Month
March 2012

Andy Briggs: Pwned

This is a tough question, I could of gone with a few games that I loved growing up, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Mario Bros., Skate or Die and countless other ones, Tetris is just one of those games that I can jump into at any time, play a quick game and bounce right out. I feel it still holds up today with gameplay. It’s not a very complicated game and the graphics might be big blocks, but to me, that’s the appeal of the game. To this day, I still play it as often as I can, maybe once a week or more if time allows. The reason why I love this game is because it causes you to objectively think fast. It’s just one of those games that I can be so emerged into that I don’t really care what’s happening outside, it’s nice to feel lost in a game that requires critical thinking. [...]

King’s Quest III Redux – To Heir Is Human

In case you are still wondering what the fuss is all about, know that King’s Quest III Redux is a PC/Mac remake of the original KQ3: To Heir is Human by Sierra, that adds a beautiful soundtrack, an excellent voice-over, a sleek point-and-click interface, amazing 256-colour VGS graphics and a ton polish to an already great game. And is it really that good? Well, of course it is! Having already played its review build, I can guarantee its quality, but this very post will not be a review. Oh, no. The review will appear within the week, just to give you time to savor the experience. [...]

Gemini Rue: A Noir review

I did really enjoy playing through said shoot-outs, (almost) as much as I enjoyed playing through the game without a walkthrough and getting only mildly -and, importantly, very briefly- stuck; never in a truly old-fashioned hair-pulling way mind. There’s nothing in there that can’t be solved with a bit more exploration and some thinking, whereas the only part I disliked was a pretty tedious mechanical little puzzle that was both generic and not that well explained. Oh, and this is wisely sized game too -should take you anything from 6 to 8 hours on the first playthrough- without any boring and/or filler parts. The fact that Wadjet Eye have implemented a fantastic in-game commentary makes a second playthrough necessary… [...]

Tips for a Gamer Mom or How NOT to be a Clara

Because, let’s face it. We aren’t kids anymore. We have kids! And we alone are responsible for leveling them up! We have to balance their skill trees, and make sure they’re always up to par for whatever life brings at them. Ok, yeah, that was cheesy, I know, but it’s TRUE! If you’re a parent and a gamer, you have got to recognize that your children are more important than your in game character. When they need your attention, don’t be afraid to upset your party by logging off. If your kids are more important to you than gaming, let them know by your actions! [...]

The Interview: Nolan Bushnell

This is going to sound very dismissive, but…they were really crappy games [laughs]. Quite candidly, the technology was not extensible. It was viewed a tiny little step on the pathway to a multi-game, which is where everyone was going. Everyone wanted to do a multi-game. Once you have a multi-game, it has to be good enough, and [the Fairchild Channel F] just wasn’t. The Magnavox Odyssey, they basically had huge returns, and actually in some ways—and i hadn’t realized it at the time—but kind of poisoned the well for consumer games going forward. [...]

Square Enix Steam Sale

From today until Monday March 26, new and existing Steam members can grab Square Enix back catalogue and recently released games at a fraction of the usual prices. The promotion includes 50% off all Square Enix games and DLC packs throughout the sale period with a number of additional Daily Deals running throughout the promotion. Kicking off the Daily Deals, and for one day only starting today there’s a tempting 75% off all previously released Hitman games. Further details of each Daily Deal will be revealed on the day via Steam and Square Enix members. [...]

King of Fighters on the Android

Enjoy the complete KOF experience on your Android devices! From art direction to gameplay, THE KING OF FIGHTERS Android brings the complete KOF experience to the Android platforms. The gorgeous graphics of the world-famous fighting series have been faithfully recreated, taking full advantage of the latest Android hardware. The use of the Virtual Pad/Joystick perfectly reproduces KOF’s controls, creating a simple, user-friendly play-style to easily perform special moves and combinations. [...]

Super Donkey Kong 2

You play as Diddy Kong in the ship level but at the third and final level you’ll be the snake mutation of Diddy Kong. This one really creeps me out but being serious and all, it’s just the jumping snake you turn into in the game(Not sure what happened to riding the damn animals). The game does show signs of being incomplete especially since you can collect coins for the shop which you will never reach as the game only has three levels. You can also collect the 1-up balloons as well as the bananas. If you get hit once, you are a dead monkey so make sure you know the controls real well. [...]

Skin & Bones

It’s been a while since I played through the truly enjoyable and immensely colourful demo of the newly released Skin & Bones offering, and, well, I thought I’d let you know. It is, after all and as far as I can judge, a lovely platform/puzzle game with a distinct retro 16-bit feel to it and two playable characters. Definitely one to bring back those memories from the Amiga era, then, though should you try it, you’ll probably notice the obvious Head over Heels influences too. Worth a try. [...]

Weird Games: Toilet Kids

The game is called Toilet Kids and is about a kid who goes to the restroom in the middle of the night and gets sucked in. The kid wakes up in a world where everyone looks like toilet fixtures and he has to fight his way out. One of the best things is the boss of the game is called Urinal, seriously I could not make this up. [...]

Veteran gaming author turns to Kickstarter to update video game history book

Right now I’m unemployed, so money is a serious issue for me, which is why I turned to Kickstarter,” he said. “With financial support for a few months, I think I can improve and expand High Score and put out a great new edition. I want it to be an even better book than the original versions, with all the main material, but better. I also want to find a way to publish or e-publish the extra content that I have, because there’s a lot of it, tons of graphical material and even much longer interviews that I could share. At any rate, this seems like a perfect moment to create the new edition, improve the book and expand it to cover the last decade or so, as well. Carpe diem [...]

8-Bit MMO

This is pretty cool for fans of classic and indie games. This MMO game allows players to interact in a top down world that is very original Zelda-style. It is pretty much a giant world or sandbox as they call it that allows you to build or movie buildings like castles or homes and fight something they call Lawyercats and there is even PVP. [...]

Chaos Legion

Chaos Legion is a Gothic third-person action game that was released in 2003 by Capcom who both developed and published it. It could easily be attributed to Devil May Cry that was released just two years prior, in 2001. The gameplay and style is similar though Chaos Legion certainly seemed to have its own genre at the time it was released. The game is based on the novel by Tow Ubukata that has the same title. The concept of a gun-slinging, sword-swinging male hero in a world that combines the planes of demons and humans was still fairly new. [...]

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Of course, even before Fate of Atlantis was released, Indiana Jones was already a cultural phenomenon. There had been three movies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), and at the time of Fate of Atlantis’ release, a television series was in its first year of production (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles). Games based on the movies had been released on several platforms, including Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom in 1984 (C64), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1987 (Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, C64, DOS), Indiana Jones in Revenge of the Ancients in 1987 (Apple II, DOS), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game in 1989 (C64, DOS, Atari ST, Amiga), andIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure in 1989 (Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, Macintosh). In other words, this was a franchise with both a solid history and strong fan base. [...]

David Kudrev: Retrospekt

Not only the colourful graphics and amazing soundtrack presents itself as one of a kind in a jRPG, but also the storyline, and longevity of 3 days’ worth of gameplay nonstop. I should add, that the game has a multiplayer system that no other game has ever had (at least to my recollection), where it starts off as a single player game, but when meeting other main characters on your journey, your mates can then join up via Multitap and play as them with you as well. [...]

Greg Zesinger: DoughMain

I could have gone a few different directions here – Madden 93, Super Tecmo Bowl, Castelvania, Secret of Monkey Island, or Ultima, but went with Quest For The Rings which predated them all and helped spark my interest in games. The Odyssey2 was our first home video game system..before we even started regularly using the term “video games”. In our house, they were “TV games”. As a 7 year old, I would spend quite a bit of time and effort writing up and drawing “concept images” of games I’d like to see on my beloved Odyssey. Quest For The Rings was a gamechanger – one of the first games I can remember that included multiple levels with different environments tied together by a tangible boardgame-like experience that admittedly we didn’t use as often as just jumping into the game. [...]

Tidalis

Tidalis is a block-based puzzle game with casual appeal, hardcore depth, and an addictive new “streams” mechanic. The game is brimming over with riffs and variants on that core mechanic with 20 game modes, dozens of special blocks and items, and 115 levels in the adventure mode alone. [...]

Is Blizzard getting Desperate?

We already know 600 employees are getting the boot, which is like the writing on the wall in blood and now WoW is giving out the goods. If you come back you will not only get a flying mount so you can sit in your major city with 20 other fools running around on it. But if you bring back a sucker, I mean friend with you get a free level 80 character, a free upgrade to a Cataclysm-enabled account that allows access to all of the game’s current content and 7 days of free play time. [...]

Star Wars Old Republic: Free Weekend Trial

Back in the Everquest days whenever a new game would come out be it an MMO or not some people would cry doom for the game thinking people would quit and never come back. With SWTOR, there doom have been said for a while with people talking about cancelled subscriptions and low population servers. Next, we see the 1.2 update released and the ability to invite friends to play for free for a while. Now, there is a free weekend trial of the game. Oh, did I mention Star Wars the Old Republic was a big part of The Big Bang Theory this past week? So, is this doom? [...]

Alone in the Dark HD Remake?

Well before even considering that there might be a problem with the rights to the series because it is not clear who owns the rights to Alone in the Dark though it might be in the hand of Infogrames. Also consider that besides graphics the gameplay would most likely need to be redone. So what do you think, would you be interested in a remake? [...]

Earth Worm Jim 3

The gameplay was done quite well and is very responsive. The level design is decent and does its best to mimic the SNES version. They even added the select button function to switch from your head whip to your gun since the NES/Famicom controller doesn’t have as many buttons as the SNES controller, now that’s impressive. The bosses are awfully easy so you’ll be able to get through with ease. The music is so-so as they tried to copy the SNES sound score although they felt short from making it successful, it was a good attempt nonetheless. You will be able to tell which song is which so no worries there. For 8-bit music, it’s what you get for it. [...]

Games & Candy 2: Digital Deliciousness

So in the first edition of Games and Candy we talked about the different kinds of sweets you could munch on while playing your favorite games. This time we take a look at candy within games. Now we know games are marketed to kids and teens, but everyone can love video games just as everyone can love candy. Just like food, candy has a deep root within games sometimes as the main focus of and sometimes just tossed in there because they can. [...]

My Favorite Games: Part 8

Few platformers were as popular as this one in their day. Every version that I’ve played is at least good, but the rather garishly-coloured Dragon 32 version is the one I’ve spent by far the most amount of time playing. My good friend Luke had a Dragon around the time I first met him and we would spend many hours trying to play through this. The game apparently cycles through the eight single-screen stages five times but I’ve had the skill to prove this. [...]

James Bond: The Stealth Affair

The story revolved around a missing F-19 stealth fighter, stolen from an American base and tracked (how did they do that?) to somewhere in Latin America. Who did it? Could it be the Russians pulling a Red October or could it be some Latin American tinpot dictator or crime lord? The danger of having a Latin American drug lord having stealth technology was sufficient to bring in the best troubleshooter in the business: James Bond. The action began as fast as our man James stepped off his flight into the Santa Paragua airport, holding only a briefcase and his airline ticket, with the need to somehow get past a maddeningly efficient airport security guard. “I don’t care who you are. In this country you are all outsiders.“ The game moved on from there, with a variety of puzzles to solve, as well as a few arcade action sequences to complete. [...]

Toxic Crusaders

There are even the usual beat-’em-up elements like a skateboard level (quite essential to any 80’s or 90’s gaming experience) and even an underwater stage. The enemies are pattern-based, as repeated plays will make passing the waves of baddies much easier as the player learns their vulnerabilities, most of which amounts to “do not attack in a straightforward manner; rather, move up or down directly into an attack, or even let them move vertically to you as you are swinging.” Each of the six levels has a boss fight, and there are items hidden in destructible objects that can increase health or mop meter. [...]

Origin PC goes Pro

ORIGIN PC announced today the launch of their new line of desktops and laptops for professionals. Featuring options like the latest Intel Xeon E5 processors, ORIGIN PC professional overclocking, and NVIDIA Quadro workstation graphics cards. The new PRO line of systems from ORIGIN PC is designed specifically for artists, engineers, and professionals. ORIGIN PC now offers its award-winning performance, endless customization options, and industry leading U.S. based lifetime 24/7 support to professionals worldwide. [...]

City of Heroes: Issue 22

As the first major content update since the launch City of Heroes Freedom, Issue 22 begins after the death of the Statesman, Paragon City’s prime defender and protector. In these times of strife, the search is on for the next hero of Paragon City and there’s no telling where or how this hero will emerge. To mark this shift in Paragon City, we’ve unveiled what is possibly the most powerful and exciting trailer in City of Heroes’ history. The trailer for Issue 22: Death Incarnate captures the tension of the times in City of Heroes, and calls out the dire need for one hero to stand above all others. [...]

Site of Last Starfighter, birthplaces of Mario and Lode Runner added to registry

Some of the other 23 locations previously inducted include competitive gaming birthplace Ottumwa, IA, the original testing locations of classics such as Donkey Kong and Defender, arcade locations featured in films such as Tron, The Karate Kid and WarGames, former headquarters locations of companies such as Atari and Bally Midway and the famous landfill that saw millions of unsold Atari game cartridges dumped in 1984. [...]

Yuri Moskva: Frogwares

Being a huge fan of karate-ninja stuff I was completely mesmerized when I first played this game. I was always concerned that this game is much more advanced in terms of gameplay and possibilities than any other SNES game. And all the possibilities, weapons, skills and the atmosphere… Sorry, I have to go find my old SNES console. [...]

The Sexual Gangster

This song might seem crude to those that do not understand it, but for the young professional rap star once you have climbed the ladder for financial stability it is time to settle down and have a family. However, before that is done you have to find the right mate, which requires intensive testing, and to make sure you do not make a mistake. [...]

Legacy: Star Wars Update 1.2

“Prior to release, our main priority for Star Wars: The Old Republic was to deliver a high quality game and service, right from day one,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “Now that we’ve achieved that, we have shifted our focus to adding more content to the game and improving and refining the experience for our fans. Legacy is our biggest update yet and a great example of the kind of content players can expect for the months and years ahead.” [...]

John Master Lee: Raptr

“It’s a rare turned-based strategy game that only came out in Japan. It was published by Atlus and Namco in 1988 on the Famicon. It was the first time I was completely absorbed into the gameplay in a way that went being just a fan. It got me thinking about game design, I learned Japanese (because I couldn’t read the text otherwise!), and I never went back to board games since. It was the first time that I realized how deep and complex a game can be back on the NES.” [...]

Derek James: Polyclef Software

I’ll actually pick two. For classic arcade action, my favorite was probably Gyruss. Why? Because I thought tube shooters were cool…it was like Galaga, but in a circle! And I also really thought the electronica-style Bach music was cool. For the PC, the games I remember the most fondly were the Zork and Enchanter trilogies from Infocom. Text-based adventure and puzzle-solving games are obsolete now, but I really thought the blend of storytelling, puzzle-solving, and interactivity was very immersive and compelling. Myst was a great continuation of this style of game in graphical form, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for Infocom’s games. [...]