Archive for September, 2008

5 Favorite Games Part 11.

I haven’t done one of these in ages. Not for lack of interest, or lack of games to cover, but it always comes down to writing my post about other subjects, and then… never doing one of these.

That said, I feel the need for a “theme”, and am going to cover educational games for “Back to School”. I played all of these titles on my Apple IIc, and most notably in class (outside of Kareteka), and each of these struck a resonant chord with me. Enjoy.

1.) Number Munchers (MECC) – Mobygames says this came out in 1990, and I say “foul” because that can’t be right. The majority of my post elementary school adventures had this title in the mix, and that was…. Well, never you mind. Ws it the exciting allure of math and numbers that drove me to complete this game? The need to refine my education? Not really. I honed math skills to go up in levels and see the various intermissions. Part game, part learning tool, it offered incentive for doing well to see those crazy disputes between the Munchers and the Troggles, and how those tales Read the rest of this entry

Gaming Unleashed.

For the better part of last week, I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The reviews for it have been average at best, but I’m having fun with it, largely for the graphics, good control, the great acting, and the storyline that puts the Prequel-era movies to shame. Sure, I’ve seen some graphic glitches, the character’s gotten stuck a few times, and the game actually crashed on me once, but is the game as a whole bad? No. Not at all. But it could have stood to use a little more “polish”. I’m sure announcing to lay the whole team off a few months before the game was complete is the result of some of these glitches, but what they accomplished was great overall. Lucasarts finally made a character not from the movies interesting (see “Rookie 1” from the Rebel Assault series).

The Wii version obviously lacks the graphical “wow” and alters the storyline (not to mention the characters move like mannequins in cutscenes, losing all their facial expression and subtle body movements that make them look more human), but the control is cool and responsive, and is actually quite fun to play. Read the rest of this entry

Further Thoughts On Casual Gaming.

I did a post on my thoughts a few months ago on what I thought about the whole concept of “casual” game, and how it represents a dumbing-down of the gamer mentality. As expected, I got a few messages that said I was “mean”. My thoughts haven’t changed since then, and Nintendo’s E3 showing did little to change my mind that the playing field has become unbalanced. I do think, however, that my last post was more thoughts off the top of my head, and perhaps not as concise as I wanted it to be.

The whole “casual” conversation is a pretty redundant topic now, and one that I don’t expect to revisit often. For starters, I don’t think it’s the gamers themselves. I never have, and there’s nothing wrong about welcoming new blood into what is a fun hobby. What I’ve had issue with is how developers/publishers treat this new and growing demographic, which is funny, because the demographic has always been there. It just never reached mainstream news. Anyone who’s ever read a few issues of Nintendo Power during the ’80’s and ’90’s knows that someone’s five year old was plowing through Super Read the rest of this entry

Super Mario Rescues The Princess.

From Family Guy creator, Seth McFarlane:

Finish Him?

One of the more amusing Mortal Kombat parodies I’ve seen of late.

A little off-color, but still fairly tame.

Heard of Owlboy?

After seeing pics of it, I want to know more. Check it out here.

Between this, Castle Crashers and Braid, I hope this means 2D is making a comeback. An article about “Games Aging Gracefully” makes some interesting points about which games hold up against the test of time.

There’s a certain beauty found in those old NES, SNES, and Genesis titles, the arcade games old the ’80’s and ’90’s, and even some of the old Atari games still retain that sense of visual charm. And no one can really dispute the beauty of a good Capcom or SNK fighter. Even today’s titles, such as Locoroco seem to get the visual aesthetic, and will probably last several generations without aging. Same reason people are getting so nutty over Mega Man 9.

But Owlboy looks like one of those classic Genesis games of old (with a hint of the visual style of those old Sierra games), where you can see the pixels, and frankly, I find the art more appealing and imaginative than a lot of the stuff that’s been released lately. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve nothing against 3D gaming, but I like the look of hand-drawn art.

I Read the rest of this entry

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