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5:56 PM on 12.13.2012

Back. Log.: Forward Progress

When we last left our hero, he had finished a couple of games from his backlog, let himself off the hook for fighting games, and put himself significantly on the hook for sports games.

It's been an interesting....shit, almost two months?....since my last post. I have manged to punch through some of the heavy hitters in my pile:

Call of Duty: MW3
Assassin's Creed

That brings my grand total of finished games to....6.


This is going to take longer than I thought.

Here are some quick thoughts on each of those games.


Very interesting dungeon crawler. Diablo never really appealed to me, but I must say I had a good time with Torchlight. In the interest of achieving the bare minimum to call a game finished, I only completed the main quest and a smattering of the side stuff. I think it's here that I developed my mantra for this quest: The credits rolled, dammit!


I enjoyed this so much that I did a little bit more than the bare minimum. I found myself completing side quests for the pure enjoyment of it. Enjoyment is something I should probably try to keep in mind more than I have been. If this thing turns into a chore than I am not going to get anywhere close to finishing my backlog.

I played Borderlands solo, mainly because no one I know would be currently playing it. I can't help but wonder if I missed out on anything by going it alone. I sure would have enjoyed having some help on that last boss. Fuck that thing.

I very much want to play Borderlands 2.

Call of Duty: MW3

I put this game on my Christmas list last year kind of mostly as filler. I didn't want it really bad, especially considering I have not played Modern Warfare 2, but I enjoyed the first one, and figured it would not be a bad game to get by any means.

So my Mom gave it to me for Christmas. And I didn't even take the shrink wrap off until April.

And didn't even put it in my PS3 until November.

But I'm glad I did. This game totally worked for me as a sit down, turn brain off, smoke some motherfuckers kind of experience.

I cheated a little bit here. I have this game on Steam. But I decided to play it on the Xbox 360. My brother-in-law owns the entire series on that platform, and I plan on playing all of them at some point, so I figured I might as well keep it consistently with one platform.

And maybe a small part of me wanted to do it on 360 to pad my gamer score. I am not immune to cheevos.

I fucking loved this game. Story-wise anyway. I can see why people complained about it, gameplay-wise. Shit is repetitive. It gets a little old after you've saved your billionth citizen and pickpocketed all the intel.

Still, jumping fools from behind is a little too satisfying.

Next time...

I expect the backlog will have grown a bit next time I write. Christmas is coming and I imagine I'll probably get a game or two. In fact, my backlog has already grown by one. I picked up The Walking Dead when it was half off on Steam recently. I've played the first two episodes and all I wanted to do afterwards was go hug my wife and cry a little bit. And I hear shit only gets more real as the game progresses.

I don't know if I am prepared for that.

6/168   read

9:28 AM on 10.16.2012

Back. Log.: Bayonetta, Soul Calibur, and sports games

I am officially on track. That's kind of a good feeling. A lot of times these self-motivational things that I do tend to die before they're even born. So this is whole positive progress thing is nice.

Being a substitute teacher, I sometimes have a little more free time than I would like, due to not working. Yesterday (and today, unfortunately) was one such day. If I haven't gotten a day of work by around 8:00 a.m., it probably isn't going to happen. So as soon as that deadline passed yesterday, I fired up my Xbox to dive into the last half of Bayonetta.

My main thoughts on that game? Goddammit, Japan.

Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoyed the game overall. If I wasn't on a quest to eliminate my backlog I might go back and start again on a higher difficulty. But that game is so Japanese. Almost to the point of parody -- but not quite. Let me see if I can sum it up in one, hideously long, sentence (From here on out, there be spoilers.):

A 500-year-old outcast witch who has been asleep (or dead?) for the last 400-and-some-odd years travels with a past version of herself while avoiding (and then befriending) a Mugg-- I mean, human who blames her for his father's death, kills a bunch of angels in the process of stopping an evil corporation from bringing about the apocalypse.

And then she kills a god with her hair.

OK so that was one hideously long and one relatively short sentence, but I felt that last point should stand out a little. She kills a god with her hair.

I was going to expand on my incredulity here, but I am just out of words. To sum up: Bayonetta is from Japan. It is a good game, but it is weird. But I liked it.

I also decided to dust off my Dreamcast last night, breaking it out for a little Soul Calibur action.

Fighting games represent a bit of a moral quandary in the context of my quest. It doesn't take much to technically finish most fighting games: Take 15 minutes to beat the arcade mode, credits roll, you're done. So that's exactly what I'm doing.

Look, I'm not what one would call "good" at fighting games. I like messing around with them, but I have pretty much zero interest in actually learning fighting systems, or how to block. Fuck blocking. So with fighting games, I am taking the easy road. As long as I see some credits roll, I am satisfied with my completion of that game. So last night I beat Soul Calibur on medium with Kilik.

This game holds up. I had all sorts of fun with this game at my cousin's house in 1999 when the Dreamcast was shiny, new, and full of potential, and I still enjoyed myself today. Kilik's pole is long and unstoppable and I was destroying fools with it as button-mashingly as I did 12 years ago. Read whatever innuendo you want into that.

Since I've let myself off the hook a little bit with fighting games, I must suffer for that elsewhere: I also have a trio of sports games for the Dreamcast.

NHL 2K, NBA 2K, and World Series Baseball 2K1. These games do not hold up as well as Soul Calibur. But as penance for my lackadaisical fighting game attitude, I will play one full season mode in every sports game in my backlog. This includes the above games, as well as FIFA 09 on the PSP and Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 on the DS. I reserve the right to occasionally simulate a game if I feel like it. Deal with it.

In playing NHL 2K last night, it quickly became apparent to me just how much hockey games have improved over the past 12 or 13 years. Using buttons to shoot? That's not a thing you should do anymore. It feels so much more natural to shoot with the right stick. But I guess the Dreamcast didn't have that option, so I'll have to make do. Also, it took me too damn long to figure out how to save my season. There is no autosave -- I have to do it manually. I figured this out the hard way after playing a game and then exiting the Season mode. I still haven't figured out what the body check button is either. Should probably find that one.

I'm enjoying myself so far. I always felt bad about my backlog (dumb, I know), but now I feel good about it. It's become less of an annoyance hanging over me, and more of a challenge to surmount. Here's hoping I can keep it up. I'm anticipating receiving a few games for Christmas so I want to finish as many as possible before then. I'm off to a good start.

2/167   read

4:09 PM on 10.12.2012

Back. Log.

I have a lot of games that I have never finished. I am going to finish them and write about it.

Deal with it.

Just like I have to deal with this cat on my lap as I'm writing.

Look at it! It doesn't care.

Just like I have come not to care for the amount of unfinished games I have. Here's the list:

Xbox 360
Enchanted Arms
Dungeon Siege III
You Don't Know Jack
L.A. Noire

Playstation 3
Dead Space
The Saboteur
Call of Duty: MW3
Retro City Rampage

Playstation 2
The Mark of Kri
Dance Dance Revolution Supernova

Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy II

Tekken 6
Half-Minute Hero
LEGO Batman
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters

Super Mario Galaxy
No More Heroes

Super Mario 3D Land
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition
Mutant Mudds

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Pokémon Black
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
Megaman X Command Mission
Super Monkey Ball 2
Super Smash Bros. Melee

Game Boy Advance
Golden Sun
Sword of Mana
Lunar Legend
Riviera: The Promised Land
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Warioland 4
Metroid Fusion
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Nintendo 64
Goldeneye 007
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

Game Boy
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX

The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Donkey Kong Jr.
Ice Climber
Balloon Fight
NES Open Tournament Golf
Wrecking Crew

Crazy Taxi
Soul Calibur
World Series Baseball 2K1

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic 3D Blast
Sonic Spinball
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
Alien Soldier
Gunstar Heroes
Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole
Light Crusader
Shining Force
Shining Force II
Shining in the Darkness
Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage 2
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
The Revenge of Shinobi

Alan Wake
Assassin's Creed
Atom Zombie Smasher
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Beyond Good & Evil
Bone: Out from Boneville
Bone: The Great Cow Race
Breath of Death VII
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
Cave Story+
Commander Keen Complete Pack
Crayon Physics Deluxe
Cthulhu Saves the World
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Dead Island
Doom II: Hell on Earth
Final Doom
Doom 3
Dungeon Defenders
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Fallout 2
Fallout Tactics
Far Cry
Far Cry 2
FTL: Faster Than Light
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto II
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Gratuitous Space Battles
Half-Life 2 (incluing Eps. 1 and 2)
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
HeXen: Beyond Heretic
HeXen II
IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946
Left 4 Dead 2
Lugaru HD
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Penumbra: Overture
Quake II
Quake III Arena
Rayman Origins
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Revenge of the Titans
Saints Row: The Third
Sam & Max Season 1
Sam & Max Season 2
Samorost 2
Sid Meier's Civilization III
Sid Meier's Civilization V
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Steel Storm: Burning Retribution
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People
Tales of Monkey Island
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures
Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny
World of Goo

God. Dammit.

167 games.

I am the worst.

How did this happen? I blame a combination of Steam sales, indie bundles, "collecting", and lack of self-control. It's gotten to the point where I feel bad buying new games because I have the image of this mountain of unfinished games perpetually in the back of my head.

So how do I tackle this? One at a time, my friends, one at a time. First up: Bayonetta on the Xbox 360. I am a little over one-quarter of the way through this right now, and I am actually enjoying it. It's Japanese as fuck. I'll probably write a more detailed post when I finish it.

Part of my motivation for actually tackling this (aside from the fact that I've been saying I would do it forever, as the stack just grew ever larger) is that I need to show myself that I can accomplish something. Following through on shit is not my strong point. It's a personal failing that I am sick of, and wish to improve upon. Sure, finishing a pile of games isn't exactly the noblest of endeavors, but I consider this to be a first step in a long process of self-improvement.

I welcome suggestions on where to go once I finish up Bayonetta. I have started a couple of other games, namely Borderlands and Torchlight, so I may head there afterwards, or perhaps I can be swayed by a particularly convincing argument for something else.

Let's see what happens.   read

4:37 PM on 07.05.2010

Alternate Reality: One Boy's Limit

“Hey...Dad?” I said timidly, approaching my father. He was sitting at the table, just like every morning, drinking his coffee and flipping through the Saturday morning newspaper. Somehow this didn't feel like a normal morning though. Not after what happened last night.

“Yes, son?” he replied, glancing at me from the corner of his eye, then returning to the paper in front of him. He was a man not easily distracted. Of course, the advantage to that was when you did get his attention, it was undivided.

“Something weird happened last night...while I was asleep.”

He still seemed uninterested. “Well, what happened?”

“Well...I was dreaming about something....and when I woke up...”

His air of nonchalance melted into one of genuine concern. He put down his paper, slowly removed his glasses and turned to face me. “Go ahead, son, you can tell me anything,” he said.

I took a deep breath. Was this something I should be telling my father? Was this something I should be telling anyone at all? A movie played out in my head – me telling Dad, him recoiling in horror, as if I were suddenly something less than human.... I snapped out of it before I let my mind wander too far. I had to tell him.

“....When I woke up....I was floating above my bed shooting meteors out of a sword.”

He looked oddly relieved. “Oh...” he started.

“I don't even own a sword!” I yelled, dumbfounded and maybe a little angry at his seemingly uncaring reaction.

Dad stood up from his chair, knelt down next to me, and whispered in a conspiratorial fashion, “Neither did I.”

“H-huh?” I stammered. “Y-you”

“Happens to all of us at some point,” he confided. “Different ways for different people, though. Your mother used to fly into blind rages when we were first dating, punching and kicking everything in sight. Your Uncle Roy used to dive bomb people with spears.” I stood there, mouth agape. “Seems like you're a chip off the ol' block!” he exclaimed, thumping me on the back proudly. “It'll take some time, but you'll be able to control it soon.”

Dad went back to his chair, picked up his coffee and paper, and went on like nothing had happened. Still processing the conversation, I turned to go back upstairs when I remembered something.


“Yes, son?”

“My room is kind of...a crater.”

“No biggie. We'll get you new things, patch up the holes. It'll be fine.”

“....I also think I killed the cat.”

“....Don't tell your sister.”   read

4:52 PM on 02.03.2010

A totally random evening

[i]Below you will find a partial transcript of an evening a couple of years ago where one of my brothers and I sat down to play a bunch of games. At the time we decided to liveblog our experience. The blog it used to be on is long since dead, so I figured I'd post it here for posterity's sake. There's really nothing remotely intelligent or terribly funny in here.

P represents me, A represents my brother, and H is our roommate who chimes in occasionally. We really intended to play through the entire collection of ROMs, but never did get through the A's.[/i]

Our story thus far…

Heroes A and P have embarked on an epic journey to play every ROM on a massive NES Dreamcast ROM disc. Starting at 9:30 pm on Friday Feb. 29th, 2008, it is currently 10:42 pm, and they have progressed to The Adventures of Lolo 2. Let’s look in…

P: Lolo has really fuckin’ big eyes. And he’s cross-eyed!

A: There’s probably something I’m not doing here…. That fuckin’ armadillo is gonna get free…Trapped! trapped motherfucker. Oh I can walk over the chest. Very good.

P: Some beer might have to be had.

A: WHAT?! WRAP IT UP? (of an unceremonious death). That’s what she said.

P: Alright moving on…(A takes over blog).

P: Alright, Adventures of Lolo 3. OH SHIT! There’s a world map. Where am I going, there’s a big motherfucking castle I can’t go into. It’s level 3, I can’t go in there. Oh shit there’s dudes in the windows.


P: Level 1. Oh yes (takes down level 1) Fucking slug monster. You can’t handle me (takes them out )

P: Oh shit. (dies) I jut got eaten by a fucking slug monster. (He continues to get the shaft from a porcupine shooting spikes)

A: Sooting, I laugh at my own typo.

P: It’s….y-yyou can’t avoid th fucking shit balls. (groan)

P: I can’t get that on down there…..

A: you can block that shit. (He continues to struggle on floor 5)

P: I’m an idiot, I’m a cunt bag. (A reasonable response to another death)

P: I still don’t understand why I’m Lala! Who am I saving?

A: Lolo?

P: No, he’s waiting outside.

(A roommate offers advice…..which leads to another death)

P: Oh, that’s pretty gay. I almost got smoked by an armadillo.

P: O hit I’m out of egg….gunk.

(We argue over how he could have gotten out of it…..he commits suicide)

(A long silence)

(A winner is him)

A: What the fuck is this?

P: Aright, level 1 of Adventures of Lolo 3 has been completed…CAn I switch to Lolo?

P: Fuck me (Yet another genius death, followed by another)

(and another)

P: Alright, I’m pretty stupid.

A: Come on now.

P: (death, followed by a deep breath and a quick soft reset)

Adventures of Lolo (list in alphabetical order)

H: The main character’s name in Lufia II will be Drugs.

A: Wrap it up

A: These are the exact same graphics.

P: June used to play this one all the time.

A: “Them ducks keeps gettin’ me”

P: That dragon looks really happy.

A: He’s probably on Meth. Oh shit me….oh wake up (to a sleeping enemy) SUicide! The Lufia II music is awesome. Adventures of Lolo is fuckin’ bomb dig. Lolo is drunk…

P: What would a blue puffball drink?

A: Mint Julip.

P: Mint Julip? Why?

A: Don’t you know anything about Physics? My theory is, Skinner likes dog food. Suicide time. Eat it. Oooh stairs.

P: Apparently “this is not the end of the battle” Game over.

Adventures of Rad Gravity


(Apparently there is planet Siberia that has teleproters that Rad Gravity needs to get to “continue his quest”)

P: Fuck I upped the frame rate.

P: That guy’s arm is swinging around AWFUL fast. Alright I cant hurt him, whatever.

P: The enemies are actually moving to the beat of the music, they are getting down. Rad Gravity is so rad that his punches split people into 4 parts.


P: Oh that is NOT RAD at all.

P: I can’t go down to the planet Effluvia.

A: How do you spell Effluvia?

P: Back to Siberia. Oh, this…this is epic.

P: Oh…OH!(Avoiding the barrage of twirling fists)

P: THAT GUY IS FLOATING! And I just fucked him up.

P: OH YEAH, I just killed the arm guy. The floating guy looks lik he is wearing a moo moo and has floating legs and his moo moo is levitating him.

P: Aww my score just sky rocketed for some reason/

P: Mu mu is m-u m-u.

A: Whatever.

P: Rad Gravity is too Rad for me.

Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

A: I’m whippin’ bombs

P: Boris looks like a pedophile.

A: Yeah I’d jump his bones.

P: Bullwinkle looks like he’s in blackface when he dies .

A: I wish Snidley fuckin’ Titlash would go away

P: It’s not Snidley Whiplash…that’s Dudley Dooright’s Archnemesis

Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Too epic for words.

A: We should make nachos soon.

P: You got fucked by a fatass.

P: I have a red hat an you have white hat. Oh fuck i got smoked by a barrel….ohhh…Im crying over my homework.

P: That fat ass jumps when you jump….and that’s game over.

A: I gotta piss.

Advanced Dungeons: Dragon Strike

P: Oh, we have a message on our Wii?

P: Do I want a gold silver or bronze dragon. What’s h for? Hard on? I’m gonna go with a gold dragon. Select difficulty….yeah, Hard.

P: How is this a dungeons and dragon’s game? Where are the dungeons?

A: How are you still surviving on hard?

P: I’m just fucking flying around. Alright….apparently dragon’s spring when they die.

A: Your keyboard sucks.

P: Your mom sucks.

P: Ok! I actually got one.

A: Why did you just become big?

P: Because I’m flying low and high…..and I died again. Alright this game is trash.

AD&D: Heroes of the Lance

P: Oh…there’s 4 AD&D games….and they’re all shit

A: Goldmoon? Sturm? Riverwind? Tanis? TASSLEHOFF?

P: Don’t Tassle the Hoff.

A: Flint, Caramon, Raistlin ….Oh shit…

P: You picked Raistland

H: This game is trash you’re gonna go nowhere fast.

A: Whatever that bitch’s name was, she’s dead. I think I’m FLint now…I just stabbed that person and they exploded…Look at this dance. (ducks and un-ducks repeatredly). Yang from FF4 is kicking my in the shins….(various invectives…..lots of swearing) Oh I got a guy. Yang is still here though.

P: When he gets hit it looks like he’s thrusting his pelvis …

A: I’m surrounded…Yangs are hard to kill

P: I think you’ve survived long in this game than anyone who’s played it…

A: I’m gonna axe this guy in the knees….. how am I still alive

P: You’re down to your last guy…

A: I”m pretty sure I’ve been going in circles….this is the worst game I’ve ever played…

P: This music is a hot jam though.

A: Oh I died.

AD&D: Hillsfar

A: Why would you ride a character?

P: Generate a character. Alright I’m going hafling. Female halfling. (I would like to point out at this time, that the plethora of classes in this game (for a female hafling) tops an insurmountable Fighter, Theif, and the all time favorite….the Fighter-Theif)

P: OH, alignment. Obviously Chaotic Evil.

A: Name her something stupid. (He proceeds to name her “Shitcock, the female halfling, chaotic evil, fighter-theif.)

P: Saving character….


P: Apparently I don’t know the controls.

A: That is one slow ass gravity horse.

P: No check it I’m in a gallop. (We laugh as he bails off his horse in a pit) (He arrives at the city of “Hillsfar”)

(There was nothing there)

P: Explore and exit before you are discovered. (He proceeds to enter and try to pick a locked door He failed as somehow none of the keys worked.) (He tries another door and reailizes he broke them all on the first chest)

P: Alright…we’re done.

AD&D Pool of Radience

A: Baba O’Reilly is the theme song. I will be a Female Elf Fight/Magic User/ Thief ….Chaotic Neutral

P: Strength 15…not bad

A: Name….Shitcock will fit….I’m gonna have to go with SHITCOCK…Nice grammar videogame…

P: Environ…go to Environ

A: Begin Adventure! A man approaches…I’m Rolf…

(The game is a 1st person RPG with shit-brown colouring)

A: I’m done.

After Burner

A: Helllllloooo

P: Yes! Top-down shmup!

A: No! 3D!

(Behind the back fighter jet game)

A: I’m crashed into…I’m gonna assume the Pacific

(With “Pacific” we reached 1337 words…we are leet.)

A: I’m getting a headache watching this.


P: This is going to be wicked. Ok, your general is a guy with an eyepatch by the looks of it….or a really poorly shaded face. What was that? The graphics are terrible. Apparently I can’t let these people down.

A: Holy Fuck. That shit’s intense

P: I’m shooting tumours. I died. LOOK YOU MISSED IT AGAIN! Wait for it, it looks like a lamb on top of a wolf, on top of a native…totem….. I think I’m killing my guys…yeah I am, and more tumours.

A: I can’t wait to see that llama shit. (he dies) WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

P: Where is my health? There it is….oh that’s pretty stupid.

P: HOT JAMS (bouncing in time with the monotonous tick tick tick of the gun shots)

P: LOW FUEL? Nobody told me I had to refuel.

P: Alright we’re done.

Air Fortress

P: YOu are approaching the first air fortress….alright that’s cool, can I play? Oh yes, bring it on assholes.

P: So I look like a gay spaceman uhhhh…riding a surfboard…in space. And I’m shooting spinning capitol Is.

P: Oh, I’m getting of my..surfboard. YOu are now entering the air fortress.

A: What the Christ?

A: Did you die?

P: Nope, I’m going further into the air fortress.

A: You have a jetpack?

P: Yeah.

A: You can kill those.

P: I guess so.

P: But killing the cylin…oh I can’t kill the cylinders….This is actually not terrible.

A: Kill that moth. ( he does so, and gets an “E” which I can only assume is Ecstacy, the drug)

P: I believe I have reached a dead end. Oh no, ok. Alrigh that’s mother brain apparently. (I laugh at the resemblence)

P: Alright I killed motherbrain. aaaand now I’m fighting the eye of Sauron.

P: And it doesn’t do anything Woah I killed it, everything’s dark and the music has changed, AND I GOT MY SURFBOARD BACK. FUCK!! (He is speeding through a tunnel)

P: I beat the first Air Fortress, yeah that was fucking wicked.

P: Awwww a windmill killed me.

A: ahahah

P: Ohhh….game over? Oh no Aright moving on. Ar Fortress is actually not terrible.

Alfred Chicken

A: I thought this was on the SNES

P: It was on everything

H: There’s a Super Mario World hack that uses these graphics

A: Oh come on I jumped and fluttered, what more do you want? I died at the first…let’s try this again. I got it now. Don’t worry, crisis averted.

P: It’s almost midnight and we’re not through the A’s…

A: Do you have to like power up your jumps or something? Come on Alfred Chicken ….You bastard get up on that cheese. The first level consists of a block of cheese you can’t jump over. What does that balloon do. That I would actually like to know. And that fucking mouse got me again.

So apparently this game is impossible….what did I just do? I can totally…I tried to dive peck him but it didn’t work.

(Kills first enemy with a dive peck)

50 points bitches! That balloon apparently does nothing. This game would be wicked if I could figure out how the jumping system worked.

Alien 3

P: That is one DRIPPING alien. So, b is jump and a is gun, that is highly unintuitive. Well, and Alien killed me. Nope ust knocked me down…….oh it knocked me down again.

P: It makes a “you’re dead noise” every time you get knocked down. You clearly have a life meter. That’s annoying. I only have 30 bullets left.

A: This looks like Contra

P: Ehhh, it’s kind of a free roaming contra.

P: I think I’ve hit a dead end. I have grenades (A sudden realisation)

P: …..and a flamethrower, and a gun, which is out of bullets, and a…shotgun I guess? And…grenades. Ummm, still at a dead end.

A: There you go climb up the ladder.

P: This is where I came from. UH! Ok, now we’re making some progress. (after a switch reveals a path)

P: If you hold jump, he keeps jumping.

P: Apparently I’ve rescued 2 p-…time up, you failed to rescue….well then, moving on.

Alien Syndrome

P: I got Process Cheese Product on my computer.

A: That you did.

A: Alien Syndrome...   read

2:50 PM on 11.02.2009

My Eurogamer post

So Eurogamer was this past weekend, and I had a fantastic time with the Dtoid UK folks. There's a recap of the shenanigans right here.

I also had a great time at the show. Here's what I played and what I thought about what I played.

Star Trek Online

Finding this was my first order of business. I've been excited about this game since it was announced. Judging by the short demo on display this weekend, I think my excitement is justified.

The demo started with a bit of space combat. You are a medium-sized Federation starship of an unknown class -- probably something new for the game -- and you must defeat two Klingon ships in orbit of a planet the Klingons are invading. The combat controls were basic but satisfying: there's a lock-on button, and there's a fire button. The spacebar fired all weapons at once, photon torpedoes and phasers, but I believe there was an option for firing them independently. You can also control the ship's speed using a sliding throttle at the bottom-left of the HUD. Overall the combat was simplistic but smooth. The lock-on button helped keep enemies on-screen and in view, so as not to lose them in the vast reaches of 3-D space. My hope is that the final game will include upgradeable ship weapons and the like, to flesh out the space bits a little.

An away team then beams down to the planet to deal with any Klingons on the surface. You control the ship's captain and the rest of the team is controlled by the AI. If there were any squad-control options present I didn't see them. This works well for me however, as I'm not a huge fan of micromanagement. I'd rather the AI handle most of the heavy lifting while I focus on my own character. After killing a bunch of Klingons and investigating the situation on the planet, I found my way to a giant portal claiming to be the master of time or some crap. Talking to the portal reset the demo. I don't know if it was just a device to end the demo or some part of the storyline. We'll have to wait and see.

Overall, STO was about what I expected. The basic mission structure seems to function well, and the combat is fun. The demo pretty much just piqued my interest. I can't wait to actually see how it functions online and how you work with and/or against other players.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Not much to say for this one. I played with three other players on the first two levels. It's typical Mario platforming only with four players. For me it was actually a little chaotic. When people spread out across the screen it zooms out, a la Super Smash Bros. and that kind of irks me. Makes it hard to see the action. That's just a minor complaint about an otherwise solid looking game though. Give me a Wii, three friends and few hours and I'm sure I'll fucking eat it up. Loves a bit of Mario, sure.

God of War III

This was one of the highlights of the show for me. I didn't get through the demo myself, but through waiting in line I did see all of it. If the entire game keeps up the demo's pace, you will be absolutely exhausted when you're done. It goes from one set piece into another quite seemlessly, and it's fun as shit. GoW is still the king of the Quick-Time Event. They're still fun to pull off in this game whereas they feel kind of tired elsewhere.

The combat seems to be generally the same: triangle is heavy attack and square is light attack, while circle grabs enemies. I think this falls under the category of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's still slick and satisfying to slice enemies into tiny bits.

The very end of the demo has Kratos sprouting wings, and you navigating him through a tough looking series of obstacles. This bit looked a little gimmicky to me, but I'll reserve judgement until I actually play it.

Dante's Inferno

Holy God of War rip off, Batman! EA's not even trying to hide it. Judging by the demo on display, this is the same damn game, only greyer, and the hero is nowhere near as badass. He does sport a fancy looking scythe as his main weapon, but using it felt a little sluggish compared to Kratos's chained blades. To be fair, the God of War folks have had four games to tweak their formula.

The demo had the player fight this giant....thing....and then mount it to climb a couple of pillars that crumbled as you climbed. At the top were some demon babies and another...thing. I think the best way to describe the demo is "competent." It's OK, but why do we need this game when we already have God of War?


This was another high point of Eurogamer for me. You play a woman with guns in her feet who wears suit made of her own hair, which also changes shape and disappears/reappears through use of different special moves. As if that weren't just the right kind of crazy, one of the demo levels had you fighting on a crumbling clock tower hurtling down the face of a cliff. I would play this one just for the sheer WTF factor, but I would stick around for the combat. It made me feel warm and happy, like everything was right with the world. I may have sprouted a semi.

My only complaint about Bayonetta was that sometimes it just got a bit too intense and I felt like I had lost control of what was going on. I was playing on Easy, so maybe it was just a product of the successful button mashing I was doing, but it was just a tad too chaotic sometimes.

Other stuff

I played some more stuff that I can't be bothered to write much about for one reason or another:

Fairytale Fights: Misleadingly graphic with shitty stick-based combat.
Borderlands: I don't do class-based shooters and this did nothing to change my mind.
Brutal Legend: Decent brawling, never did get to the RTS elements. I don't do RTS either.
Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: Played two minutes, saw that it was just like its predecessors, put it on my "To Buy" list. Fucking solid.
Dragon Age: Origins: Sat down, was confused as fuck, left.
PSP Go: *facepalm*

So those are my impressions from Eurogamer in a nutshell. A lot of cool stuff was on display and I had a great time wandering, and even just watching some things being played. I've been playing far too much World of Warcraft lately, and I think Eurogamer got me excited about non-MMO gaming again. This can only be a good thing.   read

11:48 AM on 09.15.2009

The Forgotten: Penguin Wars

I sucked at the tit of Game Boy as a child. My brother got the shiny new NES when he was 7 and I was about 4, and I got stuck playing as Luigi forever after.

(Sidebar: I have actually developed an affinity for Luigi, but that's for another post.)

Anyway, my time came a couple of years later when I got my Game Boy for Christmas. I lapped up Tetris, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2 and many more like a wino who's smashed his bottle on the sidewalk. But there's one game that I completely forgot about until this month's Monthly Musing topic came up: Penguin Wars.

This little beauty made my childhood a better place and a living hell at the same time. It's essentially Hot Potato, but with balls and animals instead of potatoes. Or heat. The object is, at the end of one minute, to have thrown more balls over to your opponent's side of the court than he has thrown to your side. Each player gets five balls. You can also win by getting all of your balls over to the other side. There was a minimal strategic element; you could charge your ball to unleash a shot capable of crippling your opponent for a short time, and as well there were sometimes obstacles in the middle of the court.

Simple by today's standards, but as a 6 or 7 year old, this was just the kind of fast-paced, button-mashing gameplay I was looking for. I didn't have to collect anything or manage hit points -- I just had to hit the buttons faster than the computer could.

And I got good at it. It took me a while, but I eventually beat all the game's challengers: the Rabbit, the Cow, the Rat, and the fucking Bat. I think my childhood temper can probably be blamed squarely on the shoulders of that Bat. Somehow my Game Boy was never harmed in the outrages that resulted. I was always the Penguin. Why wouldn't I pick him? His name's on the game for crying out loud, he must be the best one. I wonder if that bit of 6-year-old logic still applies today.

I literally spent hours pummelling the critters into submission. Landing a charge shot on the Bat was one of the great achievements of my childhood.

It was simple but it kept me out of my parents' hair for who knows how long. It's a shame this franchise seems to have disappeared. I'd buy some sort of XBLA or DS update in a heartbeat. It would have to be fleshed out a little, but that wouldn't be terribly difficult to do. It would be one example of the force-fed nostalgia that seems to be all the rage these days that I could get behind wholeheartedly.   read

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