Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

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Infinite Space: Initial Thoughts

April 20, 2010

I recently picked up Infinite Space from my local electronic games retailer and I have to say, I’m impressed.  It’s in the style of the 1970s/80s anime space travel shows with a little bit of the game Privateer thrown in.  The idea is you’re this guy Yuri and you acquire and customize a fleet of ships and have space battles and there’s some overall mission and some sort of secretly evil gentleman controlling things, which is pretty much par for the course in this genre.  There’s lot of stupid fake space/future swear words and campy dialogue, but underneath all of those trappings is a very good game.

A word to the wise:

The in-game tutorial is unintuitive and useless so if you decide to pick it up, check out this series of tutorials put out by Sega on youtube:

Anyway, I’m only 3-4 hours in, but I highly recommend it for some campy fun anime space travel adventures.

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Adventure Games: So You Want to Be a Hero?

August 27, 2009

I was a kid in the 90s which in my family meant M*A*S*H* reruns, Night Court, Nickelodeon and Sierra adventure games.  I remember sitting on my Dad’s lap while he played old DOS games like Eye of the Beholder and Hexen and being alternately frightened and fascinated by these games about dungeons and adventures.  My Dad grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons and listening to Pink Floyd so he thought nothing of exposing me to video games at the age of 4, but  my mom would decry the violence in the games my Dad played, worrying that I would be scarred or turn out to be a sociopath (which I didn’t, but I’m still terrified of the green dragons that shoot fire in Hexen by id Software)

Those Green Dragons were dicks.

The point of all this is, I grew up loving old school adventure games, and my favorite was and is Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero.

The Quest for Glory games were made by Sierra Entertainment, and Quest for Glory 1 was a VGA remake of Hero’s Quest (they had to rename it be cause of copywrite issues).  The thing about games in this series and Sierra games of that time is that they all had a clear, crisp, colorful aesthetic with off-color jokes and easy-to-learn gameplay, though some puzzles were quite challenging and obtuse.  You can choose to play as a fighter, mage or thief and depending on your class, you have access to different aspects of the game.  The story is misleading in its simplicity, and while I will not give anything away, it’s fun and tricky like any good fairy tale.  Also, the music is beautiful, they do some great things with MIDI in this game.

Gameplay wise, it’s a point and click interface, with a series of buttons above that you click on to change your cursor so you can interact with the world in different ways, which can lead to hilarious results when you say, click on yourself with the lockpick from your inventory.  The thing about these games is when you die, they make fun of you.  That doesn’t happen anymore, there are no more mocking text boxes saying things like:

“Unfortunately you push it in too far, causing a cerebral hemmorhage.  Guess you should have been practicing on less difficult locks” -When you click the lockpick on yourself.

Adventurer with an Antwerp

And people wonder why I tend to have lots of save files… you never know what could happen… you could die from doing something really stupid because the Sierra folks thought it would be funny, and they were right!

If you are interested in checking it out, it’s hosted for free on Abandonia (make sure you get the VGA remake version).  Download DOSBBox, which is compatible with both PCs and Macs and allows one to play all of the old Dos games, being essentially an IBM PC.

Oh Silliness

Sierra made lots of great adventure games like the Kings Quest (Roberta Williams’s magnum opus), Police Quest, and Space Quest series (full of Hitchhiker’s guide jokes).  For what it’s worth, Ms Dos and the game it housed, from Jill of the Jungle to Xargon, was and is my NES.   I view games like Jazz Jackrabbit in the same way that other kids look at old nintendo games.

This might seem to come out of left field, all this talk of old PC games, but I enjoy going questing, and a game that lets me name my adventuring gent Balsak the Brave is A-Ok by me.

Battling in QFG 1

Battling in QFG 1

-amanda seamus

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I ACCEPT Your Contract!

June 10, 2009

This has been an epic month and a half in nerdery.  Let me see if I can cover the main points.  I am on the last case of Apollo Justice and I’m still on the Floating Continent in FF6…mostly because it fills me with unbridled rage and I don’t have enough health potions to move on and I don’t want to have to do it all again by going on the airship and then coming back later.  It’s a bit of a quandary.  Other than that, work stuff has kept me busy lately, Conor and I are PAing for a certain reality TV show that involves singing other people’s songs.  In addition, Buffy is finally no longer on hiatus, I just read the most recent Tales of the Vampires one-off written by Becky Cloonan, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, and Vasilis Lolos and a 5 issue arc by Jane Espenson is supposed to be coming out soon I believe.

In addition, our merry band of miscreants has been watching an anime series called “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion“.  It’s 50ish episodes total divided into 2 seasons and COMPLETELY worth your time.  I just finished it last night and I feel great about how it ended.  The characters are interesting and consistent, the artwork is decent and though CLAMP did the original character designs they aren’t horrible, and finally and most importantly the writing is really intriguing and subtle.  At times it can be extremely over the top, but I found that my feelings regarding many of the main characters vacillated between extreme hatred and overwhelming sympathy.

I recently started playing through Mass Effect, and it’s still too early for me to make a statement on how I feel about the game, but I must admit that the character models are GREAT and I enjoy the conversation tree system a lot.  The gameplay is taking a lot of getting used to, I’m not very apt at squad based combat but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.  I tend to be a lone, stealthy person and right now Shepherd is bumbling about.

That’s enough rambling, expect something more coherent soon.  Also, I would be remiss not to recommend Endless Frontier: Super Robot Taisen OG Saga for the DS.  Conor, Terry, and the rest of our merry band have been playing the hell out of it.  Personally, I want to pick up Broken Sword but right now I’m reading a book by Herman Hesse named Narziss and Goldmund and before that I reread Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Amanda Seamus

Lelouch promo pic

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What We’re Playing

March 23, 2009

Hey,

So I’m in a play that goes up tomorrow so I haven’t had much time to write things but after tomorrow, life will have slowed down some.  Anywhere, here’s

Conor is currently playing Apollo Justice, RE5, Fallout 3

I’m playing Final Fantasy 6 for the first time, Fallout 3, Fable 2 (kind of…), Fire Emblem, and Trauma Center: Under the Knife ( which is ABSURD).

Also, Chelsea and Joe are playing RE5 and there is a lesson learned:

All black people apparently sound the same, at least as far as RE5 is concerned.  They are all Jamaican.

Anyway, hope alls well, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program soon, the play I’m in opens/closes tomorrow.  If you’re bored, you should listen to this radio show, it’s done by some friends of ours from 8-10 on Mondays: “Another Castle” on ETIN.

aniphoenixpointsyl1

TAKE THAT!

-Amanda/Seamus

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The Pokemon Entree

March 14, 2009

We all know that we “gotta catch them all”, but when we take a break from the capturing and forcing those adorable creatures to fight each other (which for whatever reason seems to be the basis of the social economy of this world) we have to stop and think of something. In this land of hundreds of different Pokemon, which are the unlucky few that are used for food?

Now before anyone goes “that’s sick!” or “you’re thinking way too much about this.!” Come on now anyone who has played/watched Pokemon has thought about it. You do not see “normal” animals in any areas and  in a place where even some of the plants are sentient, figuring out what to eat I would imagine is a tough decision.  Clearly some are more “suited” for consumption over others.  You definitely  would pick the Tauros over the Geodude to eat, but there is still a line of what do you think is meant for  food?

They do acknowledge that Pokemon are used for food, If you read the pokedex entrees about Lapris and Tauros it mentions how they are endangered because they have been hunted. I also have a video clip from the cartoon that touches on the eating of Pokemon.

Clearly Prof. Oak has no qualms with eating the Pokemon despite the fact that it’s a living creature and also, what exactly is Brock’s Bacon Double Cheeseburger going to be made out of?!

Lastly I have a list I compiled of what Pokemon I think they use for food.

Squirtle?
Pidgey (Pigeon?)
Oddish (Vegetable or meat?)
Psyduck
Machop (Rock or Meat?)
BellSprout (Vegitarian or Murder?)
Tentacool (Sushi?)
Slowpoke
Farfetch’d (Premerie Food)
Doduo
Shelder
Krabby
Exeggcute
Lickitung
Golddeen
Tauros
Magikarp
Lapras (hunted to near extinction)
Dratini
Chinchou
Togepi (veal omlette)
Qwilfish
Swinub
Remoraid
Mantine
Stantler
Milktank
Treecko
Torchic
Carvanha
Barboach
Corphish
Feebas
Relicanth
Starly
Buneary
Chatot
So I ask what you guys think? How do you think they deal with the Pokemon food situation? What pokemon do you think they eat the most?

Do vegetarians have a huge moral problem with eating Bellsprouts and Oddishs?

Gotta Eat Them All!

Conor

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Resident Evil 5: Initial Thoughts

March 14, 2009

Conor and I are playing RE5 right now and I figured since we’re upgrading weapons, we’d give you our thoughts on the game thus far.We’re at Chapter 3 now and Conor’s playing so this may be a bit sporadic.

First of all, I’d like to say I find Lara Croft more of racist imperialist than anything Chris Redfield could do, including stomping on a zombie’s chest…after all, as Conor says, that’s just the ROIDS talking, not Chris.

A note about treasure:  In RE4, the Spaniards had excess wealth, but when you take a ceremonial mask from a village that is now wiped out because they all got the virus (which is a crazier strain of Los Plagos because when things are in Africa they become crazy like Killer BEES!), you’re stealing their culture, and that’s wrong, and Sheva being present for it doesn’t make it okay.

About level design:

Conor: “They all have gondolas and elevators.  That’s the end of every chapter.”  It doesn’t matter if you’re in a village or an oil field or whatever, there are ALWAYS some sort of vehichle transportation.

From first impressions, we are extremely impressed with Sheva as an AI character…

BUT WHY, AMANDA AND CONOR AREN’T YOU PLAYING CO-OP?

The reason, my friends is that Capcom decided it would be brilliant to make the two viewing screens for the players staggered DIAGONALLY AND TINY!   IF YOU TRY TO PLAY THAT WAY YOU DIE A LOT!  Therefore, we’ve decided there will be a lot less tears if we just switch off the controller, and I don’t mind this being a spectator game because honestly, it’s funny to watch Conor freak out over “zombie” crocodiles.

Why do the Los Plagos zombies always have some sort of religious rituals?

The main thing with Sheva being a good co-op AI character seems to be a failure on the part of those gamers in providing Sheva with ammo and weapons.  She’s protected and revived Conor on many occasions and I find it both silly and unconscionable that people would not utilize her abilities.

Level designs are standard in RE4, Conor feels it’s like RE4 again as well… and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

“Speaking as one who has played RE since the beginning, I really like the way it has evolved.  I really enjoy it… FUCKING CROCODILES! Coming out of nowhere and ruining your day!”

As you can see we’re having a good time, crocodiles aside.

“Stay out of the long grass!  There’ll be raptors!”

PS: the first thing that comes up when you google notsorandomencounters is “Transsexual Ferox”… I don’t know what that is, but awesome.

Amanda and Conor

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Resident Evil 5!

March 13, 2009

Conor and I just picked it up at midnight our time and played for a bit, expect our initial thoughts sometime in the next 24ish hours.

Until then, enjoy!

-Amanda/Seamus

gumshoepumpedbxa2I heart Gumshoe….