Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Revolution of Sorts

Wow, so, from the time I stopped to the time I am now writing, GameTap has taken.... a weird turn.

I do not know about anyone else, but I feel this new design change to GameTap seems like a step down. The menus seem more clunky than they ever were, game titles load in at a staggering slow pace, and my beloved Wheel is now noiseless~! It's as if my master has been castrated....

And above all that, it now seems games can be taken off the service. I did not plan on this, but it does not change my over all goal. With that said, the Wheel has wheezed into my ear, and it has said this.

Shark! Shark!
Intellivision, 1982

Been a while, I know. I am sorry. And, as usual, The Wheel makes sure to make me realize that I should love this job.... I think.

Shark! Shark! is a game about a fish. A fish that you control in what seems like a tiny fish tank. Which seems to ruin the illusion when you realize it is supposed to be an ocean. Oh well.
So, you swim around, you dash, you stop... and other fish do the same. And then a Sark comes! i guess thats where the name came from. Was beginning to worry there. So yeah, you then avoid the Shark or not. And thats about it. If you avoid him, he swims away and comes back again and again. If not, you die. Simple as that.
Now, this may have been fun back in the day, but my lord, it is as boring as could be.

Gametap says (for some reason) 7.4, I say 3. A definite delete.

Lets go for as many as I can stomach, shall we?

Capcom, 1984

Ahhh, who doesn't love the 19xx games from Capcom? I must have dropped at least $50 into 19XX at my local arcade back in the day. But, where did it all come from? Well, it all started with 1942, the very first game in the series. Does it live up to it's successors legacy?

Well, yeah really. It was all very simple back then. You have a plane, and it has guns, which you shoot at other planes. Oh, you can also do a loop to avoid bullets. Simple and classic really. There are power ups, yeah, which just make your bullets wider and more plentiful. I recommend playing with a gamepad though. The keyboard is painfully imprecise.

Really, I'm glad I got to see where the series began. You can easily see the roots of the greatness that would follow it. A must play.

The GameTap peoples say 6.6. This I cannot understand, and give it an 8. Kept.
34 of (now) 952 complete.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hey! Break Soon!

SO on my break I will break from my break from the blog.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Not Dead

At least now yet. Not until the next post. Closer to brain dead, actually. But really, the real culprit here is the Wheel. For some reason, I think the Wheel THINKS I am dead. For there is no reason why any person who has cognitive thoughts and functions would ever be graced with the game It gave me.

Crush, Crumble, & Stomp
Commodore 64, 1983

Now this game promises a grand ol' time, playing as a monster who attacks a city. What's not to like about that? I mean, everyone loves Rampage and that's pretty much the same exact goal.

The difference here, however, lies in the controls. Wherein Rampage, the player moves left, right, climbs buildings, eats things, and breaks things, all with the easy use of pressing buttons in context to the environment around you. The Commodore 64, however, felt that was too easy and went in a far more obtuse direction.

Upon entering, the game proclaims to be the "Monster Movie Game," a boastful claim if you have ever asked me. To solidify it's status as the be all end all of monstrosity based entertainment, it asks what monster I wish to be, out of a list of completely creative beasts, such as "Goshilla" and "Mantra." Already floored, I was brought to tears of joy when I learned I could choose how I would be scored in the game. Epic.

Then, as the game begins, I came to realize that you play the game by entering in text commands in a turn based action grid. You press either R or L to turn right or left, and when facing the right direction you press M to move. When you are at a building, but not just any building, the right building, you press C to CRUSH IT! Then cops chase after you upon you try, and I stress try, to crush them. You see, it is very very hard to know when you are on the right invisible grid space to crush something, as none of the things seem to line up with you very well. On top of that, everything seems to move on some sort of inner move list, that you the player are unaware of, and just need to brush off.

Really, nothing here adds up to anything fun, even for a little bit. To be honest, I DID see a glimmer of hope when I found out how to control the game, but that quickly burned itself out in a mininova of sadness.

Gametap says 4.2, I say 2. A definite delete.
32 of 1002 complete.

Next review will be a special where I pick the game deliberately. Yes, yes, I know this goes against my whole setup here, but come one, Typing of the Dead is dying to be played.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Down Time Action

So, here I am, sitting outside my next classroom, which the class that will take place inside doesn't start for another hour. This is what college people call down time, which is a fancy word for bad scheduling.

My thoughts came to this: I have a laptop, I have nothing (better) to do, so, I have spun the wheel with a might force, and it was good.


Anyone who is keeping score will notice I dropped the in-depth info about the games pretty quickly. That is, after only one game. It's just to cumbersome for a casual blog. So, just names it will be.

Now, for anyone who played it in the Arcade or a PC, Battlezone was one of the funnest games to play. The weird green wire mesh, the paranoia of not knowing where the next enemy was, or if they were behind you, which you didn't know until you were dead. It made for a very compelling game, if you ask me.

This classic was, to no surprise, ported to a popular home console after its rise of fame in the arcades. Though, this didn't usually translate well. Just look at the Pac-Man port to the Atari 2600. It's atrocious and degrading to the original. Does this 2600 port do the same to another classic?

Well, yes and no. What Battlezone for the 2600 does well is convey a 3-D world that is truly astounding to think existed on a home console in 1983. What it does different from its arcade predecessor is actually fill in the vector world of the the original to give it, somewhat colorful, but very blurry world, compared to the originals crisp, albeit very green, world.

Now, I don't know if it's just been a very long time since I have played the original Battlezone but this version both seemed unnecessarily hard at the start, and painfully easy after you got the mechanics down. What I mean is, my first three lives in the game were taken away within minutes as I could not dodge any bullets from the enemy tanks, not to mention the UFO type crafts which swoop and dodge faster than you can even fire. But then, I realized all I had to do was drive in a large circle, firing at my enemies when my reticule lit up, causing a kill for all tanks, and allowing me to dodge mostly everything, taking away all fun.

Now, that brings up the question, is the game bad cause I was able to break it's rules so quickly? I would have to say yes. As a game developer, it is your duty to make the game as fun and engaging as possible, without letting the player exploit it. Tons of games did it before Battlezone, and tons did it after.

Gametap says 5.3. I agree, with a 5.0.
As fun as it kinda is, I want that space for something better. Which can be considered a diss being the game is only 0.008 MB. You decide.
31 of 987 complete.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pac it Up Pac it In

So, a few weeks ago, I bought the stellar Pac-Man Championship Edition for the Xbox Live Arcade (which if you have Live and don't have it, go get it now), and would have to say it is probably the single best version of Pac-Man I have ever played. Now what does this have to with anything?
Well, I was spun to Super Pac-Man and.... wow...

Super Pac-Man

What happens when you play the best version of a game? What happens is all other version feel... lacking.

In Super Pac-Man you, you guessed it, avoid ghosts and eat things, including the ghosts. The twist in this one, considering Ms. Pac-Man added the amazing ability to go from one side of the screen to the other, is you have to eat keys to open pathways to pellets, super pellets, and fruits. Not to mention for some reason you turn around 5 times larger, I never found out why. Didn't care to much. As the game felt seriously flawed compared to the original, whose perfect elegance outshines every sequel (including Pac-Man CE).

But does this make Super Pac-Man a bad game? Not by a long shot. This, compared to many other games on Tap, is actually very playable and fun, if not flawed as stated. I do indeed.

Gametap says this game is a 7.3, I agree, with a 7.
But, it is a delete.
30 of 987 done.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A return with Honor and Ninjistics!

So, here I am, nice weekend of relaxation at home. Decided to come home on a whim from college for no reason!

Brought my new lappy with Gametap on it sooo....


Ninja Commando
Neo Geo
SNK, 1992

Ok, new setup. Seems cumbersome giving all that info. We'll see if I keep it. But hey! There has never been a more totally radical name than Ninja Commando EVER in the world.
Good name.... good game?

Eh... not so much. What Ninja Commandos is is basically just a shmup (shump, whatever) on feet. You have complete control of your characters as they run up to the top of the screen, advancing the level. What is unique to this game above others I have played is this one has a sort of "speed combo." The faster you can press the fire button, the stronger the attack. It doesn't work to well on a laptop keyboard, let me tell you that. Now if I had my 360 controller or even the original arcade cabinet it might've worked well. But as it stands, it gets tiresome very fast.

Other than that, it's a competent shump-action hybrid, has its fun for a bit, but gets boring after a while.

Gametap says 5.6, I says 5.
Deleted. (Assassinated?)
29 out of 987 complete.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This is why I can't have nice things!

Or blogs....

Ok, this blog is not dead, I swear to you.

But really, I am total scatter brain. I find one thing to do, do it, drop it, find something else to do. I wish I could be more focused, it's something I have worked on for years.

But, suffice to say, I have BioShock now which is destroying all my time, as well as WoW and the Call of Duty 4 beta which I just got into.

Now, where does GameTap fit in to all of this, AND college? I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that I truly and honestly want to finish this project, as daunting as it seems to me even now.

That is my oath, to this blog, to me, and to any readers.