Check out Josh Hayes, a name Charlie uses for journalism on the internet so that he can say silly personal things without the fear of them being exposed openly. That and to hide from people he knew who he don't want to find him, not no way, not no how.
This month has been busy for me. My work has picked up a lot, I do night shift stock crew at a krogers, and this month starts the trend of nightmarish nights for the holidays. Plus, I've been writing a book you might have heard of, that takes time away from gaming.
But, given two nights off in a row the very last week of the month, I got into some weird stuff nobody else anywhere is playing. But here I am, talking about what I played.
Earthbound - Super Nintendo
My experiences with the mother series have been brief. I tried out my copy of Earthbound to see if it worked, several years ago. Then I got just a little deeper, where I in my most classic move on RPGs, saved at the first save point and quit.
I started over,as I only sort of recalled the beginning, and as many people know I was not positive about the game, the art style and humor put me off, and I wasn't enthusiastic about the battle system.
So how do I feel now?
I like it. if the spoiler tag worked, highlight over it to read my opinion!
I've played quite a bit of it, I'm in Fourside, which is the fourth city. The seeds of Poke'mon's cities and design and Paper Mario's humor, feel like they started with the mother stuff, very clearly. I don't love everything in Earthbound, but when the fucking Blues Brothers showed up, I got super excited to see where else the game could go.
I spent a lot of time leveling up, and Ness is now ten levels ahead of my other party members, they're closer to thirty, he's closer to forty five. I just figured out where to go next, a gold mine, and I'm exploring there, when I finally had to quit. It was late at night, the battles with their hypnotic colors actually hurt me to look at.
Dragon Quest 3- Super Nintendo
Hey hey! I thought I lost my save game, turns out, not true at all! As I find it, I'm level 10, with a B-team of characters joining my guy. If I remember correctly, the original mix of guys just wasn't cutting it, and it felt like I always use the same mix of all offense in games like this, so I made three new guys to level up with me. Instead of a fighter, mage, and warrior I had brought a thief, cleric, and "dealer." For some crazy reason, merchants are fan translated into dealers.
I don't know either, but this party ate dick, so I brought the fighter and Mage back, dropping the thief and cleric, in an effort to make more gold. That didn't work as well as I had hoped, when I found the dungeon I needed to be in, I just didn't have the juice to heal my guys properly. So I swapped the dealer for the cleric, leveled him up a bit, then swapped the Mage for the dealer, and used that party to make it through a dungeon and get the "magic" key.
Then I quit, wanting to play more, but you know, sleep. I found that watching a procedural show and playing, worked perfectly. I love just grinding levels and solving very basic mysteries at the same time, is that weird? I'm not rocking two tvs now, I use a laptop and Netflix for all my secondary tv watching.
7th Saga - Super Nintendo
Ugh, I wanted to play Earthbound again, but I found this turd instead and felt like trying it again. This game is dirty looking and with a strange way of telling its story. Somehow this game steps backwards from where RPGs should have been, where Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy are charming 8-bi games on the original Nintendo, 7th Saga is an ugly, poopie filtered game, that I've been attempting to play for ten years.
I spent several hours playing this stinker.
It has some interesting ideas, like letting you choose which one of its main characters to play as. Last time I put any tries in on this, I played as the demon, who looks like smithe for spiderman. This time I decided to play the robotic, who has a certain clockwork steam style to him. I say him, but I was unable to see a penis or vagina.
Anyway, I made it through two dungeons over to the second town. This meant fighting two bosses, both of which were jerks. My robot gained an electrical attack that seems to put a hurting on enemies, so I do that a lot and just buy lots of magic point refills. A couple level ups after that, I got one that hits multiple dudes, making my robot much more of a badass.
I'm unsure exactly how it works, but defending then attacking does more damage. Some guy in the first town cryptically said something about that. Also weird is that the second boss was a bounty hunter with a name, something like Percy. What kind of bounty hunter is called Percy!
In the next town, some of the other characters you could pick from showed up, the game implied of I got stronger I could bring the cooler dudes with me, like the demon or dwarf. I was powerful enough to bring along a cleric, who seemed sort of useless, so I didn't save and reset the game.
Two weeks later, I never touched the game again. Four weeks later, I looked at the box and considered it, but no. Will I play it again, ever?
- Fallout New Vegas - Xbox 360
My wife went away for the weekend, so I thought it would be nice to spend time with my parents. That they would like having me stay with them and bring my dumb dogs, but somehow I ended up playing a butt load of my old 360, the one that I left here for my nephews, and New Vegas was here. So I wandered about shooting things.
I decided to team up with the boomers, so I did all their stuff, for the third time. This was after I found a new place I hadn't been, a vault full of powder gangers.
Just as I quit, the lady from the brotherhood of steel, the one whose voice actress a Destructoid intern called worthless on twitter, that girl finally said lets go back to the brotherhood of steel. Which actually seemed like an interesting thing to do, that I haven't done here. I've killed them twice, but never teamed up with the brotherhood. I'm sort of interested to do that.
Sometime later this month, I was back over staying with them and found myself with a couple hours to do anything I wanted. I thought I'd take a moment to point out why when I reviewed New Vegas I gave it a low score, and why I'm still playing it and have any interest in it.
So why do I want to play this game?
More specifically two other words:
Beyond Thunderdome isn't in the same league as either of the other Mad Max flicks, but if I catch it on there are some choice scenes that are incredible to see. I love the idea of the Thunderdome, but nearly everything in Mad Max and Road Warrior are about the coolest things, I've ever seen.
Road Warrior is easily one of my favorite films, it is why I like movies, furthermore, it is why Fallout New Vegas holds any appeal to me.
A game where the shooting is piss poor, the slow motion effects lags the gameplay in awful spots, and overall most every thing you're asked to do is go somewhere, get something, then bring it back. The industry term for this is a fetch quest, and this game is absolutely nothing but fetch quests. The characters are one dimensional, save for the super mutant whose a little old lady, that's pretty different and interesting. Every time I think I find something interesting, I just find more fetch quests.
But, on a day when I have nothing else to do, other than work that I should be doing that I'm ducking into a video game to avoid, New Vegas can be fun. But the walking around, it is awful. Places are either too large or too narrow and confusingly lagged out, worse than Halo games, which I've found have some of the worst level design. Everything looks the same and plays the same, which for better or worse, is what this game is.
Fallout New Vega is also wildly glitchy, more so than a lot of other Bethesda games which are all broken, where I thought Fallout 3 was new and interesting, New Vegas feels like a mod or expansion tacked onto the same game. I feel bad for the guys who made it, these types of games take a lot of work to make, but I just can't ignore the fact that this is just another Fallout 3, but you know what? If they did another game just like this, I'd play it. Same engine, same tile set, I would play it. But I don't know if I would love it, Fallout 3 came out at just the right time for me and the fetch quest nature of it felt more structured that the all over the place quest design in new vegas.
Ok, so the brotherhood of steel stuff is all boring. I went through vault 34, which I thought was the powder gangers but it turned out to be underground and full of mutants, it was lots of running back and fourth with radiation frying my player character, all do I could open a dumb armory and find a weapon that shuts off power armor when I shoot it.
Problem is, I can't get anybody to let my character wear power armor, which is one of the cooler things from Fallout. The bunker that these guys are in for New Vegas had the look of the original Fallout down very well. It feels like I'm looking at a full featured 3D representation of those games at times, but things just ain't do pretty on the 360.
Next time I'm over here, I'll play more and try to find something interesting. It feels so much like Skyrim, in that to really enjoy this, I have to get creative myself. I don't want to do that for a video game, I want to play a game like this or Skyrim and power up until I save the world or damn it.
Also did some Fallout 3, finishing up Motheship Zeta, but having a problem where my character canít drop anything theyíre carrying. I wandered around to Megaton, where I just shot people. I donít know, these games are boring forever, then briefly very interesting. The problem is the size, the walking, the clunky interface, and the combat is a little loose - which is still made up for by the slow motion VATs bullshit, but it isnít made up enough for me to enjoy it like a full shooter.
Left 4 Dead 2 - Steam
Tubatic, Qalimari, and myself have tried to schedule a session to play this together forever, and weíve yet to actually do it. So I played by myself, with random people found on steam. We got slaughtered, and I quit. Iím not super fond of Valve stuff, but I do like monsters and co-op, so here I am playing this.
Team Fortress 2 - Steam
I never touched the actual versus stuff, but the Mann vs. Machine co-op stuff, I really like. Itís fun to play with people and try to come up with strategies, but unfortunately, I donít know anybody. Even my wife, whose super into Team Fortress, wonít play with me on the laptop and her on the PC. I still liked it, it was fun to play. I feel as though I accomplish nothing with it, no great narrative or immersive experience, but god dammit, it was fun to play. I love flamethrowers, theyíre bad ass. And coming up with different strategies to use against the computer was fun, my wife has tons of weapons unlocked, so Iím using her account and dusting robots with this flamethrower that does critical damage when it hits enemies from behind.
Anyone want to play this with me? Randombullseye@gmail.com Email me, weíll hook up and play sometime!
[size=40] Astro Story / Dungeon Story - iOS
Both of these have lite versions out, and I love just about everything kairosoft puts out. Simulation stuff has always appealed to me, but I was unsure if these were just building a place, like the hot springs game and the school game. Both play similarly, with enough differences beyond just sci fi and fantasy to make them interesting to play.
As you build up your cities, new people show up to move in. Then you equip those people to go explore and fight monsters. Astro story gives slightly more control over this, allowing you to position your team before battles, but over in fantasy there are more slots to equip items. Both give you no control directly over your dudes, nothing new for kairosoft. The racing game wouldn't let you drive your cars, nor would the soccer game have you control those players. It is a simulation game to the tee, where you watch your little people do things. If that appeals to you, these both are pretty cool games. I may or may not buy them, I'm busy and don't need them as distractions.
Batman Forever and other games - Super Nintendo
Sometimes, there are games that are bad. Then, there are games like Batman Forever, that have promise and actually look good, but then are just vomit to play. That describes Batman Forever, but it doesn't do justice to just how terrible this piece of ass that this game is.
I had more time later in the month, and played tons of awful games I have. Stuff I had no idea what it was, like Kendo Rage. It was not a fun game. Even Star Fox, which a couple months back I was positive about, now I hate it again. It issn ugly game with an unrelenting camera, that always finds just the wrong spot to focus in on.
A Super Nintendo game that isn't bad, Final Fantasy 6. I'm at a spot right before getting the airship in the world of ruin. I'm thinking I might restart, as a lot of the game I'm blanking on. It was so good, but so confused, I just can't recall what was what and where, and I also messed up and can't use the ninja anymore. I don't know if you guys know this about me, but I love ninjas, they're badass and not having him around, bothers me.
Also, Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, because fuck me. I didn't make it to the end of the second level, it was rough. As rough as I remember and just difficult as can be.
Mario All Stars got touched too, Mario 3 there is my jam. I blasted through with some warp whistles to world eight, getting myself dusted by the second battleship, no, it was the first. I did terrible, then my friend showed back up online. Awesome!
Borderlands - PC
It was an afternoon, I'd just spent hours with some RPGs, I felt like doing something more action. This is still here, and I still don't love it. Feels like a waste of time, uninteresting characters, a bland plot, and the art design doesn't work for me.
But Anthony Burch wrote the sequel, or parts of the sequel, and I'm really curious what his influence would be. And it comes out in the next two weeks, so yeah. I want to finish this, this week, which is the sat week of August. Wish me luck! I want to at least try to finish this thing, but it is slow and lonely going. I like blasting things and becoming more powerful, but I'm just not feeling this one.
My two hours in this game, I can never get back.
If anyone wants to play on steam, contact me somehow. It would make it more fun if I could talk to someone and have some backup when I'm swarmed by bad guys.
After a couple days, I know why I don't like this game! I figured it out. It is, an MMO style game, without the massive online stuff. The quests feel as poorly written and lame as MMO games. Iím really down on Borderlands, but I have a sub machine gun that shoots fire bullets, and the vehicle I got that is difficult to drive, has a rocket launcher that I never want to go to any mission without now. Iím going to finish this thing, but Iím just not feeling up about it, especially without co-op partners. If you read all these things, I always say I never have co-op partners. A guy I work with has talked about Borderlands 2 being something he really wants, so Iíve set up a play date to get the game and us together, so that we can just take a day and play the entire game begging to end. Iím just not sure if I can buy it, or if it would be better to just rent it. I should send a twitter message to Anthony and ask if he gets any royalties if I just rent it from like a redbox or gamefly. The way game companies pay there people is so dumb, and just like games journalism, everyone wants to be super cryptic about it and not tell anybody anything. Iím always frustrated by non answers. Type type type type, words words worsd, screw flanders.
Tony Hawk HD - XBLA Demo
Awful. It looks ok, but it doesnít feel like the Tony Hawk games as I knew them. I would buy it at a discount price, especially if Spider-Man is in there, but it just isnít something Iím actively looking for or excited to try out. Iíve played more than enough Tony Hawk, give me that new X-Com strategy game and Dishonored already, I want to try new stuff that builds on old ideas, not new stuff that is just built on top of old stuff.
The level in the demo was one of the crappier ones from the first Tony Hawk, which I wasnít a fan of, I got on board for the second and third games, but part four and beyond past me by as one and done rentals, and even then, Iím unsure if I played all of them. If I could play as KISS and Wolverine and Darth Maul, then Iím in, but just playing as skateboarders is boring to me. BORING! I want to skateboard as Mike Tyson, up a building, then punch a dinosaur, jump onto the side skirt of a helicopter, then climb into it and use a machine gun to blast aliens. Video games are never as fun as I want them to be, which is a shame.
What games did I buy this month?
I had the idea to write down what I bought, in a month when I didn't buy, anything. Here I am, not knowing if I bought anything. I'm an addict, a horrible dirty addict.
I have a months worth of podcasts to post, all about retro games with me, Bianca, and Tony talking about video games. Good stuff!