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Yet Another Rant About Puzzles (and Strong Bad)

As an interactive Homestar Runner cartoon, I can't really fault the latest episode, Baddest of the Bands. I've long been a fan of the webtoon and it's clear that it was crafted lovingly by those who are fans of it, too. As an adventure game...

 
 
 

Mirror's Edge - Demo Impressions

I'm not sure how long this demo has been available, but I've only just got to it. I've been interested in what Mirror's Edge is trying to do from the beginning, but I was worried that Dice were trying to wrap a game around a concept rather ...

 
 
 

When Do You Reload Your Game?

At first I felt disappointed that Dead Space opts to use a save point system. It's something I'd always thought of as a holdover from older consoles, turned into a cheap mechanic designed to artificially increase either the length or diffic...

 
 
 

Dead Space: Plenty Scary Enough For Me

Money's a little tight this month, so deciding upon a game to buy was particularly agonising. A lack of PS3 meant that at least I was saved a decision as to whether to wait for Little Big Planet but that still left Fable II and Fallout 3. T...

 
 
 

Professor Layton and my Curious Impressions

Professor Layton and the Curious Village for Nintendo DS plays a dangerous game. I've finally got my hands on an imported copy (I believe it actually gets released in the UK very soon) and on the face of it, it appears to commit all sorts o...

 
 
 

The Fear! The FEAR!: Errors.

The other week my PC blue-screened. Admittedly I was running the latest in high-tech gaming - you guessed it - Monkey Island 2 in ScummVM. The good news is that I think I can guess the cause and I could prevent it from happening again. W...

 
 
 

Megaman 9: I'm Not the Gamer I Used to Be

I can safely say that Megaman 9 brings the appropriate feelings of nostalgia for me. Being a big fan of Megaman 2 when I was young means that there's an excellent feeling of familiarity to the proceedings but hearing people talk about the...

 
 
 

Quest for an MMO

This week I have been bored, bored, bored. Sins of a Solar Empire is everything I hoped it would be but it's such a big decision to decide to start such a long game where the rewards come thin and slow (rather than thick and fast) that I of...

 
 
 

Chippin' it up, Megaman-Style

I couldn't resist posting this. I've been tinkering with a program called FamiTracker, which you can use to make NES style chiptune music. I figure it as a way to get back to musical basics - I've written music for years and years but for a...

 
 
 

Sins of a Solar Empire - My New Toy

After I finished the single player mode of CoD4, I wanted something different. Don't get me wrong, it was thoroughly enjoyable and I'm still enjoying regular multiplayer sessions with friends but I just wanted to go in a completely differen...

 
 
 

The Joys of Multiplayer, Rediscovered.

'It'll never work,' I thought. After all, I haven't even been enjoying multiplayer games for a while and trying to play these big Call of Duty 4 team games with three players, 1 vs 2 didn't seem to me like the best way of hooking me back in...

 
 
 

The Great Random Battle Expt: CoD4 ?!?

I'm a fool. A fool, thinking that I'd be able to do it. I'm one of those older gamers now, with jobs and obligations friends and even an occasional social life. The type that complains that they don't have time to play a big long forty hour...

 
 
 

The Great Random Battle Expt.: Day 2

Okay. I made a bit of a goof. I much prefer using ZSNES to Snes9X because it seems to run the games smoother, especially the music which I can never get working quite right in Snes9X. But I was using the latter for FF6 because it's easier...

 
 
 

The Great Random Battle Expt.: Day 1

If you don't know what this is about, have a look at my previous blog, here. So this is how serious I am. I heard that the PS1 version of FF6 we have in the house has loading time issues which would likely cause unnecessary levels of frust...

 
 
 

The Great Random Battle Experiment

One thing that surprised me about the Feel The Hatred: Random Battles monthly musing I did was how much agreement there was with my point of view. In the past, I've had conversations about this with gamers vigourously trying to defend Rando...

 
 
 

Game Music I Grew Up With - The NES Years

My music tastes weren't exactly conventional for someone growing up in the 80s and 90s. I used to bring Beatles records to the school disco so that the DJ would put it on and annoy everyone else in the room. "Don't you like anything moder...

 
 
 

'You're Playing It Wrong!'

I'm always immediately suspicious when a game developer feels the need to tell me how to enjoy their game, or if fans of the game feel the need to do the same. It makes me worried that there are design issues which will mar enjoyment - pe...

 
 
 

'Shall tonight be a PC or Console kinda night?'

So I've had a 'Gaming PC' for about a week now and I wanted to write a bit about how that's changed my habits - the advantages and disadvantages that it's brought and the sort of dilemmas I expect to face in the future. Firstly, this is h...

 
 
 

Part 2 Not Forthcoming.

Just in case anyone was wondering, I decided not to do part 2 of 5 Features of Good Puzzle Design, just because I was having trouble doing it in any way that didn't end up looking a bit like a textbook. If you were interested, then you pro...

 
 
 

Force Unleashed Demo Impressions

In the midst of my reaquaintance with the Desktop PC I finally had a chance last night to sit down in front of the demo for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for Xbox 360. It's nice to have a Star Wars game that actually makes me want to pla...

 
 
 

The PC: Back In My Good Books

It's funny how things that only piqued marginal interest before suddenly become that much more desirable when they come easily within your grasp. I'm talking about my new PC, which is now up and running. It's decent - by no means a beas...

 
 
 

5 Features of Good Puzzle Design, Pt. 1

A short while ago I complained about the state of adventure game puzzles. It was sort of a mess, though, because I was trying to wrap it around my impressions of the first episode of SBCG4AP. Here I'll attempt to write down my thoughts mo...

 
 
 

Toward a tutorial-free future!

"Please don't explain, show me!" - from My Fair Lady (1964) After finding the Bionic Commando: Rearmed tutorial tiresome, despite its brevity, I picked up a train of thought I've had a few times before: aren't tutorials a weird thing to ...

 
 
 

Spoilers: some spoiler-free suggestions

First thing's first. If people don't want a game spoiled for them, then there are some reasonable precautions they can take that don't have to involve cutting themselves off from the gaming community until they've finished the game. I don...

 
 
 

...The Next Big Thing?

Is the question of whether games will become an accepted and respected medium in our culture an interesting one? I don't think so, really. Sure, there will always be people who will help or hinder this process but ultimately it's an inevi...

 
 
 

Instant Replay: I Wish I Could Unplay Games

Like many people, the main reason I play games is to discover new things, experience new worlds and all sorts of similarly pretentious phrases. I don't usually obsess over collectibles and I don't mind not playing the game on hard mode, b...

 
 
 

Geometry Wars 2: Design Economy

Okay, before I get into the post proper, just a few words about my last post. A couple of people left comments which have made me think I didn't explain myself very well, so I just want to clarify: I'm not trying to draw a direct comparis...

 
 
 

SBCG4AP: Why Do Adventure Puzzles Suck?

(My blog has moved to Destructoid. Hurrah! Old posts are at http://surplusgamer.blogspot.com) Right then, Homestar Ruiner. It's the first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, an adventure very much in the same vein as ...

 
 

About KestrelPione of us since 4:37 AM on 07.16.2008

Age: 30
Location: S.E. London, UK
Hat Size: Medium

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KestrelPi

XBL: KestrelPi

 
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