Archive for June, 2006

5 Favorite Games Part 2.

This was meant to be weekly, and now it’s been on hiatus for too long a time. Resuming program.

1.) Crazy Taxi (Sega) – As my gaming tastes have evolved over the years, I still have an incredible soft spot for “twitch gaming”. In the days of epic games with side-quests, “sandbox” environments and multi-disc sagas, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a game that only takes a few minutes of your time, yet you can come back to it repeatedly. Crazy Taxi has a great “in your face” sense of humor, and it’s not the kind that a lot of marketing execs try to fabricate. It’s “cool” without people telling you why it is. There’s a lot of things that are gratifying about this game, mostly the sense of disregard the rules/do whatever it takes to reach your goal. And if you don’t, it’s nothing you can’t try to attempt during the next game. Between this and Dance Dance Revolution, this game perfectly recreates that addictive feeling that the classic arcade games of the ’80’s so masterfully created. It hooks you in like an oldie, but with a modern day look.

2.) Read the rest of this entry

Tetris DS.

I just cleared 200 lines in “Standard Mode”.

I am all that is man.

Portable Potency.

This week, I expressed my individuality by joining the crowd: I picked up a Nintendo DS Lite.

I held off from the first model simply because I didn’t like the bulky size and the lighting quality of the touch screen. It’s also becoming my opinion that “must have” games are no longer a constant for the launch of a new system. Xbox had Halo. Gamecube had Rogue Leader. Genesis had Altered Beast and so on. I waited on Playstation 2. And PSP. And now the DS.

But the wait’s been worth it.

First off, I will freely admit that I have become enamored by New Super Mario Bros. – Upon playing it, I felt a certain level of fondness in gaming that I haven’t felt in a long time. It feels right, and it plays like a dream. The game is essentially everything that Nintendo was so well loved for back in the days of the NES. While it is not a genre-defying game with insane system-pushing graphics and crazy options, it provides a beautifully well-crafted title that evokes fond memories of my favorite period of gaming. Nintendo still proves that no one could put a 2D platformer together like they can (Capcom, Konami Read the rest of this entry

Recent Gaming News.

Video Game Addicts Now Have a Detox Clinic – I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ve played games since the late ’70’s with Pong and the Atari 2600. I worked in the gaming industry for over 10 years. I have racked up a lot of video game playing time. And I still do, as time allows for it. My parents helped me cultivate outside interests, and some I maintained on my own, such as drawing, reading, or just going outside. Oh sure, I’d play Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star Online or Donkey Kong Country for hours on end. And while working in the game industry, I’d have periods of logging over 16 hours a day, usually 6 days a week. It was more than I wanted at times, but projects don’t complete themselves.

Do I consider myself an addict? No. No, I don’t.

I think this quote in the article that completely invalidates this story for me:

“Hyke van der Heijden, 28, a graduate of the Amsterdam program, started playing video games 20 years ago. By the time he was in college he was gaming about 14 hours a day and using drugs to play longer.

‘For me, one joint would never Read the rest of this entry

Time Away. Games To Play.

It’s been a busy few weeks for me, as I’ve been to Las Vegas, then had family visit from out of town, but I’ve also had some time to enjoy a few games. Notably, the re-release of Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix for the GameCube, and Jaws: Unleashed for the Playstation 2.

Mario’s romp in the DDR world was a pleasant surprise for me. While not as challenging as other entries in the series, and certainly not using all of the multiple ditties the series is known for, the game does an enjoyable job of implementing Mario game mechanics into DDR play. It includes everything from Goomba stomping, to jumping on the flagpoles at the end of the level, and it works well in combining the two genres. Some of the those moments actually reminded me of World Class Track Meet back in the old NES days (who didn’t pound the Power Pad with their hands in order to beat those harder runners?). I figure as new DDR games make their way to the Wii console, the Action Pad accessory will turn out to be useful for the future. All the same, Metroid DDR might Read the rest of this entry

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