Posts Tagged ‘Gaming’


Gaming Class of 2010

December 31, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming to tonight’s Gaming Class of 2010 Awards Banquet.  Let’s get started right away, shall we?

“Most Likely to Play Over and Over Again” Award
Halo: Reach
I played it through 3 times – solo and co-op, heroic and legendary – and I still would probably play it again on legendary co-op.  I’m not a multiplayer fan so I can’t get my fix that way.  It’s going to be a long dry spell until we get more Halo goodness.

“It Came Outta Nowhere” Award
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
I follow gaming stuff pretty closely.  I read all the big blogs regularly: Kotaku, Joystiq, and the like.  And I never heard a thing about this game until it was released.  All the more surprising: I played the demo and it was good!  Perhaps the only game I bought this year by virtue of playing the demo.  Not destined to win many awards, but definitely worth a pickup if you find a good price.

“Game You Should Have Played But Didn’t” Award
Alan Wake
I was tempted to give this to Metroid: Other M, but it’s got to go to Alan Wake.  This is the category that beloved gems like Psychonauts and Beyond Good and Evil belong to.  It definitely deserves a sequel, but did it sell enough to warrant one?  Remedy is not saying.  Pleeeease, Remedy!!

“Wanted To Like More Than I Did” Award
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
I kept playing and playing, waiting for that point at which I could think of little else until I completed it, and I actually finished it before that point ever arrived.  Which was no small task, as it’s a looong game.  Maybe a little too long?  Not “Castlevania” enough?  Because I suck at “God of War” style games?  I actually stuck with it to the end, which says something about it I guess, but if I had it to do all over again, I might not have even played it.

“If Only It Was Achievements and Not Trophies” Award
Final Fantasy XIII
I didn’t hate this game nearly as much as the gaming press wishes I would have.  That’s not to say it didn’t have its faults, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  So much so, in fact, that I put in over 100 hours on it.  And I got every trophy you could get in it, except the one where I’d have to buy all of the equipment in the game (and hence the platinum trophy as well).  I calculated that I’d have to grind for 6+ hours to make enough gil to do that.  If I had played the Xbox version, I might have done that, to have a complete game and 1000 gamerscore (something I’ve only done twice before).  But you gotta play Final Fantasy on the PlayStation, right?  That’s been a rule since FF VII, hasn’t it?  And I don’t care a fig about trophies, so I never got there.

“It Came Too Early To Win Major Awards” Award
Mass Effect 2
The integration with your save game from Mass Effect 1… awesome.  Nearly all the changes were improvements.  Nearly.  (I’m looking at you, planet scanner!)  It set the bar high for 2010.  But it came out January 26, 2010.  Will it garner any Game of the Year awards with the short term memory crowd, or will Call of Duty overshadow it by virtue of release date?

“Made Me Schlep To The Store With Other Geeks” Award
Dragon Quest XII: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
No, I’m not talking about a launch event.  Just look at Black Friday… people will stand in line in the cold for hours for $5 off a jacket.  I’m talking about standing around an electronics store with my DS open hoping that someone else that’s doing the same will sync a treasure quest to my game.  DQ XII has an interesting online quest sharing function, but it’s local wireless only, which might work fine in DQ obsessed and people packed Japan, but not so great in the suburban US midwest.  So I went to an event to try it out, and got a few quests that were way above my level that I still haven’t been able to do yet.

“Would People Give It Such High Praise If The Graphics Were So-So” Award
Infinity Blade
I get it. The graphics look great. But in 15-20 minutes you’ve basically seen what you are going to do in the whole game, and then you do it over and over again. Why is everyone raving about this game? Has everyone really turned into such graphics whores? I mean, I like the game in general, but The Second Coming of Portable Gaming it is not!

“Who Knew Michael J. Fox Had A Twin” Award
Back to the Future Part 1 – It’s About Time
Great Scott!  That “not Michael J. Fox” guy does an awesome Marty McFly, doesn’t he?

But enough with the silly awards… what is my top game? I only pick from games I’ve played, and the critics and I usually do not agree.  To me, it boils down to a choice between five games, and they all have their merits.

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Free Music 2: Electric Boogaloo

August 13, 2009

For some reason, I think everything that is a “2” must be followed by Electric Boogaloo.  That’s just how my mind works.  And since I already did a Free Music post…

Two new gaming-inspired mixtapes have cropped up this week.  The first is Josh Stafford’s Songs To Frag By.  It’s got a good mix of music.

sha boi

01 Super Mario World Course Clear – XOC
02 Bit Rate Variations in B-Flat (Girl) – Beck
03 Super Mario Land (Radio Version) – Ambassadors of Funk feat. M.C. Mario
04 Mega Man 2 (Title Theme) – Year 200X
05 II B Unrest In the House of Light – The Protomen
06 Do the Donkey Kong – Buckner & Garcia
07 Technology Boy – Bachelorette
08 Sabita Tobirano Daihachi Tengoku – YMCK
09 Punch em Out – Swell +N remixes
10 Where’s My F_ing Genesis – Charles Hamilton
11 Khaos Unique Proto Culture – Del The Funky Homosapien
12 The Legend of Zelda Tribute – Swell Session vs Koji Kondo
13 Tetris – Powerglove
14 Super Mario World Death Game Over – XOC

The second is a hip-hop Nintendo-oriented mix by No Question? entitled Got Game? (Warning: Language)


01 Bwooooy!!!
02 California Games
03 Double Dragons
04 Yo!
05 Gauntlet
06 Gremlins
07 Marble Madness
08 Master Blaster
09 Mega Mans
10 Kabuki
11 OverLord
12 Trust Miso Soup
13 Zombie Nation
14 Kung Fu Skit
15 T&C Surf Design
16 TimeLord
17 Wayne’s World
18 Wheel of Fortune

Totally different styles but maybe you’ll find something you’ll like. Free is, after all, free.


Alone In The Dark: Zark’s E3 Rant

June 4, 2009

soapboxThe week of E3 is an exciting time to learn about what’s coming up in the world of gaming.  Yet as I watch E3 unfold this week, through coverage on G4TV and on gaming sites like Kotaku and Joystiq, I tend to feel “alone in the dark” with regards to my gaming preferences.  Maybe I missed the memo, but when did the word videogame come to only mean first-person shooter?  But I thought about it more and more as the week has gone on, and I’ve come to realize that I maybe I’m really not as alone as I thought I was.

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Papercraft Friday #41: Link and the King of Red Lions Sea Base

May 15, 2009


Between my buddy Justin coming to town for 5 days of fun, and catching up with work that piled up while I took off, my blog time decreased dramatically lately.  But I can’t miss Papercraft Friday!

Blog post traffic is strange, in that the most innocuous posts seem to bring the most traffic.  That’s definitely the case with Papercraft Friday #4: Link and the King of Red Lions.  It’s the third most viewed post on my site, with thousands of views.  So when I saw that Ninjatoes posted a papercraft accompaniment to that model, I knew I needed to choose it this week.

A crafter named Josh Darrah modeled and built a sea base for the ship, and it looks awesome with the original model, as you can see above.  Ninjatoes goes into a bit more detail about it on his papercraft page, and has a link to the sea base model.  Have fun!


Speak & Spell

January 3, 2009

speakspellI saw a link on Kotaku the other day to an interview on Vintage Computing and Gaming with one of the creators of the Speak & Spell, and finally got around to reading it.  Very interesting read!

The initial focus groups were interesting: it was never clear that they really understood how appealing a talking product would be to a small child. The first demonstration to the president and the board of directors was interesting — they thought it was being sold too cheap!

The Texas Instruments Speak & Spell was awesome.  I was actually looking to pick up a nice one on eBay for the kids not too long ago.  There are also a couple of cool Speak  & Spell Simulators online.  I can’t believe it’s 30 years old… I’m dating myself.

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Beware the Wii

December 23, 2008

According to The Sun:


kneeTEN people a week in Britain are hospitalised from playing Wii games.

The growing toll has prompted NHS doctors to warn of the dangers.  Wii-itis sufferers usually have excruciating pain in the right shoulder or knee.

Dr Dev Mukerjee, of Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, said: “There has been a 100 per cent increase in patients complaining of Wii-itis.  “I’ve seen many patients aged between eight and 13 — and I’ve seen adults.

“It’s possible that Wii-itus may lead to rheumatism and arthritis in later life. Patients often have inflammation of the shoulder or wrist.”  Others have a ligament injury dubbed Wii-knee which some have blamed on the popular Wii-Fit game.

Dr Mukerjee said: “People who are double-jointed are most likely to suffer from Wii-knee — and in extreme cases the knee cap can be dislocated or can even pop out.”  Treatment includes cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory painkillers. Recovery takes up to three months.

OMG how dangerous!  A 100% increase (from 5 to 10 people per country per week)!  You could have rheumatism and arthritis in later life!  Wii-knee!  Cortisone injections!  Painkillers!  Those are addicting!  I never knew… I never knew…  First we find out that playing games was addicting, and now we find out that the injuries suffered through play could be life-altering!  And we find this out right before Christmas!  Just think of all those torture machines that are already wrapped and under the tree!  Oh the humanity…


Free Stuff

December 11, 2008

freeHey, who doesn’t like free stuff, right?  There has been a lot of talk in gaming circles the last few years about microtransactions, which are typically small monetary transactions for digital content.  These could be actual games, like WiiWare or Xbox Live Arcade.  Or they could be add-on content for games, like map packs, skins, songs, new weapons, new levels, and the like.  Or they could be new themes, or gamerpics, or avatar clothes… usually anything to get the consumer to fork out more money.

Not that I’m taking some moral high road here… I’ve bought my fair share.  Probably more than I’d like to admit.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things you can get for free with the right timing and a little patience.  Here are a few I’ve heard of in just the last few days:

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