made penis enlarger… signed by Austin Powers”
Austin: “I’m telling ya baby, that’s not mine!”
Clerk: “One warranty card for Swedish-made penis enlarger pump… filled out by Austin Powers.”
Austin: “I don’t even know what this is! This sort of thing ain’t my bag, baby”
Clerk: “One book, “Swedish-made Penis Enlargers And Me: This Sort of Thing Is My Bag Baby”, by Austin Powers.”
Austin: “Ah…”

1… The Opening

Austin Powers - Movie Screenshot

Some films have mysterious openings with a hint of intrigue to hook you into watching more. Others, like Austin Powers, let you know immediately what sort of film you’re in store for, and then some! The ludicrously over-the-top song and dance number portraying Austin as the grooviest swinger the world has ever seen is just right in its attempts to let you see just who he is and how others react to him. Filmed in American streets that the film makers have purposely made a half-arsed effort to look English (by adding a couple of London buses, red phone boxes, and of course, a typical English bobby), this fantastic sequence is arguably the best moment of the film! The sequels maybe tried a bit too hard to best it, so this remains the best in my view…

Fail: Screw China

Fail Pictures

Here are some of the higher rated fail pictures from Failbog.

Bomberman

Bomberman - NES - Gameplay

Bomberman (1985)
By: Hudson Soft Genre: Action Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Nintendo NES First Day Score: 35,800
Also Available For: ZX Spectrum, MSX, Sharp MZ-700, Fujitsu FM-7, NEC PC-6001, NEC PC-88

Bomberman

Until a few years ago, the Bomberman series began on the PC Engine for me, so I was surprised to discover that its origins actually go beyond that famous version to a multitude of older Japanese systems, many of them computers rather than the consoles the series would soon find a home on. It was released in the West, on the Speccy no less, and featured a curious main character called Eric who was an explorer looking to plunder treasure from caverns. The Japanese releases, however, featured the classic White Bomber we all know and love today, and the most widely available of these, to those gamers in the West at least, was the NES version. White Bomber himself is apparently a sentient robot who wants to be free of his job in an underground bomb factory. To do this, he must blast his way through fifty stages populated by a variety of enemies who, rather harshly, kill White Bomber with a single touch!

Bomberman - NES - Gameplay

As you’ve probably guessed, the premise behind the game is the same as the Westernised game featuring Eric, and indeed most of the subsequent games in the series – that being, to eradicate all the enemies on the stage, then look for the hidden exit to move to the next. Both of these goals are achieved by deploying bombs. Their blast range is very limited to start with, and you can only lay one at a time, which makes ensnaring the enemies pretty tough. Luckily, hidden beneath occasion soft (i.e. destroyable) blocks are power-ups which will increase the range of your bombs and let you lay more than one at a time, as well as some others like speed-ups and remote-controlled bombs. This would actually make the game easier as you progress through it were it not for the ever increasing number of enemies and also the different types that appear as you advance through the levels. There are eight different types in total and they get faster and craftier all the time. Some seem to constantly run away from you, making it difficult to kill them, while others actively chase and harass you!

Bomberman - NES - Gameplay

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, ‘Ovapes’ which look like Pac-Man ghosts and can move through soft blocks, the fast-moving muchers called ‘Pass’, and the pillow-like ‘Doria’ who certainly do more damage than any kind of soft furnishing I’ve encountered, and all must be destroyed before the time limit expires. If you allow that to happen you’re in trouble for you’ll then be inundated with hoardes of super-fast ‘Pontans’, which pretty much spells certain death!

Bomberman - NES - Gameplay

Eric and the Floaters was the genesis of the great and enduring Bomberman series, and it certainly introduced the basic game concept, but it was this NES release two years later which introduced many of the features that would soon become synonymous with the series for the next few decades, not least White Bomber himself. He looks a little different here, with his appearance being maginally altered over the years, but there’s no mistaking his distinctive form. Some of the enemies found here would also return in many subsequent games and even the famous Bomberman music can be heard here for the first time, albeit in a slightly more primitive form. The basic stage layouts are also instantly familiar, with each being larger than a single screen and containing dozens of blocks in random layouts. This was a pretty early NES release, and a simple game in any case, so the graphics reflect that, but everything looks tidy enough and the use of colour is good.

Bomberman - NES - Gameplay

It seems strange talking about which elements of this game are familiar when it was the first one to feature many of them, but I, like many, didn’t discover the series until later iterations, so it’s fascinating to see when and where each first appeared, and this NES release certainly gave birth to many features that we now take for granted in any Bomberman game. However, at this stage Bomberman still lacked the one gameplay element that the series is arguably best known for in later years – a multi-player mode. After the somewhat limited, not to mention tough debut starring Eric, the classic gameplay of the series takes shape here, and it’s great fun to play through. The fifty stages will certainly last you a good while, and each has a password (although it’s a twenty-digit one, and if you make a mistake inputting it with the joypad you have to start again!) so you won’t have to struggle thought the opening stages over and over, but the lack of a multi-player mode makes the game seem incomplete – for many gamers, playing Bomberman is only ever done with more than one player involved, and that would have to wait for the sequel…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKIOVwqgSXM[/youtube]

RKS Score: 7/10

Ad Spotlight: Light Boy

Lightboy for Gameboy

The Light Boy was a necessity for the original Gameboy because there really was not a backlight to the LCD for the original handheld. Strangely enough, it has become a popular collector’s item for classic gaming fans.

The Light Boy attached to your Gameboy and not only provided light, but also a magnifying glass. It required two AA batteries and was an official licensed product for Nintendo. Here are some of the magazine ads for the Light Boy.

Light Boy adLight Boy adLight Boy adLight Boy ad

Some movie studios to skip Comic-Con

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.

We all know the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. Well it seems many of these studios see us all just like that. They worry that a bad review or buzz could sink their ship before it even launches. Even Marvel Studios is on the fence about coming to Comic-Con even though The Avengers is set to launch next year.

Many in the industry describe Comic-Con as “treacherous” and movies like, The Dark Knight did well even without a panel at the show so the thinking is they can get away with it. In addition, they hope some of us will do the buzzing for them.

This makes me think about my recent trip to E3. We were asked to be in the audience for the Jimmy Kimmel show. I found it strange that someone for that show would approach us on the street, but we went and it was legit. However, it was a glorified clip show with no guest and even Jimmy looked disinterested, but they sure made the point to make sure we clapped and screamed like we were having the time of our lives. They baited us with the chance to win money, but I knew we would not win and when we did not we were given potatoes and asked to clap and cheer as if we won the lottery. It was quite sad and embarrassing, but all that mattered to them was that on television it looked and sounded like we were happy.

It is true some of us can be hard on movies or dump on them because it is the cool thing to do. However, if you expect us to shell out our hard-earned cash you could at least do the same. We do not want potatoes or a half-assed showing. Give us something to cheer and write about and if there is criticism to be had then so be it. Simply put, if you feel you do not have to show up for the fans then we feel we should not have to show up for you.