Posts tagged ‘nes’

Ludums: Irem on Nes, Alien: Isolation, make your own adventure aka Minecraft

My new job involves long sit downs in a glass cubicle filled with constant fiddling with variables and often 16 minute returns from a Swedish server built in a summer by a former golf pro. Let that context inform these reviews.

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Metal Storm is probably the best NES game I never played. The music is awesome. I mean really I hear the tunes in my head at work sometimes. It is at heart an R-Type game, but where r-type felt like a draft in memorization as difficultly Metal Storm is more of a full fledged novel. It requires consistent play with its central mechanic: the ability to reverse gravity at will. Its the way the game manages to introduce puzzles with out every signaling you are in a puzzle that makes it unique. I am not sure where, maybe level 3? In which you have to trick some magnets to fire, nearly crushing you, jump onto their platform, and then reverse gravity to get around a block. This section isn’t overtly difficult, but it does require skills. Later level require you to think about power ups switching from shields to blasters to take out different objectives. Its not as Mechanically complex as I would like it to be, but when you attenuate to its antiquated nature it becomes a gem you hum as you reconsider and plot out your next move.

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The hardest part of Alien: Isolation is the beginning. That first stealth puzzle is really the most difficult thing in the game so far. After you’ve managed to take down 3-4 humans the Alien is easy peasy. Why? Because the Alien means death. It is that simple. What to reset a puzzle? Run away from the Alien. Alien: Isolation makes a good case for presence and graphics in video games. It is essentially a love letter to H.R. Geiger and in that it’s a game whose skin is more compelling than often the storyline is. In fact Isolation’s story is sadly rather weak. Its gameplay however is compulsive. I knew I needed it the second I saw the hack tool that said tool exists fully realized inside a set of stealth rules that create serious tension is even better. Alien: Isolation is a film that was chewed and cured into gameplay. However its designer had the lateral thinking skills available to iterate on the known gameplay elements enough to make it work. The result is engrossing exploration situations that are tense, but rarely frightening. The world design brims with detail, but it’s really the story Geiger is telling that makes it important, from the communal shower stalls to the lightbox hallways, the lived in way the station resembles an oil rig or the abundance of hiding spots the belie another meta-game: which spot is truly strategy and which is merely aesthetics? Film is a great medium to play in.

Minecraft is not a game I have ever binged in before, but last week with the server down I redownloaded this hot MS property

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/e2a/7654/files/2014/12/img_3248.png and got to work on my first house which in turn became a 3 hour construction binge including torches, numerous pick axes, cobblestone fences, creepers, and a garden on top of a house. I wanted to change nature to make my house more realizable. It was strangely satisfying to finally have a minecraft property something like what I had seen in youtube videos and then a day later I was bored, so I crafted numerous swords and set out on a journey at midnight fighting Zombies and eating pork chops, minecraft is a game that understands play. It understands that you shouldn’t take it seriously rather that frivolity becomes seriousness the more you play. It is a game that is entertaining as long as you are entertaining. Its the perfect sandbox for tots. Good work Notch 🙂

December 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

Kickle cubicle, ZiGGURAT, Torchlight, ff xiii-2

In a house in a little area right by where Jandek lives a boy played a game for a day and fell in love. kickle cubicle was a brief dream for me. I still don’t remember why it had to be returned so quickly, but sitting in my brother’s room the game had serious charm. Zelda never quite pulled me in, Super Mario was frustrating, but Kickle Cubicle was my first experience with a game that’s logic seemed intimately familiar. From the way the kickle explodes out of a swarm of hearts to the absurdity of the engine, the game is a nonstop trance of puzzling machines that seem significantly more simple than their behaviors suggest. Emergence is the chemical process where in two or more things produce behaviors that the original ingredients don’t possesses (btw in the middle of delanda’s synthetic reason right now) Kickle Cubicle is often one of those games where the behavior of a slime, a hammer, and a spring can lead to numerous possibilities. I won’t say that Kickle Cubicle is great, but it did manage to marry post Zelda enemy bopping with the push and pull of genuinely engaging level design, but what I primarily remember is that it made me think, something that the puzzles in Zelda or the moments of lolo I played never did. The nes version is available online at the first link, the mame emulation of the Arcade version is also out there. I also like how the leader boards have queer names on them as if some gay couple ensconced in a Japanese hovel in the eighties collected the rom and made it available for mame to emulate.

P.s. have not tired Solomon’s key, but will soon. Also kickle cubicle and bomberman were main line examples of addictive game play when I was young.

ZiGGURAT is the latest game from Tim Rodgers and its a little surprising, because the controls suck. Ziggurat requires you swipe the bottom of the screen to rotate your character’s weapon or you can use an angry birds like sling shot mode. While with time I will probably get used to it, I just wanna touch the screen, have the gun track my finger’s x and y cords and then let go with my projectile of death. Sadly, this is more of an emulation of one of those pong paddles that came with the Atari 2600. Now please look I’ve been harassed by assholes before, and Mr. Rodgers will probably stumble upon this review so let me get to the positives, or what I like about ZiGGURAT. First the game essentially channels the moments of intense play in mega man in thirty second increments, which is awesome. Despite the control scheme I found myself playing it in the taxi this morning and even now it nibbles at the subconscious, a world of chaos is a click away. Two the chip tune music is nice too. I don’t actually understand why indie games are so often consciously retro, but Ziggurat is perhaps a nice example of this nostalgia, it doesn’t require you to spend tons of time playing a full length game to do your reminiscing, rather it gives you the pivotal moment of a mega man game in a seconds worth of game play. That is worth 99 cents. Btw do support it, Mr. Rodgers is quite passionate about his games and this is a step towards further friends based improvisations on the iTunes store and also be sure before you lick to hope that he gets a girlfriend, a hot lesbian girlfriend who dresses in anime outfits and makes out with her girlfriends in private moments before the tentacles strike….

Torchlight
Steam sale! Bought this with the 75% off coupon and just what like a month or two till torchlight 2 comes out and let me tell you… This game is annoying. You see unlike Lara Croft and the Gaurdian of Light which frees you from moving with the mouse torchlight restricts everything to the mouse… Except of course spell casting, item management, and everything else. Torchlight works like this, you left click to move or to attack, your right click for an additional attack or spell. The problem is that playing a ranged character becomes über annoying because you run away with your meek ranged based archerer only to turn around and then if you happen to not quite click the enemy chasi you then RUN BACK TOWARDS THE GUY YOU ARE TRYING TO AVOID. This is a serious flaw, one that it turns out you deal with by holding shift, but then holding shift you can’t move and only aim. Compare this to Lara Croft in which you run around with the keys and then use the mouse to hurtle spears, bullets, what have you at the enemy. That control scheme works, Torchlight though, despite these short comings is what I usually play at home these days. Once you get past the carpel tunnel inducing click and play the game becomes at heart one of deep customization. My little archer started in an absolutely horrible leather cap which I replaced with a magically powered hair accessory before upgrading to an enchanting and enchanted Russian navigator’s cap. We now take down gigantic tree folks with ease and swing through lion hearted monsters while unleashing some impressive spells and saving select loot for the moment you get the matching accessories for them. Who thought that point of click of consumerism could be replaced by the shoot and gun of diablo? That’s what these games really are, they’re like magic packs, you open one you get a shitty rare u can’t trade but someone will buy it for nothing and maybe if you open a few more you’ll get the cards you need. Someone needs to make a mall based after Diablo where your hard earned cash is spent in blunt kicks and the swing of the mace. All that sweet schwag coming down on you. I guess I continue to play Torchlight for reasons very different than league of legends, LoL I keep finding new things in the play, Torchlight just gives me more to consume. A little strategy is involved with the enemies, swordsmen with shields need to run from, big spiders avoid and whittle down, but for the most part this isn’t really a game of skill or adrenaline, rather it is just shopping. It’s
Iike having a little mall in your pc, one that you wonder around shooting and maiming in, and then you rob the bodies. J.G. Ballard should have played this game.

Still trying to finish Final Fantasy 3 on iOS, watched the entirety of ff xiii-2 on YouTube and loved it! Really liked Serah and the romance angle the game is increasingly taking also the Snow ending was awesome. Going to pick up Chaos Rings Omega when I get a chance or my steam coupons expire… Also Ghost Trick which is now out on iOS is great and really enjoying the demo. Will probably get the full game. Anyway, my life through software increasingly seems to be me life, which brings up another thing. My coworkers have all been commenting on my iPad addiction, for the past two weeks I have showed up everyday with a Bluetooth headset and a YouTube full of final fantasy xii-2 videos. Not even playing the game, simply going through tetra ninja’s walk through took up at least 20 hours of my life. The game became a very real story and one that actually touched me in a way an anime hasn’t in years although it’s still at times cheesy. But what occurred to me is that we’re increasingly living in virtuality almost all the time. The cost of a nearly endless supply of world of Warcraft is small and as terra nova has noticed the total amount of work done in virtual worlds is increasingly reaching the same level of as the actual economy. Mmos aside, the rate of production of games now exceeds the time required to consume them. Watching ff xiii-2 took almost two weeks out of my programming practice and steam at home takes even more. Passions come and go and post final fantasy YouTube is bereft of anything to attract me for awhile, but games continue to rain in and their worlds still feel fleeting. This is where ff xiii-2’s endings come in hand, the game can actually end multiple different ways. While this has been tried before something in the variety of endings suggests the staggering possibility of the narrative. These possibilities also lend the game consequence, it begins to feel as if the narrative is weighty and full of holes, sockets, places to hang a spare lesson or two. What it also suggests is that the future of these games is story, ones where players spin off from each other and separate teams of digital weavers keep their audiences occupied all within a single virtual world, just one that splinters and portals into different experiences. Kinda like the historia crux itself, the act of playing many modern games creates parallel worlds, paradoxes, and other things. Consequence is important in a game, and in ff xiii-2 I believe u can still go back and get all the endings, in fact I know you can because if u get all of them u get a special secret ending, but the necessity of games to be likable often means that they don’t let players get locked into the consequences of their actions, we like replayability, the ephemeralness of the digital world, in skyrim I can still go back and kill the monk on top of the world if I so choose, but I have never made that choice, I wanted him to live, And the idea of replaying that much game is tedious. Anyway, ff is less a game and more the skin of a movie on which you surf. I like ‘m, but only because I like the stories (ff 9 I loved ff 7 bored me), it doesn’t quite have the open narrative structure that skyrim has, but what it does have is worthy of a game and better than many RPGs out there. I really wish they would release it on pc.

February 22, 2012 at 2:36 am Leave a comment


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