Month
October 2011

Games that scared me

Pretty much everyone can be scared, but to be scared in a video game is more difficult than one would think. Sure, we are immersed in the game so we feel like we are really the character, but there is so much of our real life right around us and the fact that we are most likely at home and surrounded by distractions that it is hard to grip us in fear no matter how good a game is. [...]

MegaMan 2 Ending

There was something about this ending. Perhaps it had that “The Hulk” feeling with David Banner walking down the lonely road in the old television show or maybe it was seeing Dr. Wily on his knees begging for mercy. Seeing the weather change as our hero heads home and the final shot of his helmet before we get the credits, it had a cinematic feel to it. [...]

Energy

To be honest, I didn’t really play Energy a great deal more than that! It’s reasonably playable to a degree but it has lots of annoying quirks, some of which are frankly baffling. For example, as mentioned, this is a flick-screen game but the screen takes a full six seconds to gradually scroll the next screen into play, during which play freezes, and the exits on all the underground screens are blocked until the monsters have been killed, but it also takes six seconds after they’ve been cleared for the exits to disappear! All the intro and cut scenes are unskippable too (grrr!) but the worst thing about this game is the mystical ‘super-jump’ feature. [...]

Fable

Beautiful-looking, slow load times, wonky combat, good main quest story, unnecessary side quests, Sims stuff that doesn’t interest me, and easy bosses. If I rate the game so just the main story, I recommend it. On the whole package…not so much. But, I know there are plenty of you out there that want to get that great hours to price ratio…and this game will do it for you. [...]

The Secret of Monkey Island

The guiding force behind The Secret of Monkey Island was Ron Gilbert, who based the game’s ambience and feel upon his experience at the Disneyland attraction Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as on the novel On Stranger Tides, by Tim Powers, which was the inspiration for many of the game’s characters. He went to the point of writing a series of short stories based on his ideas for Monkey Island, which he used to help convey the spirit of game to his creative partners, Tim Schaffer and Ron Grossman. [...]

GunLord Relaunch

Coming soon for the Sega Dreamcast is the classic platform shooter GunLord. GunLord is a Eurostyle Platformer with emphasis on exploring huge worlds and blasting off enemies. This game features 8 stages of exciting 2D game play with over 45 unique enemy types. Blast yourself through giant landscapes, explore caverns and reveal all secrets!! [...]

Still Providing Raw Thrills: Eugene Jarvis has impacted over 30 years of gaming

“You start out with all these dreams and hopes,” he said. “Then reality sets in. You can’t do this because the technology isn’t there or you can’t do that because the budget or time isn’t there. Then something doesn’t work how you wanted it to. It feels like being on one of those old wagon trains going across the desert and one of your horses dies. Then you sometimes have your best moments, too, when you stumble across something cool and unexpected to add to the game.” [...]

Saboteur 95: The 8-bit Retro Remake

Saboteur was really big during the 8-bit gaming era, and, at least to my mind, it reached almost mythical proportions. It was, you see, a game I first played only a few years ago, but one I kept reading about for over a decade. Surprisingly, it now seems as if the Greek gaming press was -for once- right. Saboteur, still a great game and a very balanced platform, adventure, beat-’em-up hybrid that can be as addictive as any contemporary time-sink, must have been quite a shock of grandeur for ZX Spectrumgamers. [...]

Joe & Mac

The game also has some secret places you can go into like save spots or secret levels but you will need to find a key and most of the time you will only find one key which will lead you to pick which door you want to unlock in the map, you can either pick a save spot or a secret level which probably has extra lives or food in it. It’s all up to you! In the end, I recommend this game for everyone who has a friend and wants to play a decent cavemen game. You can finish this game within the hour so don’t get your hopes up for a long game. [...]

Arkanoid

Arkanoid may have been released a full decade after Breakout but the simplicity of both games means neither really requires a huge amount of computing power. Indeed, while the graphics here are tidy and colourful there’s nothing really noteworthy about them and there’s no music at all, just a few sound effects, but none of that really matters with a game like this, which is still regarded as the pinnacle of its genre. There’s good reason for its reputation too. It was always amazingly playable and that remains the case today. [...]

Zork

Who could forget Zork’s opening: “You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.” The text-based parser would respond to your directions, such as “Open mailbox” or even just “open”. Actually, the parser was quite advanced for the genre, as it was able to handle conjunctions and prepositions, such as “open the mailbox and read the leaflet,” and had a wide array of verbs and nouns that it recognized. Of course, if you tried a command that it didn’t know, the parser would just respond with, “I don’t understand that” or a pre-programmed witty response if you tried something the programmers anticipated you would, like typing in “jump” and getting “Wheeee!!!” as a response. For fun, type in any of the following: zork, win, repent, yell, and see what the parser says back. [...]

Lady Sia

There’s actually a very long and detailed story that unfolds throughout play, but I don’t want to give anything away. What I will say is this is a realitivly short game, with just a handful of main levels, and a few smaller levels within. Sia is armed with just a sword and an “energy blast”, and each level’s mission has her recovering a stolen family item; from a better sword to magic rings. These items will help her defeat the 4 bosses and the main one at the end. The 32-bit, cartoony animation is neat, and the fluidity of her movements are top-notch for the little system. Little touches like using her sword to grab a ledge to pull herself up were nice additions. Sweet background music and sound-effects, as well. [...]

My Experiences: EA Sports Tester

Then a panel interview where I chatted with three people. I remember being asked if I could remember what the interviewers names were and I only could remember the chick’s name. Again, typical. I was told I had the job and I had to come in Monday morning for a week of training which consisted of learning the bug database and learning from the previous year’s titles. At the end of the week we got our assignments and I was on the NCAA team for PS2. We all felt sorry for the guy who was given Madden for Game Boy Advance. [...]

Bad Lip Reading – Magic Man

Bad Lip Reading is a rather brillant YouTube channel that takes music videos of pop songs and writes their own original songs designed to match the lip movements of the people in the video, with little to no regard for making sense. Usually substantial editing of the original video is also involved. This video takes Ludacris's My Girl Video and adds hobbits, silly lyrics, clever editing, great music and (look out y'all) the Bee Gees. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do. [...]

Hard Gay: Cooking

This video is proof while we are not as cool as these guys. This show features a character named Hard Gay who goes around doing all kinds of weird things and asking people strange questions and acting, flamboyant. Seriously, this is something you just have to watch. [...]

Origin vs. Origin

This might sound like a good thing, more customers calling in, and more chances for a sale. However, for anyone that has ever dealt with the gaming community you know there is a wide array of people you will deal with and those chomping at the bit for a game may be a little less than pleasant when they find out you cannot help them. [...]

Doom (32X)

This version of Doom suffers from having less levels than the other versions. This is a big mistake and somehow I don’t understand why it would be ripped apart. Did they got lazy? was there something wrong with the port? The SNES version of DOOM is amazing but somehow Sega and the producers of the game fucked up the port that was coming out for an add-on that was supposed to be superior….. [...]

Ten Questions: Pacian

So what, I’m not allowed to say Resident Evil 2? When it comes to what I look for in a game – imaginative worlds and strong characters – I think Chrono Trigger is the one that immediately springs to mind. In many ways, it just chimes really well with my personality, but I’d also argue that objectively it’s a very well put together game in terms of tone and motivation. I’m also a big fan of Emily Short’s Galatea. It’s pretty much the only IF game that I unreservedly find enjoyable to mess with, just in idle moments, and I think it has plenty of interesting things to say about the nature of interactive characters. I know a lot of people only like it as an experiment or a piece of dry academia, but I don’t really enjoy that kind of thing by itself. I like Galatea because I like the characters, the tone and the little stories you end up experiencing. [...]

Steve Jobs 1955-2011: Technology pioneer worked in the early days of Atari

Jobs and Wozniak would later pair up to work on Atari’s 1976 release Breakout, the ball-and-paddle brick-breaking game that has been cloned a million times over, from 1987’s arcade hit Arkanoid to countless Flash-based clones on the internet today. Offered a bonus by Atari if the number of chips that could be eliminated from the machine, Jobs offered to split the bonus with Wozniak, who worked for days on end to reduce the design to such a degree that Atari was unable to figure it out and had to redesign the circuit board over again. Despite the fact that Wozniak did the work, Jobs took most of Atari’s bonus money for the project without Wozniak’s knowledge. [...]

Rolling Thunder

A vast majority of the enemies are ‘Maskers’ who look like multi-coloured Klan members and it is the colour of their outfits that determines their strength and attack patterns. There are also several other kinds of enemies such as ape men, ninjas, and mutant bats and they can all cut Mr. Albatross’ mission short in a hurry. [...]

Wing Commander

The creator of Wing Commander, Chris Roberts, characterized his game as “World War II in space.” The player took the role of a fighter pilot for the Confederation, battling the war machine of the Kilrathi, a race of feline aliens. Attack runs and defensive missions were launched from a space-going aircraft carrier, the TCS Tiger Claw. If the player was successful in meeting mission objectives, the storyline continued with Confederation forces pushing back the Kilrathi armada. [...]

Giga Pudding

Seriously, this is one of those ads you just watch and as you do your mind slowly starts to melt. I sware if they forced Americans to watch this it would be considered an act of war. When it was done I did not want puddling I wanted to be put down. [...]

Flashback: Quest For Identity

I remember reading through one of the many video-game magazines that were out at the time (don’t really remember which one), and there was a preview for a game described as “CD-ROM on a cartridge”. A game that was going to use motion-capture technology so the ‘platformer character’ would seem to have very fluid mobility. A game that was based in a dark sci-fi universe instead of the usual cute-fantasyland. A game developed by the French….alright I admit that last part didn’t sell me on it, but the rest made for a launch-day purchase, and those that know me realize spending full retail doesn’t come easily for me. [...]

Cycles

Sometimes, especially at work you find yourself staring at your computer screen. We thought you need something to stare at that just might fry your brain and so we bring you the video Cycles which you really must see because explaining it does not do it justice. [...]

Chains

Chains, you see, might on the surface seem like another game that uses the rather tired idea of making things disappear by matching them with, err, things of the same colour, but it really has way more than that to offer. It sports a brilliant and very versatile physics engine, that, combined with the excellent level design, make for a rather excellent and quite unique game. Not to mention an addictive one too. And wait till you see them graphics in motion while listening to that utterly brilliant electro soundtrack… [...]

Gargoyle’s Quest 2

The game has an overview which makes it look a lot like the Dragon Warrior games but also once you enter a level, the game suddenly changes to a side scroller style level. It was very unique to combine these two gameplay techniques in one for its time. The gameplay is very interesting as you can use many techniques such as flying for a short period of time or shooting fire to defeat your enemies. [...]