Month
October 2012

Pooyan

You have two weapons: The arrows, which are dull as shit, as they can’t pierce the wolves’ fur but can pop the balloons and (SPLATTER ALERT!) will send them to their deaths. Or, you can toss huge pieces of meat at them, which are heavy enough to bring everything down to Earth. Where does she get the supply of meat? No one’s talking, but I don’t see any of Mama’s red-headed stepchildren present. The second screen has the wolves riding up the cliff via balloon, and you will take the same defensive actions. The only difference is if enough wolves reach the top they will push a huge boulder on top of you, basically tenderizing their dinner. There are a bonus screens where you do similar actions for points, but just toss the meat. [...]

Werewolf

The player controls the werewolf, who begins the game as a man but, after defeating the first mini-boss character very soon into the game, collects a token to become the werewolf; afterward, the state of man or werewolf is determined by health. In either state, the game takes a rebellious stance against traditional NES platformers by having the A button attack and the B button jump. As a man, the player jumps, punches, and can launch a projectile attack by holding the A button and releasing. As a werewolf, the character is a tougher, meatier, nastier beast, slashing with long claws, leaping through the air, and using the holding-A-button attack to level the entire screen, at the cost of some units on the heath bar. [...]

Steam Halloween Sale

You know what this game and Halloween had in common? This game was like going up to a really awesome looking home fully decorated with the best Halloween swag and you are given mini bibles instead of candy. Yes, the game blows that much, but for half off I guess it’s worth checking out for yourself. [...]

Doom

Doom as very popular for many things and the music was one of them. With such a great soundtrack, the PC version turned out to be the most played shareware ever. This was even before internet became a household name! Turning to the Playstation version, I was shocked that they took out the soundtrack but instead added a very interesting soundtrack. You mostly hear monsters and what not in the background with a mix of environmental music. It’s quite freaky at times especially when you are in very dark rooms. I must say it doesn’t make me miss the PC version’s soundtrack and gives a twist to an already twisted game. [...]

Weird Games: Thrill Kill

The story followes ten souls who died and went to hell and were then pitted against each other in a tournament by Marukka, the Goddess of Secrets. Whoever survived the tournament would be reincarnated effectively being rereleased back onto the citizens of earth (oh joy!). One of the innovated designed of the game was that up to four players could fight at the same time which at the time was not done before. [...]

Top Ten TurboGrafx-16 HuCard Games Part 2

There are some people who believe R-Type is the best arcade shooter ever devised, and though I am not one of those people, I can see their case. The graphics are reminiscent of H.R. Giger’s work, and some of the power-ups are unique, such as the Power Pod, which can be detached to attack enemies or attached to your ship to fend off attackers. The game can be very challenging, even with the robot help, so be prepared to be faced with an equal mixture of joy and frustration when playing R-Type! [...]

Metal Dead

Though pretty short (stopping the zombie apocalypse shouldn’t take more than 5 hours), Metal Dead stays refreshingly silly and engaging throughout and never outstays its welcome, while constantly offering a response for absolutely anything you might think of doing and, of course, something surreal to do. You’ll be talking with the severed zombified head of your best mate (an ingenious hint system), killing zombies, saving doctors, unlocking hilarious achievements and murdering mutated cannabis plants, all the while combining items, engaging in brilliant dialogues and even guessing passwords. [...]

Berzerk

Everything has an “electric” feel to it, from the laser shots to instant death from brushing against a wall. You receive points by destroying the robots, but you can’t hang around too long before escaping or “Evil” Otto will quickly be on your ass. Otto, a bodiless smiley face, is the “Smoke Monster” of video games. A true indestructible enemy that will chase you down like a heat-seeking missile. [...]

Hands-On Review: Plantronics GameCom Commander

This headset is tough and will likely last longer than your keyboard and controllers will. As I noted earlier, I’m a pretty big guy and yet my experience with the Commander marks the first time I’ve ever been unafraid that I might break a headset. I considered giving it the same test that I gave the case and see if it could take me stepping on it, but opted not to since I have to return this sample copy to Plantronics. The volume control uses a flat dial that makes it hard to accidentally bump in the middle of play. The odds of accidentally muting yourself in the middle of a firefight or blasting your ears off accidentally are low. [...]

Weird Games: Chiller

Chiller was first released to the arcades in 1986 from publisher Exidy and the game consisted of several different screens of horror settings like torture chambers and graveyards. Now you would think the goal would be to save the helpless victims trapped there and to shoot and the bad guys holding them there, but you would be wrong, horribly wrong. [...]

What’s next with Everquest Next

It will be the largest sandbox style MMO ever designed. The same exciting content delivered in a new way. Something you’ve never seen before. The MMO world has never seen before. We didn’t want more Kill 10 Rats quests. We didn’t want more of the same. If you look at the MMOs out there, they’re delivering the same content over and over again. So are we. We need to change that. When we released EverQuest, we changed the world. We want to do that again with a different type of game. [...]

Renegade

The four stages take place on a subway platform, a harbour, an alley, and the gang’s hideout, and each is home to unique enemies. The amount of energy their attacks cost you is dependent on what they attack you with. Some have only their fists but others are armed or even riding motorbikes. Thugs wielding knives or guns can even kill you outright with one hit, and this makes an already rock-hard game harder then ten adamantium-coated diamonds! You only get one life, you see, and unusually for an arcade game you don’t even have the option of adding coins to continue. [...]

Bomberman II

Of all the tweaks to the original Bomberman NES game, major and minor, the most noteworthy is probably the visuals. From the in-your-face title screen to the overhaul of the main quest looks,Hudson shows off their artistry with crisp, colorful, cool pixel pieces from beginning to end. Every eight-stage Area has a different theme, which determines the color and appearance of the soft blocks, permanent blocks, border, and background color. There are still-frame cutscenes between each areas, showing Bomberman’s continued progression to true freedom. Many of the enemy designs from the original game return fairly faithfully but with an appropriate touch-up. While other elements shine as well, like the fantastic frame-by-frame explosion animation, there is definitely a bit of slowdown when a lot is going on at once on-screen. This is unfortunate, especially later in the game. [...]

Mega Man VII

The graphics are quite enriching and beautiful for such a SNES title. Mega Man has never looked more lively and he is quite enjoyable to look at especially when you aren’t doing anything with him and he just stares side to side. You know he wants to shoot at stuff! Either way, all the classic Mega Man characters are here including Proto Man and the introduction of Bass starts in this game as well. They all look sharp and lively, it’s a great sight especially to gamers that were playing 8-bit Mega Man all these years. [...]

Double Dragon: 1987 vs 2012

I am an old school retro gamer, and yes, I also dabble in the current generation video gaming systems. When I heard that one of my favorite beat’em ups would be rebooted on the current gen consoles, I was salivating at the thought of kicking some black warrior heads. Well, I have finally ‘tasted’ the Double Dragon Neon reboot, and let me say this – I was initially wowed (nostalgia got to me) but within a few minutes of play I started comparing Neon to the original arcade game. I found myself thinking, I would rather be playing the original ! [...]

Drift Mania Championship 2

I ran this game on my Motorola Photon and the HD rendered tracks look crisp and clean, however the cars themselves did not seem as polished with some looking a bit boxy. In DMC2 you have access to 13 different cars that you can customize and upgrade as well as 13 drift circuits to race upon. If you ever complained about not having enough knowledge on a game before playing it you won’t be disappointed with the lengthy tutorial that comes with this game. However, even with all the practice and upgrades you can take advantage of when to comes to gameplay it seem incredibly hard to make the turns be it using the phone to tilt or the on screen steering wheel. [...]

The Turbo CD Review

So if this accessory was the greatest thing to happen to gaming since the release of the Atari 2600, why didn’t everyone own one? Well, to begin with, it was an accessory for the TurboGrafx-16 system, which was fighting for ground in the Nintendo vs. Sega console wars, and losing. It was also BIG, which was odd, considering the Japanese model it was based on (for the PC Engine) was quite small. Perhaps the North American fascination for big trucks and luxury cars blinded the design team at NEC, since they clearly thought BIGGER was better. Unfortunately, retailers don’t want giant boxes that are mostly Styrofoam or packaging today, and they didn’t then, either. [...]

Thomas Was Alone

As for the gameplay itself, things are both straightforward and innovative. You get to control a variety of subtly yet brilliantly animated rectangles, each with its own unique personality, set of abilities, shape and colour, and guide them through an excellently designed set of levels that will mainly tax your brain, but also -a bit- your reflexes. What’s really lovely is just how well each rectangle’s defining ability is tied to its character; what’s downright impressive though is that said rectangles are so much more interesting than your average multi-polygonal mainstream hero. They have a soul and that’s coming from a person who simply doesn’t believe such things exist. [...]

Nexus 2 The Gods Awaken Q&A

There is a fantastic modding community for Nexus 1 and we know what this did for our game. We are still amazed by what some of these modders did. Really impressive. So, for Nexus 2 we will not only continue to support the modders, but in fact we want to create an even better moddable game. With more and better tools, easier access to parts of the game that were hard to mod in the original. If all goes as planned we will be using the Unreal tech for Nexus 2 and one of the reasons for this is that this tech does allow us easy support for the modding community. [...]

Gamer Profile: Pamela Horton

I heard about it from my group of friends who had read articles on it back in 2009. The very first character I ever played was Janna. I was really good with her (or so I thought.) The second character I played was Teemo. It was love at first mushroom kill. He’s so cute! With Teemo I play AP hybrid, starting with boots and pots, building into a malady and a wits end. I always built Magic Resist because I was usually mid with Teemo. I was hard on banks top too. 🙂 I also play an AP support Soraka so my heals and skills do more than your typical support. It tricks the enemy team to blowin their ults and CDs thinking they are going to get a kill. Then they see their target full health and start focusing me. 😀 [...]

We Interview Chris Avellone From Obsidian Entertainment: Part 2

Well, in terms of influential yet obscure, that cuts a lot of games out – I feel a lot of the more common games have had a big influence on my designs (Portal, Chronotrigger, Ultima Underworld). If I were to name some “obscure” ones, I’d probably say System Shock 2 is the top of the list (it’s basically a design doc for how to make a great game), Amnesia: The Dark Descent for introducing a challenge mechanism that could simultaneously terrify you, Bastion’s narration mechanics, and Wasteland for proving to me how you could use game mechanics in the context of a “conventional” RPG to make some truly brilliant levels if you took a step back and thought outside the box. [...]

Battlezone

For the few of you who haven’t played Battlezone, it’s a 1st-person, vector tank-shooter set on the freaking moon, of all places. Although gravity doesn’t come into play anywhere in the game, so they could have just set it on Earth. But, two aspects of the game probably will explain why they did it this way; One, the background is constant black, giving it a “30 Days of Night” feel to keep you on edge, but I’m sure the reason for this was for the bright green vector lines would show better. Two, they decided to throw flying saucers and tank-sized guided-missiles at you as an extra slice of variety of just shooting other tanks. Anyway, it works well and I now wouldn’t want it any other way. The HUD is all in red, which has your score, number of tanks left, and most importantly, a radar showing you exactly where the next tank is. When it appears directly behind you [...]

Original Pac-Man cartoon series hits 30th anniversary

The series took some liberties with the characters themselves, as might be expected by any licensed property-based cartoon series from the 1980s. Most of the male characters, including Pac-Man himself, sported a variety of hats. The ghost monster characters for Blinky and Clyde switched places from their video game roles with Clyde becoming the smart alpha of the group and Blinky becoming the dim witted follower of the group. Sue, the female ghost from the Ms. Pac-Man game, appeared in a shade of blue rather than the orange color from the game, likely in an effort to make her stand out more from Clyde. [...]

Potap

Potap is one of my favorite rappers in general. Sure, he is from the Ukraine and raps in Russian and I don’t know Russian but his music is some of my favorite rap music. Sometimes not understanding is part of the fun! Most of his songs are performed with Nastya Kamenskih, which complements Potap’s sense of humor and rap style. [...]

Gaming in the Spotlight

“I don’t understand why I’m being targeted for playing online games when all I’ve done is campaign on the issues.” She said and went on to say; “There are a lot of these misconceptions about people who play online games. I’ve played with people who are retired, college professors and lawyers. I’ve only ever played with adults.” [...]

We Interview Chris Avellone From Obsidian Entertainment: Part 1

Neal Stephenson (with Snow Crash) is not only a huge host of design ideas on just about every page of his books, but he taught me when it was important to describe something and when it was not – there’s a end chapter line in Snow Crash that simply says “and a car chase ensued.” He had no need to describe anything further, that was enough, and it was simple, elegant, and I appreciated he didn’t try to force details and action when none was needed. Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics to this day makes me understand why it’s better to have less voice and less focus on ultra-realistic visuals if you truly want a player to empathize with a subject. Sometimes it’s easier to empathize with a stick figure than a highly-rendered 3D model, and it’s because the viewer is able to project more of themselves onto an abstract than something someone else has excessively detailed. [...]

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Q&A

The first order of business is bringing creative collaborators to the table. Lydia and I brought in Todd and Aaron Helbing to write the script and Stewart Hendler to direct the series. In concert with 343, we developed the story and began to define a visual aesthetic. Our series focuses on cadets in an academy setting; like any great story about adolescence, you’re dealing with varied personalities of the characters struggling to define what will become their adult identity. [...]

Gamer Profile: Jeff Lewis

It’s my favorite game because, even though the graphics are quite awful, I love tanks and the multiplayer version is soooo fun with a couple friends especially when you have these weapon pick ups you can get that are randomly spread throughout the map. I wish I could get it on xbox but I still don’t see it available yet. [...]

Onslaught

These are basically boss fights but feature a floating, four-armed head! You control a hand that can move around the edge of the screen and fire magic stars, and this you must do until the strange creature is no more. Victory means you’ve won the territory and then it’s on to the next. The temple stages are the same as mind duels and there are also plagues, crusades, and rebellions to contend with. These occur at random intervals and make the going even tougher, particularly the latter which costs you a previously won territory. During the battle sections, it’s also important not to let too many enemies past you unscathed as if enough of them make it, they can grab your banner too! [...]

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken announced on Kickstarter

Launched in 2004, the game was highly acclaimed as one of the best spaceship battle games ever made, and continues to attract fans even to this day. “We re-launched the original Nexus on Steam a while ago, and even now we see a substantial amount of new players buying the game each month”, said Horneman. “We have a very vocal fan base, and know that there’s a large number of people out there who would love to see a sequel made”. [...]