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Everyone stop what you're doing and go throw money at this. The Addams Family pinball table is not only based on my favorite fictional family that I have a real soft spot for, it is also hands down one of the best pinball games ever made.
I never really get up on the soapbox for Kickstarters or crowd funded drives. Even for projects I personally enjoy like Star Citizen, I feel uncomfortable telling other people to put up money for a product that isn't even out. So you know that if I make an except to my wholly unofficial rule, it must be real important right?
The Adams Family pinball table simply MUST be backed on Pinball Arcade. No questions asked. It's like a moral imperative, I feel like humanity as a collective would be worse off if we didn't make this thing happen.
Pinball is a weird thing. I never really stop and think about myself as “pinball guy” but every now and then, I'll come across a story about pinball and surprise myself by recognizing every game in the article. We'll stumble across a Star Wars table at a restaurant, and I'll have to bore whoever I'm with by playing a few games before we leave. My deflector shields can't repel nostalgia of that magnitude.
We talk about the death of arcades, and we moan and we mourn like we know we should, but always with the unspoken understanding that it doesn't really matter anymore. The days of the arcade providing a richer more resplendent audio/visual experience are long dead. Fighting game fans (myself included) often yearn for the olden days of elbow to elbow competition in front of a half-broken cabinet, but we can always go online and play a tournament standard version of the game with people around the world on our own arcade authentic fightsticks (hopefully without chewing gum stuck to the buttons and initials craved into the plexi with a knife). The only thing we lost were big gimmicky set-pieces like Afterburner's full motion cockpit, or the neon splendor of a top of the line DDR cage (which you can now recreate in your living room, or ignore complete with Dance Central providing a better dance experience than DDR ever did).
Gimmicky set-pieces, and pinball that is.
Pinball isn't gimmicky. It was never left behind technologically by home-versions of the same hardware. It was just collateral damage to uncaring market forces. An entire genre of super interesting games, of mechanical triumphs, left homeless because arcades couldn't figure out a way to keep themselves relevant after the 32-bit era.
There is going to be a day, and it may be soon, that pinball will effectively cease to exist. As sales dwindle and former market leaders and innovators go on to use their talents on slot machines and grubby casino fare, we could very well be looking at a future that simply won't produce any new pinball games. And as the rubber deteriorates, springs weaken, and shitty kids tilt cabinets too hard, the games that are out there will slowly but surely fall into disrepair and never be properly fixed, cast aside as obsolete money pits.
I know there will always be a niche market for pinball. A die-hard hobbyist clique like the weirdos who go to California Extreme, but it's not the same.
I think it is a good thing that developers like Farsight Studios are doing what they can to preserve the genre. And I don't think you can properly do that task justice without preserving the very best the game had to offer – namely, Addams Family pinball.
On another note, I wrote a blog for this month's bloggers wanted topic! It's about my favorite games, pistol whipping, and making poor life choices. I'm pretty proud of this one and would appreciate it if you'd give it a read!
A - Steam Greenlight might be going the way of the dodo. I have mixed feeling about this, while Greenlight wasn't a perfect system by a long shot, it seems better than just throwing the gates open and letting cell phone-teir shovelware bury the marketplace. Hopefully Valve's new systems keep things in check.
A - I think it's cool that Smash has somehow managed to be both a silly party game and a competitive environment. Personally, I've always played the game in a VERY unserious way, but I get that people are into it on a deeper level, and that's fine.
I finally finished Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and I have to say, it was quite the fun, little adventure: definitely has to be one of my top favorite videogames for making me wanting to read all those words willingly! Speaking of words, I had plans to write about how much I enjoy the game (as a blog), but I'm having difficulty in doing because, as much as I love the game, the ending is a jarring twist: while it does explain everything that's been going on, even providing explanations for a ton of plot holes and questions I had on my mind (but not all), it's such a weird revelation that I can't help but feel iffy about. On one hand, I love it, but on the other, a part of me wishes that they didn't go down that route: I can't really get into it because it would involve major spoilers, so hopefully you'll play it and make an opinion for yourself. Which you should: I love the interactions between these characters, and even after 30 hours of playtime, I still wanted to stay on the adventure! The gorgeous (albeit disappointingly yet understandably compressed) animated cutscenes and orchestrated version of both series' soundtrack, coupled with some good voice acting, really shows they pumped a lot into production!
In other gaming-related things, I've been playing the Super Smash Brothers for 3DS demo for quite a while, as I managed to snag a Club Nintendo Platinum code from a friendly fellow a few days back, and if this small taste has me playing the same 2-minute matches with the same five characters over and over again for hours on end, then I certainly can't wait to see what the full game will drag out of me! I cannot tell you how cool it is to have a portable Smash: I have an original 3DS model, so it fits nicely within my pockets, and having the demo on in Sleep Mode allows me to whip it out and play a quick match at almost any given time is a blessing; it's certainly much more addictive to me than most mobile games (I'm still a fan of Deemo myself)! However, embarassingly enough, I play my matches like an actor that you'd see in those sitcoms, so I guess I'm not helping the gamer stereotype: it doesn't help that I have on videogame-related clothes like a Halo hoodie and a Super Mario shirt with sprites of characters from the original NES game!
Speaking of characters, as a lurker on the Gamefaqs forums, I can tell you that people are none too happy with the roster: recently, it was hinted that the Ice Climbers have been axed because while the characters could be played on the Wii U version, since they are unable to be run on the 3DS version, and Sakurai stated that both version's roster has to be the same, they have been cut altogether. As someone who loves the energetic eskimos, I'm sad to hear of this: not only were they unique in the sense that they were two characters fighting as a pair, but they were from an old NES game, and as someone fond of the nostalgia they bring, it hurts me to see them gone. Yeah, Ice Climbers was a boring game, and I do mean seriously dull, but that's what made their appearance in Melee so cool: someone took a representative from a bad game and made them into a fun character to play as; if only Sakurai could do the same regarding Urban Champion, even if it's just a stage. Plus, I can't help but imagine the Ice Climbers as an brother-sister incest couple because they look like twins, and that is my number one favorite fetish!
Still, we got some other retro representatives like Little Mac from Punch-Out, complete with his pink hoodie, but I'm also disappointed that other characters will not be returning (again, no spoilers). I plan to make a list about my favorite Smash characters once the newest addition comes out and I had a chance to take them all for a ride, and I thought, if you haven't already (because I'm sure you guys had already done so but whatever), I invite you to share your list with others! If not, then how about making another list of your favorite items, stages, Pokemons, and Assist Trophies? Come on, you guys, get into the Smash hype: they come only once in a generation, and since the 3DS and Wii U are in their early years, we might not get another one any time soon!
A - Barry Kelly tells us about how a great game like Valkyria Chronicles gets the shaft from many people because of variables like bad timing on their release date, coupled with being overshadowed with more well-known games, in addition to the game journalists simply not covering it. Hop on in and have a look at his reasoning and see if you agree, and check out the game if you haven't already!
A - straight0red recently received Destiny, and when prompted to create his character, he chose to make his avatar a female, and proceeds to tell us why he likes to do so. One of the reasons involves liking the idea of being someone you're not in the virtual space, and I'm sure a good chunk of us can certainly understand that... though I could swear I saw this as a premise of a gender-bending hentai manga once.
A - rowdy rhod finds it odd that while it's okay to show a little T&A in our games, that it's seemingly less acceptable for the topic of actual sex to come up, and even when they do, few games are able to portray in a believable, totally not shoehorned way. Furthermore, he asks the most-asked question of why are people so quick to banish sex in games, but are perfectly okay with slashing people's heads off... my guess is that these people want us to become bloodthristy so we would want to either join the military, or give the police the job of taking us down; it's a conspiracy, I tell you!
E - pk fire is so excited for the latest Smash that he creates a hub to get fellow Dtoiders together for a rousing tournament at launch! While rules are subject to change, it's a double-elimination, best two-out-of-three 3 lives stock match with no items, presumably played on Omega stages. Want to see if you're the best of our community? Let him know you want in!
? - Reinhold Hoffmann salutes the people keeping out site clean by chronicling just one of the many battles between the almighty Mods against the horde of spambots looking to disrupt our peaceful way of life. While we browse this site and comment, just remember the unsung heroes who fight everyday to stop the spambots from ruining this community!
Last week, I talked about a video game streaming channel that I really enjoyed, called Previously Recorded. After watching Jack stream some Risk of Rain and gush about it, I got the urge to start playing the game again myself. So that's basically what I've been doing all week!
I'm attempting to get 100% game completion, and I'm almost there! I've gotten all of the in-game achievements, and found all the items. I've also found all but the last artifact, so getting that last artifact is my current goal. However, 100% completion also means collecting all the Monster Logs for the rest of the bosses. I only need four more, but they're a huge pain to farm. Not sure if I'll ever find 'em all, but if the Monster Log is the only thing I don't complete, then that's no big deal.
Finding the artifacts has been a lot of fun though. I think they're a new addition to the game since the last time I played, because I don't remember seeing them before. Each artifact changes something about the gameplay if activated. For example, the one artifact that I always have enabled now is the Artifact of Glass, which grants you a whopping attack power bonus of 500%, but leaves you with only 10% of your health. I can't play without this artifact anymore, because even the weakest enemies seem to take way too many bullets to kill under normal circumstances. So now I can't take them down much faster, but I also have to be aware that some enemies can kill me in a single hit.
To get the final artifact, I have to beat the game with every other artifact enabled. It's pretty insane, and changes the way you play the game in some major ways. With all artifacts enabled, only one type of enemy will appear during each stage, but they'll always be elite level versions of those enemies. Also, there are no longer item chests, drones or shrines scattered across the levels. Instead, you can only find items by killing enemies, BUT you get to choose which item you receive!
This game also has some pretty terrific fan art!
It really puts your knowledge of the game to the test. You'll need to remember what each item does just by recognizing their icons, in order to make the best of your item drops, as there aren't any item descriptions until you choose one. You'll also want to memorize enemy behaviors, so you can use the terrain to your advantage, depending on which enemy you get. It's usually a lot of hanging on ropes while the teleporter timer runs down, but there are still enemies that can attack you while you're hanging (especially since they're elite enemies, a lot of elite mobs come packed with homing missiles!).
I haven't even managed to get to the Temple Ruins yet on an all-artifact run, but it's still a lot of fun. I've been alternating between the Engineer and Acrid, since they're my favorite characters, and they both have some useful tactics for taking out enemies while staying far away. I'm still trying to figure out which items will be the most useful to choose from, though. I usually go with my old favorites (crowbars, goat hooves, teddy bears, syringes, guardian hearts). Maybe I need to change up my item strategy, though, because it doesn't seem to be working.
The one thing I don't like about all-artifact runs, though, is that because only one type of enemy appears per level, you pretty much never get to fight bosses. It just feels weird not having to fight a boss at the end of each level. Although I did have one level where only Scavengers spawned... I tried to farm them for a Monster Log, but that ended pretty quickly!
Anyway, Risk of Rain is a fantastic game. I'd highly recommend it to fans of roguelikes if you haven't tried it yet!
* - ShadeOfLight has been staying in the US for awhile now, and takes some time to share some of his thoughts and experiences with American food and some of the things he misses about Dutch food. It's not about video games, but still a fun read!
C - AvtrSpirit provides a summary of what to expect from Dragon Age: Inquisition, based on the last two games. However, I was a little too distracted by the mass repetition of the games' names to really focus on what the article was saying. Not to mention DA:I looks a lot like DA:1, so I kept getting it mixed up with DA:O. Some colon consistency would be nice, too!
No fails today! Huzzah!
There were Shadeisms here about my experiments with American food. It's a blog now. Yes, I cheat; deal with it.
Other than that, what is there to talk about? Well, Smash Bros. obviously! Only two weeks left to go until it finally comes out and I can get my grubby little hands on all of my new and old favorites. It's gonna be a good time, count on it!
In the mean time, I've..."acquired" the 3DS Soundtrack, and there's some great stuff on here. But don't take my word for it, we've got blogs today that show exactly how excited we should all be for Smash and its music!
* - Resident music expert Oscarno weighs in on his favorite tracks from the Smash Bros. OST. It's so great you guys.
* - I can't emphasize enough how awesome Reinhold Hoffman's art project is. It's amazing to see so many artists come together to tackle basically all of Zelda ever.
A - Don't dismiss this blog for its title, because there's actually some thoughtful discussion on Destiny going on here.
A - XCKingBrent writes a retrospective of the Sonic franchise. From good to shit to "Why they hell aren't they making more games like Sonic Colors?!"
E - Script is excited about Smash Bros. Are you excited? Cuz I'm excited! Come share your Friend Code and then go back to practice in the demo!
F - Xbox FNF + You're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no.
R - Lexington reviews Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. A great sequel with great music, what more could you want?!
T - SpaghettiOReilly has more than one favorite game. Considering that one of them is Symphony of the Night, it's easy to see why.
L - Brittany writes a beautiful blog on her life with Link and his adventures.
C - Estaban wants to try something new for a Borderlands review. I'd say just go for it and see if it works, but alright.
L - OpiumHerz blows all of the industry's conspiracies wide open. I'm particularly concerned about Andy Dixon's dick.
May you always find water and shade
Pretty light day for caps. Which is ok because Smash fever is in full swing 'round here.
You see, as a rich, snobby platinum Club Nintendo member, I was afforded the Smash 3DS demo last week. I've played it enough to earn 6.7k coins when the average payout from a fight is around 34 coins. I've played all five characters so much that I've gotten a handle of them inside and out. Well, except maybe Mega Man but the guy is an enigma that deserves further study.
Some people are ready to call Mega Man low tier. Others believe we need a true master to unlock the secrets of the blue bomber. Me personally, I just want to play with the full roster. Wario looks good, Jigglypuff needs exploration, Little Mac hits like a truck, nobody's giving Charizard or Greninja time, Robin looks like cool contender from Fire Emblem, and Toon Link has always had a unique edge and if Link is good now, what of Toon Link? Plus, I want to see how much they nerfed Metaknight while Fox and Falco seem fine in versus matches I've found. Marth seems a little iffy though but you can always play Duck Hunt, right?
My friends are already organizing a multiplayer party at the mall a week after launch. That also gives us time to explore the custom move set options. They look rad as hell. I'm really pumped to get the full version, not to mention it comes out the day before a date with my girlfriend so I can bring her the physical copy I reserved while I'd already downloaded the digital game off the eShop. It's hard to believe there's still a whole game to play when I've played the demo to death. Sure hope I can bring all these damn coins along to the full release. 6.5k will probably get me a lot of trophies.
Um, besides that, I can't really give anymore Striderisms. Besides this part where I say SoCal has been undergoing a brutal heat wave. Triple digits buddy, I mean how does Arizona do this everyday? And I work outdoors in this heat a lot. At Disney, we have a heat index that formally goes from 1 to 3 and Tuesday it went to extreme. Yes, it broke heat index 3 parameters and they called it heat index extreme. At that point, Disney stops caring about the show, about making employees keep up a charade of being perfect and polite hosts, and lets us slouch and chug water in a attempt to stave off the onset of heat stroke. It's been so, I did not get a wink of sleep last night. I literally worked 3 to 11pm yesterday, did some late night browsing, got in bed, didn't sleep, then got up to shower and brush my teeth to leave the house at 11am for a 12:30pm shift and here I am now after dinner, another shower, and recapping. 24 hours with no proper sleep in between. Just straight up awake and suffer oppressive heat for ingrate tourists. I downed two different Monster to stay conscious: Monster Cuba-Lima (Monster Lime flavored) and Java Monster. My mind was awake but my heart was replaced by a bomb and Keeanu Reeves had to keep it going above 50 MPH or else the bomb would explode.
I know kung fu or whatever.
So short of the long is: peace out. I need sleep.
You know how I'm obsessed with MechWarrior Online and complain about it all the time? How I'm constantly disappointed by the bugs, developer lies/misinformation, the money gouging F2P schemes, and blatant pay-2-win cash grabs?
Well I've got some great news! The same developers are making a NEW GAME! It's an epic space-sim where player's immerse themselves into the universe, run the economy, and create the storylines/drama that makes things interesting. It's called Star Cit- er, TRANSVERSE!
Act now and pledge to the self-regulated crowd funding drive! Look at how happy all the MWO founders are with their purchases!
Honestly, it just left me speechless. I'm not the kind of person who likes to join internet hate brigades, or overly snark at developers, but the utter shamelessness involved here just floored me. MWO has been out for almost 3 years and has STILL failed to deliver even a fraction of the promised features and goals set out when they were looking for crowd funding dollars. Work on the game has stagnated, with new maps, game modes, bug fixes and the like seemingly put on the back burner indefinitely while the art team pumped out more $30+ hero mechs (with increasingly P2W set-ups) out to wrangle cash out of naive old men who grew up with these robots. PGI's top leadership has alternated between being passive-aggressive to outright insulting and hostile to the game's fans and funders for the last 3 years, and now they come hat in hand looking for money for a NEW IP to do the same thing to? At least we know where all the money made off the freshly released clan mechs packs has gone this past year.
It only gets worse when you look closer. At a funding target of just 500k, “stretch goals” for the game seem to be nothing more than basic features you'd expect. Hit a million for SPACE FLIGHT. Two million for the thrilling addition of adding GUNS ON THE SHIP. I mean, what are you expected to do if they don't reach those goals? Will the game just be about taxing the space ships around on a runway? Looking at them in a hanger? It's like the know that stretch goals are a thing that motivates fans, but were too chicken to commit to anything that would take extra work and just made the stretch goals the basic game systems.
- Little on the nose don't ya think?
Transverse immediately drew hostile attention not just from jaded MechWarriors such as myself, but from fans of Star Citizen who perused the near identical pledge pages of the two sites, and the disturbingly similar spacecraft designs, and quickly labeled Transverse a thinly disguised clone. It's hard to disagree with them looking at some of the evidence. It certainly seems in line with PGI's modus operandi of playing “follow the leader” and trying to bolt classic or popular franchises to an already established business model (MWO is basically a poorly rigged World of Tanks with robots for all intents and purposes).
Despite protests that Transverse aspires to be something more than a Star Citizen also-ran, there was a time early in the concept/development phase where they were closely considering the use of the Wing Commander license – Chris Roberts old and beloved series that Star Citizen draws much of its fan appeal from. EA still has the rights to WC, and offered the license to PGI. I can only assume that it either cost too much for PGI, or they thought it would draw too much fire.
In any case, they had a very public and very embarrassing PR disaster. PGI started an official Reddit channel that was instantly flooded with mockery and cat calling. Heavy duty moderation came down, deleting threads almost as fast as they were up and then eventually limited content creation to PGI moderators. All of this of course is completely against Reddit TOS, and the mods themselves were unilaterally banned off of Reddit, leaving the Transverse channel a ghost town.
Several days into the pledge drive and the game seems to have stalled out at a paltry $8,000. Nobody seems to be willing to trust PGI with their money anymore, or maybe they just don't see a reason to invest in Transverse when Star Citizen is offering so much more.
Schadenfreude is really unbecoming, but sometimes hard to resist. What a weird story.
* - On the list of way's to ruin a video game, poorly concieved gimmick controls have to be at the very top. Reminds me of having to suffer through Silent Hills: Shattered Memories terrible action scenes on the Wii to enjoy the rest of that game's trippy goodness.
A - Fenriff isn't saying anything we haven't heard about Destiny already, but when you lay it all out like that you really have to wonder what Bungie was going for. It's like they set out to make three different games, and failed to make any of them worthwhile.
A - Rioux61 is going to be cutting out the game purchasing for the forseeable future, and I for one think it's a great idea. Not only does it sound like he's going through some personal stuff at the moment, but I think it's becoming more and more apparent that waiting on games is a great idea in general. Let the suckers pay full price to deal with bugs and incomplete features, swoop in months later on a Steam Sale or PS Network/Games for Gold freebie and enjoy a smoother experience for less cash.
A - This blog could have used an edit pass. All the same, I don't even get the whole “it's gone too far on both sides” refrain. I see death threats and rape fantasies coming out of one part of the internet, and people responding with shocked embarrassment that makes them feel like maybe they should distance themselves from “gamer culture” if this is what it wants to be about on the other “side”. There is clearly a bad guy here, and it's probably the people frothing over EVIL FEMINISTS and doxing people, not a handful of games writers making less than 18 grand a year to put up with all this.
A - You know things are getting strange when conservatives are jumping to the games industries defense. Remember when these were the people that wanted to ban games in lieu of gun control? Top shelf irony abounds.
C - Kind of a flavorless Let's Play with some spammy links. I'd really appreciate a small blog post or some community interaction so I didn't feel like this was just a straight up dump and pump for views.